05/22/2017 6:18PM

A. P. Zona impresses in Jim Coleman Province


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – A. P. Zona moved to the top of the local sophomore division with a four-length win over Driller in the $50,000 Jim Coleman Province at Hastings on Monday. He paid $13.70 as the second choice in the wagering behind Fall At Last, who was sent off at 15 cents on the dollar.

Trainer Phil Hall said he was expecting A. P. Zona to be in the mix early in the 6 1/2-furlong dash for 3-year-olds. However, the Kentucky-bred son of Creative Cause had one horse beat while Fall At Last posted a 22.06-second quarter-mile split. He started to get within range going down the backstretch and was within 1 1/2 lengths of Fall At Last after a half-mile in 45.08. He took command coming out of the second turn and drew off to win convincingly.

Driller rallied to finish second, with Fall At Last holding on for third. The final time was 1:16.42.

A. P. Zona was making his first start for Hall. He was coming off a fourth-place finish in a $40,000 optional-claiming race on turf at Golden Gate for trainer Blaine Wright.

“He showed speed in his races in California, so I thought he would be on the pace,” said Hall. “But I haven’t had him for very long, so I wasn’t really sure how he was going to run. Blaine said he worked super last week at Emerald [Downs], and I just put the saddle on.”

Winning rider Enrique Gonzalez was impressed by the strong performance.

“Phil didn’t give me any instructions, so I just let him run his race,” Gonzalez said, with jockey Ruben Lara serving as an interpreter. “He didn’t have any speed, but he sure finished well. I think he’ll be even better going longer.”

It was the first stakes win for A. P. Zona, who was claimed by owner Peter Redekop out of a winning effort in a $40,000 claiming race at Santa Anita on March 9.