The first start for Ziconic, the 3-year-old son of 2010 horse of the year Zenyatta, didn't look very promising at the outset of the seven-furlong race Saturday at Santa Anita. Or maybe he was just running like his mother.
Ziconic was last and more than 15 lengths behind in the early part of the race, like his mother used to do. Then jockey Gary Stevens let him run.
"We knew he was going to break slow and it took a little while to get wound up," Stevens said. "I was at the three-eighths pole and was so far back I said, 'Buddy, your momma could win from here, do it.'"
Ziconic almost did it. He rallied to finish in third place, beaten by 1 3/4 lengths, in the race for maidens won by Fast Munny.
Trainer John Shirreffs, who also trained Zenyatta, a winner in 19 of 20 starts, said, "When they were going down the backside, I said, 'My goodness, I hope some things change,' and they did."
Added Stevens: "I've never been cheered when I got third in a maiden special weight before, but the whole day has been fun. It's an honor to get to ride him. John had a big smile on his face when I came back. He's a man of few words, but that smile said it all."