03/08/2017 3:56PM

Zapperkat starts journey toward Kentucky Oaks

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Barbara D. Livingston
Zapperkat worked four furlongs in 48.20 seconds Monday at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Zapperkat missed the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita last November after undergoing surgery to have a bone chip removed from a knee. Her connections hope Zapperkat can start in another leading race for the division – the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 5 – if she runs well in an optional claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on Friday and then in an April prep for the Oaks.

“She’s not fully cranked up, for sure, but this will be a nice starting point,” trainer Richard Baltas said on Wednesday. “She may need a race. I’ve got to get a start into her.”

Owned by J K Racing and Bruce Chandler, Zapperkat won her debut in a maiden race at six furlongs at Del Mar last August. She was third as the 5-2 favorite in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes here last October, beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Noted and Quoted. The injury was detected following that race.

“She was out for three months,” Baltas said. “She’s been getting better every week.”

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Zapperkat is part of a field of 11 in Friday’s race. She is the only runner with a placing in a graded stakes, although Princess Karen and Resilient Humor were fourth and fifth behind division leader Unique Bella in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes at seven furlongs here on Jan. 8.

Baltas said Zapperkat may pass on the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks on April 8 for a race on another circuit if she runs well Friday.