Midnight Memories Dominates Zenyatta Rivals - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Midnight Memories Dominates Zenyatta Rivals

Midnight Memories and Ramon Vazquez winning the Zenyatta

Ridden aggressively by Ramon Vazquez, Midnight Memories pressed dueling leaders Awake at Midnyte and Soothsay leaving the half-mile pole, wheeled three-deep turning for home and marched to an emphatic 3 ¼-length win in Sunday's Grade 2, $200,000 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.  Trained by Bob Baffert, Midnight Memories got 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:45.07 and will likely be pointed to the $2-million Breeders' Cup Distaff Nov. 5 at Keeneland.

A gate-to-wire winner of the Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes at one mile on Sept. 4, Midnight Memories burst clear leaving the furlong pole in what appeared to be her best race to date. A winner of  four out of her five starts, was off as the 8-5 favorite among five fillies and mares three and up and paid $5.20, $2.60 and $2.10.

Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Midnight Memories, a 3-year-old filly by Mastery out of the Midnight Lute mare Tiz Midnight, picked up $120,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $286,680.

Head and head for the lead for most of the trip, Awake At Midnyte held the place under Mario Gutierrez, finishing a neck clear of an onrushing Empire House.  Off at 9-5, Awake At Midnyte paid $2.40 and $2.20.

Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, longshot Empire House rallied from last to just miss second money and paid $3.20 to show while off at 23-1.

Fractions on the race were 24.16, 48.26, 1:11.97 and 1:38.21.

RAMON VAZQUEZ, MIDNIGHT MEMORIES, WINNER: “I felt really good today. I concentrated on the race and told myself to do my best. From the beginning of the race, we took a nice position, and in the last quarter (Midnight Memories) ran really well.”

BOB BAFFERT, MIDNIGHT MEMORIES, WINNER: “We have taken our time with her.  The Mastery fillies seem to be slow coming around.  We have had to be patient with her. She got into a nice rhythm today and when Ramon asked her in the lane, she took off.  She is really improving. I'm not sure what the (Breeders' Cup) Dirty Dozen means, but we'll figure it out.”
ON THE BREEDERS' CUP POSSIBILITY: “We'll think it out.  We have a few spots held on the plane.  We just have to figure out who's going to fill those spots.”


PAUL WEITMAN, CO-OWNER/BREEDER, MIDNIGHT MEMORIES, WINNER: “I thought it was good, (Ramon Vazquez) did extremely good. She had a little problem coming out of the gate. She was like spinning her wheels, but he was patient with her, brought her up and turned for home fast.
“She's had a little tiny problem sometimes in the Paddock of acting up just a little bit, but today she was calm, and I watched her in the Paddock, and she was as calm as she could be. I think that is important that she doesn't get worked up.”
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