Private Mission Wins Zenyatta, Earns Breeders’ Cup Distaff Berth

Heavily favored Private Mission, who was originally scheduled to run out of town last weekend, stayed home and was a convincing 2 ¼-length winner of Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.  Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Flavien Prat, Private Mission got 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.77 and earned a fees-paid berth into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 6 as the Zenyatta is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier.

Baffert, who opted to stay home with the 3-year-old Into Mischief filly instead of running in the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes near Philadelphia on Sept. 26, ran one-two in the Zenyatta as his As Time Goes By completed the exacta.

Blessed with an abundance of early speed, Private Mission sat just off of pacesetter Samurai Charm in the run up the backside.  Prat stepped on the gas leaving the three-furlong marker and Private Mission enjoyed a 2 ½-length advantage turning for home in what appeared to be her best race yet in career start number five.

“I’m happy to run one-two,” said Baffert.  “Private Mission, I’m glad I stayed home with her.  I decided this would be best for her with the Breeders’ Cup in mind, we didn’t want to stress her.  She’s on the improve, getting better and better.  I’m really happy with the way both fillies ran.”

A 6 ½-length winner going a flat mile in the G3 Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 21, Private Mission was off at even money in a field of eight fillies and mares three and up and paid $4.20, $2.40 and $2.20.

“She broke well and got herself into the race,” said Prat, who rode her to her Del Mar win on Aug. 21.  “She relaxed well and took a nice breather going to the three-eighths pole and ran good when I asked her to make her move.  I thought this race was better than last time, for sure.”

Owned by Baoma Corporation, Private Mission, who is out of the Unbridled mare Private Gift, picked up $120,000 for the win, boosting her earnings to $256,800 while getting her fourth win from five outs. She was bred in Kentucky by Mt. Brilliant Broodmares LLC and sold for $750,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale.

Ridden by John Velazquez, As Time Goes By kept to her task gamely late and in a much improved effort, finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of Miss Bigly.  The second choice at 5-2, she paid $2.80 and $2.20.

Miss Bigly, mid-pack early, was easily third, finishing 6 ½ lengths in front of Stellar Sound.  Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Miss Bigly paid $3.40 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.21, 46.87, 1:11.45 and 1:36.89.

The post Private Mission Wins Zenyatta, Earns Breeders’ Cup Distaff Berth appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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