08/13/2011 1:12PM

Del Mar: Unzip Me makes Breeders' Cup reservations after Daisycutter win

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Benoit & Associates
Unzip Me wins the Daisycutter on Friday and will be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

DEL MAR, Calif. – The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint is in the long-term plans for Unzip Me, both this year and in 2012.

Friday, Unzip Me won the eighth stakes of her career with a convincing victory in the $105,685 Daisycutter Handicap for female turf sprinters at Del Mar.

The win left breeder and co-owner John Harris hoping for a start in the $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap at the Santa Anita autumn meeting on Sept. 30 and a possible return to Churchill Downs for the BC Turf Sprint in November. Last fall, Unzip Me was third in that race. The 2012 running appeals to Harris and partners Don Valpredo, Per Antonsen and trainer Marty Jones because the BC Turf Sprint will be run on Santa Anita’s unique hillside turf course.

“I’d like to keep her going another year, with the Breeders’ Cup coming back,” Harris said in the Del Mar stables on Saturday morning.

“We have to go for the Breeders’ Cup if she’s one of the best sprinters.”

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Unzip Me ($4.40) finished a half-length in front of pacesetter Separate Forest after trailing the leader by three lengths with a furlong remaining. Unzip Me ran five furlongs in 55.60 seconds.

“She showed she can come from behind,” Harris said. “Bejarano gave her a good ride. It’s tough to come from behind in this stretch.”

Unzip Me carried top weight of 124 pounds, four to 13 pounds more than her rivals. A 5-year-old, Unzip Me has won 12 of 21 starts and earned $812,228.

Unzip Me’s victory was her first since the Clocker’s Corner Handicap at Santa Anita in March, which was followed by two losses – a second to Separate Forest in the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap in April while carrying top weight of 127 pounds, and a second to Broken Dreams in an allowance race over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park last month. Broken Dreams finished fourth in Friday’s Daisycutter Handicap.

Unzip Me was found to be suffering from a respiratory infection after the Las Cienegas, which led Jones to take a reserved approach to her campaign entering the second half of the year, a position Harris said he respects.

“Marty is as cautious as an old lady,” Harris said.

American Oaks a popular race

The $250,000 Del Mar Oaks next Saturday is likely to draw an oversubscribed list of entries. The race will be limited to 10 starters, but at least 13 of the 19 3-year-old fillies nominated to the Grade 1 race over 1 1/8 miles on turf are considered possible starters.

Preference is given to graded or group stakes winners or fillies who have placed in such races.

Entrustment is still seeking her first graded stakes win but she was second in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes at Hollywood Park in May. She was later fourth in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap and American Oaks, losing the latter race by just a neck.

“She seems like in each one of her races she improves a little each time,” trainer Paddy Gallagher said. “It will be a tough race and she’ll have to keep improving.”

The leading candidates for the Del Mar Oaks are Nereid and Cambina, who finished in a dead heat for first in the American Oaks.