Angelica Zapata earns first turf victory at Gulfstream

 

Angelica Zapata was one of only two horses in Saturday’s $100,000 Wasted Tears Stakes at Gulfstream Park that had never won on turf, but trainer Ron Pellegrini was hardly discouraged about his 5-year-old mare’s chances in the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes.

The bettors, who made Angelica Zapata their 5-2 favorite in a strong field of seven fillies and mares, agreed, and the multiple-stakes winner on dirt didn’t disappoint them. After making a three-wide bid on the far turn, the daughter of Sharp Humor kicked in through the stretch to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths over the late-running Ann of the Dance, who was coincidently the other horse looking for her first win on turf.

Jockey Juan Leyva gave Angelica Zapata a perfectly executed ride, saving ground around the first turn after breaking from an outside post position, swinging three-wide leaving the backstretch in pursuit of pacesetter Miss Montreal and urging her on to victory in the stretch run.

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