11/20/2014 3:30PM

Angelica Zapata targets graded win in My Charmer

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Kenny Martin/Coglianese Photos
Angelica Zapata, winning the Soaring Softly Stakes, finished second in last year's My Charmer.

MIAMI – Angelica Zapata has won five stakes races over the last two seasons. But she has yet to record a graded stakes win, a hole in her resume she hopes to fill in Saturday’s $100,000 My Charmer Handicap at Gulfstream Park West.

Angelica Zapata finished second, beaten a half-length by Valiant Girl, in the 2013 My Charmer. She was also third, beaten a length, four weeks later seeking that elusive Grade 3 win in the Marshua’s River at Gulfstream Park.

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“Those were two Grade 3s where we thought after the races that we should have won both,” said trainer Ron Pellegrini.

Angelica Zapata, a two-time stakes winner this year, has been idle since finishing second behind 38-1 Lilbourne Eliza in the Wasted Tears Stakes over the Gulfstream turf on Sept. 27. She faces Lilbourne Eliza again here.

Cushion comes off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Athenia over yielding turf at Belmont Park six weeks ago. The outing was the third for Cushion since she joined trainer Christophe Clement’s stable earlier this season after launching her career in her native Great Britain.

The 3-year-old Daring Kathy got back on the winning track with a wire-to-wire 3 1/4-length victory in the Cellars Shiraz Stakes here on Oct. 18, but will be facing older horses for the first time in the My Charmer.

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KEY CONTENDERS

Angelica Zapata (Last 3 Beyers: 87-90-96)

◗ She has yet to finish off the board in four starts over the Gulfstream Park West turf course.

◗ She’ll concede from 2 to 9 pounds to her nine rivals while having Edgard Zayas aboard for the first time in the My Charmer.

Lilbourne Eliza (Last 3 Beyers: 88-75-64)

◗ She earned a career-best Beyer, 88, winning the Wasted Tears.

◗ She will be ridden on Saturday by Eduardo Nunez, the sixth different jockey she’s had in her last six starts.

Cushion (Last 3 Beyers: 88-72-85)

◗ She won her only previous start at 1 1/8-miles, an entry level allowance race at Belmont in her U.S. debut.

Daring Kathy (Last 3 Beyers 84-84-84)

◗ She is a model of consistency from a Beyer standpoint, but she’s never been beyond 1 1/16 miles.

“Naturally you always wonder about the distance but she’s handled everything we’ve given her so far,” said trainer David Fawkes.

Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
I have to admit, I'm rooting for this race to come off the turf and run in the mud. If they do run on dirt I'm all about U.S.S. O'Brien.