09/22/2012 1:21PM

Santa Anita: Include Me Out on target for Zenyatta Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Include Me Out used a work on turf Saturday to prepare her for the Grade 1 Zenyatta, to be run on the main track next Saturday.

A change of scenery, and racing surface, has kept Include Me Out on schedule for an important start in the $250,000 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita next weekend.

Saturday at Santa Anita, Include Me Out worked six furlongs on turf in 1:13.80, the first time she has exercised on the surface. Trainer Ron Ellis chose a turf workout at Santa Anita for Include Me Out because of a recent renovation of the Hollywood Park main track.

Hollywood Park reopened its main track for training on Saturday after a week-long renovation that included rewaxing the synthetic surface.

Ellis said he preferred to work Include Me Out on Santa Anita’s turf course instead of Hollywood Park’s main track on the first day that training resumed there.

“It’s the safe thing I can do right now,” he said. “I didn’t want to work on the track the first day it opened at Hollywood Park.”

Ellis timed Include Me Out’s turf workout in 1:15.

Include Me Out will spend the rest of the week at Santa Anita in the build-up to next Saturday’s race, and will gallop daily on the Santa Anita main track, Ellis said. “She’ll gallop on it to get used to it,” he said.

Owned by Samantha Siegel, Include Me Out won the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 4 to confirm her place among California’s leading older females.

The Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes is run over 1 1/16 miles on the main track for fillies and mares, and is one of five Grade 1 races at Santa Anita on Saturday that will have Breeders’ Cup ramifications. The Breeders’ Cup races are run at Santa Anita on Nov. 2-3.

All five of the Grade 1 stakes – including the Awesome Again for 3-year-olds and up, the Chandelier Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, the FrontRunner Stakes for 2-year-olds, and the Rodeo Drive Stakes for female turf runners – are part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program.

The program offers a fees-paid berth to Breeders’ Cup races for the winner, if the horse is nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program.