With a recent race under his belt, John Sadler’s Irish-bred Sword Zorro stretched out nicely in his second U.S. start, as he unleashed an impressive turn of foot en route to a three-quarter length score over favored Petruchio in the April 25 $100,000 Singletary Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Ridden for the first time by Umberto Rispoli, Sword Zorro got one mile on turf in 1:36.63.
Taken in-hand early, Sword Zorro was fifth, about three lengths off pacesetting longshot Sensemaker behind fractions of :23.31 and :47. 55. After three-quarters in 1:12.29, 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 Feb. 5) and Umberto said he was 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 had his first start here at six and a half, but we could see that race came up pretty fast,” said Rispoli, who collected his 12th stakes win of the meet, second to Flavien Prat’s 16. “There was a lot of speed in the race and he was the only horse making ground in that race, and from where he was to how he finished, it was a huge effort, so obviously that gets me thinking the horse has to improve. In the right spot, the right distance he’s going to improve and that’s what he did today. The horse is still green. I could (of 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 one of five 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.
Video: Singletary S. (BT)