09/29/2012 8:22PM

Santa Anita: Love and Pride uncatchable in Zenyatta

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Benoit & Associates
Love and Pride, under Martin Garcia, captures her second straight Grade 1 stakes in the Zenyatta.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Nationwide, Love and Pride is demanding attention in the older female division.

In Saturday’s $250,000 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita, Love and Pride led throughout the race over 1 1/16 miles to win her second consecutive Grade 1. She won her first career Grade 1 race in the Personal Ensign Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 26.

The two wins make Love and Pride a contender for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic here on Nov. 2. Her win in the Zenyatta Stakes earned Love and Pride a fees-paid berth to the Ladies’ Classic through the Breeders’ Cup’s Win and You’re In program.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Love and Pride set a modest pace of 23.98 and48.47 seconds, led by a length on the backstretch and won by 3 1/4 lengths over 7-1 Joyful Victory. Include Me Out closed from seventh to finish third. Amani, the 2-1 favorite, was eighth early in the field of nine and finished fifth.

Love and Pride ($10.20) was expected to set the pace, according to Michael McCarthy, trainer Todd Pletcher’s assistant.

“The track has been a little speed-favoring yesterday and today,” McCarthy said. “Her races have been better when she prompts the race or has been close to it.

“She had enough to get the job done. When she gets a chance to settle into her rhythm, she can run her races.”

Owned by Green Hills Farm, Love and Pride, by A.P. Indy, has won 7 of16 starts and $925,760.

Love and Pride has won four stakes this year, including the Grade 3 Obeah at Delaware Park on June 16.