A troubled beginning and a slow pace in front of her were no obstacles for Zenyatta.
The best older filly or mare in the country remained unbeaten with another visually impressive victory in the $183,300 Milady Handicap on Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Now five for five for owners Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs, the 4-year-old Street Cry filly toyed with her four outclassed opponents in the Grade II. The 3-10 favorite, she won by 2 1/2 lengths under jockey Mike Smith. Her victories have been by a combined 15 1/4 lengths and all have been with ease.
“She was squeezed at the start and I just did not want her to fall,” Smith said. “I knew if she stayed up she was going to be tough to beat. Amazing. All I can say is amazing. There are no words in my vocabulary to describe her.”
There was no Inglewood stakes sweep for the Mosses and Shirreffs.
Tiago, who had barely gotten the better of Heatseeker in the Oaklawn Handicap on April 5 in Arkansas, was no match for that one Saturday in the $245,000 Californian.
Involved from the outset in the field of four because expected pacesetter Albertus Maximus didn’t want the lead, Heatseeker, the even-money choice, dispatched of Surf Cat entering the stretch and drew away through a rapid final eighth of a mile under jockey Rafael Bejarano.
In winning by 5 1/4 lengths, he completed the 1 1/8 miles in a Cushion track record 1:47.06. This bettered Heatseeker’s own mark of 1:47.23 set when he won the Native Diver Handicap at nearly 31-1 on Dec. 8.
The winner of the Santa Anita Handicap three months ago, Heatseeker, a son of Giant’s Causeway owned by William de Burgh and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, stamped himself the one to defeat in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on June 28.
“I wanted to come from behind, but nobody wanted to go to the lead,” Bejarano said. “He was really running at the end. It was like he re-broke at the eighth pole.”
In other races around the country, Smooth Air, who finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby, rebounded with a victory in the $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown, 8-1 shot Raw Silk led throughout to take the $150,000 Sands Point at Belmont Park and Sudan led throughout to easily capture the $100,000 Golden Gate Fields Turf under jockey David Flores.