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Elle Z Wires Pan Zareta
Credit: Hodges Photography / Jan Brubaker

Elle Z Wires Pan Zareta

NEW ORLEANS, LA – M Bar O’s Elle Z took the lead at the start and held off the favored Into Mystic‘s late bid to wire Saturday’s $75,000 Pan Zareta Stakes at Fair Grounds.

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Elle Z and jockey Mitchell Murrill posted opening fractions of :22.18 and :45.39 while Play On applied pressure from her outside.

Set down for the stretch drive, Elle Z kicked away from Play On and repelled Into Mystic’s deep stretch challenge to cross victorious by a length.

The Chris Hartman trainee completed the 5 1/2-furlong good turf sprint in 1:03.13.

“I had a little pressure to her outside, but I kept letting her do her thing and stayed in front,” Murrill said. “Once she was able to get there, she got a nice little breather. Off the far turn, she pricked her ears up, got comfortable, and when I asked her to run, she gave everything she had.”

Into Mystic held off a late-running Winning Envelope and a stubborn Play On by a pair of necks for second.

A Bit of BothChange of ControlDance RhythmsBest Kept SecretSterling MissXanthiqueMucho Amor, and On Probation completed the order of finish.

Dixieincandyland and Our Lost Love were scratched.

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Elle Z’s win came in her stakes debut and backed up a similar gate-to-wire score at Keeneland last time out in her first time under Murrill. The 3-year-old City Zip filly’s record now stands at 7-4-0-0 with $131,024 earned.

“I honestly wasn’t afraid of any of them,” Hartman said. “It takes a quick horse to get in front of her. My horse ran the way she has been training. Like Rodney Dangerfield, she doesn’t get any respect.”

Elle Z returned $28.60 to win, $12 to place, and $8.40 to show. Into Mystic brought back $3.80 to place and $3.20 to show, while Winning Envelope paid $4 to show.

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