Trainer Gilberto Zerpa took one step closer to winning the $5,000 trainer bonus that will be presented upon completion of the Tropical Starter Series Filly and Mare Division when his Flying Trip won Saturday’s second leg, adding six points to the five points the filly had earned three weeks earlier when crossing the wire second in the opening leg.
Originally scheduled for turf, Saturday’s race was moved to the main track which proved beneficial to Flying Trip who had finished seventh and ninth in her two prior grassy attempts but was a proven performer on dirt with a stakes victory in the 2010 Cassidy, a second in this year’s U Can Do It Handicap, and a fourth in Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap.
Ridden confidently by Pedro Monterrey, Jr., Flying Trip was never hurried through the early stages of Saturday’s one-mile tilt, settling in ninth through the opening half-mile before unleashing a powerful winning bid that saw the 4-year-old daughter of Trippi circle rivals to take the lead in mid-stretch before running off to win by 7 ½ lengths.
Starter Series newcomer Starship Truffles crossed the wire second to gain five points, while opening-leg third and fourth-place finishers Gob Smacked and Cool Vixen once again finished in that order and once again were awarded four and three points, respectively.
Two points were allocated to fifth-place finisher El Bendinat, while Starship Cutie tallied a point when sixth.
Through two legs of the Tropical Starter Series Filly and Mare Division, Flying Trip tops the table with 11 points. The Joe Calascibetta-trained Gob Smacked is in second with eight points, while Bill Kaplan’s Cool Vixen and Marty Wolfson’s leg-one winner Beloveda are tied for third with six points.
The Tropical Starter Series Filly and Mare Division concludes over one mile of Calder dirt on October 20, with Zerpa, Calascibetta, Kaplan, and Wolfson the lone conditioners still in contention for a share of the $5,000 trainer bonus.
SAEZ STAYS STRONG ATOP JOCKEY’S TABLE
With a two-win day on Saturday that included a stakes triumph aboard Angelica Zapata, jockey Luis Saez increased his win total at the young Tropical Meet to 34 victories from 103 starts, which allows for a 12-win lead in the meet’s jockey standings.
In addition to owning an impressive 33-percent win-rate at the meet, Saez has won four of the eight stakes that have been run and has already surpassed $613,000 in purse money won.
The rider nearest to Saez in the standings at this point is apprentice Hugo Sanchez, a 22-time winner from 87 rides at the meet, with 16-time winner Manoel Cruz in third.
ZIADIE TAKES TENUOUS HOLD ATOP TRAINER’S TABLE
Through the first three weeks of the Tropical Meet, the race for leading trainer has never looked more wide-open with Kirk Ziadie emerging briefly from a logjam of conditioners to take a tenuous hold at the head of the standings following his Saturday win with Southern Dunn.
Ziadie entered Sunday’s nine-race card with six winners from 14 starters at the young meet, good enough to place him one victory ahead of a host of pursuers with eight trainers having visited the winner’s circle five times and another four have won four.
Ziadie finished second in the trainer’s standings at the recently concluded Calder Meet where he was bested by Giuseppe Iadisernia 29-28.