Del Mar, 7th Race - July 30, 2008
DEL MAR, Calif. -- Zappa earned an automatic berth to the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 25 with his win in Wednesday's $150,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar.
First, co-owner Gary Barber has a more lucrative goal on his mind - the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 24.
Barber said Zappa would be considered for that race after the 6-year-old gelding led throughout the Cougar II Handicap, which was run at 1 1/2 miles on the synthetic main track.
Ridden by Garrett Gomez for trainer John Sadler, Zappa ($9.80) led by as many as seven lengths and won by 6 1/4 lengths in 2:30.53. Tissy Fit, also owned by Barber and his brother Cecil and trained by Sadler, finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of 3-5 favorite Big Booster.
Earlier this year, Big Booster won the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at about 1 3/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita. He was last of seven for the first 1 1/4 miles of the Cougar II.
Zappa, who is by Afternoon Deelites, has won 12 of 33 starts and $449,032. He won the Grade 2 San Pasqual Handicap at Santa Anita in January. The Cougar II Handicap ended a five-race losing streak dating back to that race.