10/02/2008 11:00PM

Zaftig to try for BC victory off 139-day layoff

Email

ELMONT, N.Y. - Zaftig proved she was a talented filly when she blew past Indian Blessing to win the Grade 1 Acorn here on June 7. If she's successful in her next start, Zaftig will prove to be truly something special.

After a stress fracture knocked her out of the important summer races for 3-year-old fillies, Zaftig will attempt to return from a 139-day layoff in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 24. One has to go back to Precisionist, who won the 1985 BC Sprint off a 132-day layoff, to find a horse that won a Breeders' Cup race off such an extended break.

Susan Moore, who owns Zaftig with her husband, John, said Friday that there are limited options in the fall for fillies and mares at sprint distances, and the BC Filly and Mare Sprint at seven furlongs is the most attractive one. The $300,000 Raven Run for 3-year-old fillies at Keeneland was the other option.

"The best option is to try her in the Sprint,'' Moore said Friday. "She won the Grade 3 [Nassau County] at seven furlongs and she ran a 102 Beyer at seven furlongs. It is very difficult to bring a horse back off a layoff, but Jimmy's extraordinarily good at it.''

Moore was referring to Jimmy Jerkens, who trains Zaftig. Statistically, Jerkens is 40 for 176 (22 percent) in his career off a layoff of 120 days or more. Under such conditions, he is 1 for 12 in graded stakes. Earlier this year, Jerkens won the Grade 3 Toboggan with Sir Greeley off a 105-day layoff. In 2006, Jerkens brought Tiger back for the Moores off a 186-day layoff and he won a six-furlong allowance race in a track record 1:08.46.

"It's a tall order, that's for sure,'' Jerkens said.

Zaftig has never run on a synthetic surface, but she is scheduled to ship to Southern California on Oct. 14 - along with the Moore's Juvenile Fillies contender Doremifasollatido - to get accustomed to Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface. Zofzig, a half-sister to Zaftig, won her debut over Keeneland's Polytrack in 2006 and won a turf race before being sold and retired.

"Hopefully, her pedigree says she should be able to handle it,'' said Moore, who added that progeny of Zaftig's sire, Gone West, have had success over synthetic surfaces.

On Friday, Zaftig worked six furlongs in 1:14.09 over the Belmont training track. It is her fifth work since she resumed training in late summer.

"It took awhile to get her going at Saratoga, but since she's been going and since she been here she's been good,'' Jerkens said.

Moore said that Zaftig was cataloged for the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected fall mixed sale on Nov. 2, but would be withdrawn.

Golden Dawn to be sold

Golden Dawn, the six-length winner of the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap in February, will be sold at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale that begins on Nov. 3. She is cataloged for the first day.

Golden Dawn, a daughter of Hennessy out of the Grade 2 stakes-winning mare Paved in Gold, won 3 of 10 starts including the Barbara Fritchie and the Fiesta Lady, an overnight stakes at Aqueduct. She earned $278,261.

"She was as fast as anything in the country when she was on her game,'' said Mike Hushion, who trained Golden Dawn for Marty Cunningham.

Hushion stopped on Golden Dawn following her fourth-place finish as the favorite in the Bed o' Roses at Aqueduct in April. She returned to the work tab last month and breezed four times, including a five-furlong move in 1:01.01 on Sunday. But Hushion did not think he could get Golden Dawn ready for any significant races before the sale.

Castro to stay in New York

Jockey Eddie Castro will become a regular on this circuit this winter, his agent, Mike Gonzalez, said Friday.

Castro, who finished second in the Monmouth Park jockey standings with 117 wins, will ride double-duty in New York and the Meadowlands this fall, then will stay in New York and ride the Aqueduct winter meet. Last year, Castro spent the winter at Gulfstream, where he finished as the fourth leading rider with 51 wins and $1.85 million in purse earnings.

Castro, a 24-year-old native of Panama, rode Miesque's Approval to victory in 2006 Breeders' Cup Mile. At the time, he was the youngest jockey to ride a BC winner, until 18-year-old Fernando Jara won the Classic a few hours later.

Pick six hit - 105 times

What difference does a nose make? About $8,000 as it pertained to Friday's pick six.

When 7-1 Catty Madeline caught 9-5 favorite Go Go Bar at the wire of Friday's ninth race, it created a pick-six payout of $11,857. Had Go Go Bar won, it would have paid $3,927.

There were 105 winning tickets sold on Friday's pick six. The combination of 2-3-8-1-4-3 consisted of Phi Beta Mom ($12), Gold Trippi ($8), Multitude ($6.50), Smartgabrielle ($4.20), Perfect Casting ($5.90), and Catty Madeline ($16.40). The consolation payout (5 of 6) returned $97.50. There were 2,429 consolation tickets. Rajiv Maragh rode four of the winners, beginning with Phi Beta Mom and including the final three races.

There was a $540,334 carryover entering the card as the pick six had not been hit since Sept. 27. An additional $1,284,215 was wagered into the pool on Friday.