07/01/2010 11:00PM

Dr. Zic bringing Grade 1 credentials to Princess Rooney

Email

MIAMI - For all the big-name trainers with horses shipping in for this year's $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap, the only Grade 1 winner in the lineup belongs to the modest stable of the Kentucky-based Joan Scott, who is bringing the speedy and versatile Dr. Zic to Calder for the main event on Saturday's Summit of Speed program.

Dr. Zic presented Scott, 43, with her first Grade 1 victory, leading throughout to capture Keeneland's seven-furlong Madison in a field that included Dubai Majesty and reigning Eclipse Award winner Informed Decision early this spring. Dr. Zic has started just once since, finishing second in Woodbine's Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes on May 16.

"I wasn't so much surprised as very pleased to win the Madison and get my first Grade 1, although to be honest, if she had just hit the board in there I'd have been delighted," said Scott, who winters at Tampa Bay Downs and spends the rest of the year at Keeneland. "This is her home and she's always trained well over the Keeneland surface, and it was easy for her just to walk over from her stall to run that day. Shipping into the heat for the race at Calder worries me a little, but just about everybody else in the field will be in the same boat, and she never seems to get to hot or stressed when training, so if anybody can do it she can."

Dr. Zic has won 5 of 10 starts. Scott owns a piece of the 4-year-old filly along with James Tom, Marette Farrell, and Roger McDaniel of Derby Lane Farm. Dr. Zic previous three victories had come at Tampa, including the Sandpiper in her 2-year-old finale.

"She's easy to train and I just love her," said Scott who began her training career in 2002. "She just seems to like any surface, never leaves an oat, never limps. She's my kind of girl, and up to this point the best horse I've ever had."

Scott said she chose the Princess Rooney for Dr. Zic's next start after much deliberation.

"We were also thinking about races in New York and Chicago, but this was an opportunity to win another Grade 1 and there just aren't that many opportunities around for a filly and mare sprinter," said Scott.

Dr. Zic has been most effective on the lead, although Scott said she doesn't believe her filly necessarily has to be in front to win the Princess Rooney.

"The nice thing about her is that she isn't tough or the kind who will drag you to the lead," said Scott. "In the race at Woodbine she broke sharp but another horse ran past her at one point, and I was pleased with the way she handled that situation."

Dr. Zic will likely have her final work for the Princess Rooney on Sunday at Keeneland and is scheduled to fly to south Florida Thursday along with the other Kentucky- and New York-based horses coming for the Summit of Speed. Regular rider Kent Desormeaux again has the mount.

One of Scott's former employers, Eddie Kenneally, will also send out a key contender in the Princess Rooney. Kenneally has targeted the race for Warbling, a lightly raced daughter of Unbridled's Song who has not started since finishing a tiring fifth over a wet track in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 1. Warbling ran the best race of her career six weeks earlier at Gulfstream Park, capturing the Grade 2 Inside Information.

The field for the Princess Rooney is also expected to include the Todd Pletcher-trained Hour Glass, the Bob Baffert-trained Mother Ruth, Dubai Majesty, and the locally based First Passage.

* There was very little interest in Sunday's $55,000 Finallymadeit from local horsemen. Only five older horses were entered for the overnight stakes, including two, Dream Maestro and Imawildandcrazyguy, from the barn of trainer Bill Kaplan. Cinnamon Road, Barry's Money, and Wingedlie round out the lineup.

* Jockey Angel Moreno lost two pounds of his seven-pound apprentice allowance after notching his 40th career victory aboard Bobbiesqueen in Friday's opener.

* There will be racing here on Monday, regularly a dark day, with live action not resuming again until Friday.