A pair of graduates from the Tim and Cary Frommer program have been entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Fox Ridge Farm’s Grade 1 winner Joyful Victory and Michael Talla’s Grade 2 winner More Chocolate will contest the 1 1/16-mile, $250,000 race.
Joyful Victory and More Chocolate ran 1-2 in an added money race this winter, the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita, and the two graded stakes winners should be factors Saturday in the eight horse field.
Joyful Victory drew post position no. 7, and the Larry Jones charge will have regular rider Rosie Napravnik in the irons. More Chocolate drew the extreme outside post, is trained by John Sadler, and jockey Rafael Bejarano will have the return call.
A winner her last time out, Joyful Victory won the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher Stakes in dominant fashion, a 7 1/2-length score at Monmouth Park on July 28.
The daughter of Tapit posted consecutive large margin wins in back-to-back graded stakes races during her sophomore campaign. Joyful Victory won the 1 1/16-mile, Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes by 8 3/4-lengths and the 1 1/16-mile, Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes by 7-lengths. A half-length win in the Tiffany Lass Stakes at the Fair Grounds during her 4-year-old campaign was somewhat of an anomaly. The Ontario-bred mare returned to a more familiar form as a 5-year-old. Joyful Victory established a track record for 1 1/16-mile with a 4 1/4-length win in the Houston Ladies Classic at Sam Houston Race Park, and followed that score with her first Grade 1 victory, as she stretched out to 1 1/8-mile, to produce a convincing 4-length winning effort in the Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The 5-year-old mare last worked on Sept. 23 at Churchill Downs, breezing 5-furlongs in 59.80.
More Chocolate, a winner of the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes earlier this year, was second her last time out, in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 3. The 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon last worked on Sept. 21, breezing 6-furlongs in 1:12.60 at Santa Anita Park.