05/15/2012 3:03PM

Hollywood notes: Zazu returning in Everett

Shigeki Kikkawa
Zazu, winner of the Grade 1 Lady's Secret, will make her return to the track in the Grade 2 Everett.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Zazu was taken out of training at a dreadful time last fall, weeks before the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Churchill Downs.

The filly, then 3, had won 2 of her 3 preceding starts, including the Grade 1 Lady’s Secret Stakes at Santa Anita, and appeared to be a top contender for the Ladies’ Classic when a shoulder problem surfaced.

“It was a major disappointment,” trainer John Sadler said.

More than six months later, Zazu returns to racing in Saturday’s $150,000 Marjorie Everett Handicap over 1 1/16 miles at Betfair Hollywood Park. The Grade 2 Everett, formerly known as the Milady, is the start of a campaign that Sadler and owners Jerry and Ann Moss hope will lead to the BC Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita this year.

“I’m excited to get her back,” Sadler said. “She’s one of the big parts of this barn.”

Zazu will face a significant test in the Everett.

The field includes Ellafitz and Include Me Out, who each won two stakes at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting earlier this year.

Include Me Out is the expected favorite in the Everett, having won the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes on March 17. Ellafitz, the winner of the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes in February, was last of four in that race, fading in the final furlong.

Zazu, Sadler said, is training well enough to be competitive. “There are things to look forward to,” he said “She’s a fresh horse.”

Medina ban reduced

Jockey Jesiere Medina’s 30-day suspension for careless riding at Santa Anita in April has been reduced to 20 days, and will end on May 27, provided that the 23-year-old rider attends morning video review of previous races on a daily basis indefinitely.

The decision was announced by Hollywood Park stewards last weekend.

Medina was suspended after causing interference that led to a two-horse spill in the ninth race at Santa Anita on April 14. The suspension, which began on April 26, was scheduled for 30 racing days, through June 14. In a ruling issued on Sunday, Hollywood Park stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, and Tom Ward stayed the final 10 racing days of the suspension – May 28 through June 14 – provided Medina attends video review.

Video review sessions are conducted on a daily basis for riders to review incidents from the preceding day of racing that are worthy of attention, such as disqualifications or situations when horses do not have clean trips.

Medina must attend such sessions “while riding in this jurisdiction,”

according to the ruling. Failure to do so would result in the reinstatement of the final 10 days of the suspension, the ruling stated.

Medina works primarily as an exercise rider. The race that led to the suspension was her only mount this year.