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ARCADIA, CA – With a recent race under his belt, John Sadler’s Irish-bred trainee Sword Zorro stretched out nicely in his second U. S. start as he unleashed an impressive turn of foot en route to a 3/4-length score over favored Petruchio in Sunday’s $100,000 Singletary Stakes at Santa Anita.
Ridden for the first time by Umberto Rispoli, Sword Zorro got 1 mile on turf in 1:36.63.
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Taken in-hand early, Sword Zorro was fifth, about 3 lengths off pacesetting longshot Sensemaker midway around the far turn when Rispoli could wait no longer.
Responding to his cue a 1/4-mile from home, Sword Zorro wheeled five-deep at the top of the stretch and easily held Petruchio safe late in a clever win.
“He was very green in his first start (a better-than-looked fifth in the ungraded Baffle Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs on turf February 5) and Umberto said he was a little green today when he made the lead,” said Sadler assistant Alex Bisono. “He’s always trained well and we were really hoping he’d put it all together today. This is the way he wants to run.”
Ridden for the first time by Rispoli, Sword Zorro was off at 5/2 in a field of six sophomores and paid $7.00, $3.60 and $2.60.
“The horse is still green,” said Rispoli, who collected his 12th stakes win of the meet, second to Flavien Prat’s 16. “I could (have won) by more lengths I think, but once I took the lead, he was just looking around and I think he could be much better than what he showed today.”
By Irish-bred Zoffany, Sword Zorro is owned by Yuesheng Zhang. A winner of 1 of 5 starts in Ireland, Sword Zorro, in picking up his first stakes win, is now 7-2-3-1 overall. With today’s winner’s share, he increased his earnings to $84,900.
Next to last early, Petruchio rallied well to be second, finishing 1 1/4 lengths in front of Man Friday. Ridden by Mike Smith, Petruchio was off as the 3/2 favorite and paid $2.80 and $2.40.
Ridden by Abel Cedillo, Man Friday was attentive to the pace and paid $3.60 to show while off at 8/1.
Fractions on the race were 23.31, 47.55,1:12.29 and 1:24.61.
Sword Zorro returned $7 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.60 to show. Petruchio brought back $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show. Man Friday paid $3.60 to show.
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