11/15/2014 5:17PM

Zee Bros springs 29-1 upset in De Francis Dash

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Zee Bros, with substitute jockey Jose Ortiz aboard, connects as the longest shot on the board in the Frank De Francis Memorial Dash.

LAUREL, Md. - On paper, it looked like the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park on Saturday was jam-packed with speed. But as so often happens, when the gates opened a duel failed to materialize.

Favorite Tale showed early foot and so did Zee Bros, at 29-1 the longest shot on the board. But Happy My Way was eased back off the pace and Bern Identity also ended up farther back than expected in the six-furlong sprint.

Favorite Tale clicked off a quarter in 22.01 seconds; Zee Bros had the lead through a half in 44.87 before opening up in the stretch to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Happy My Way came running late under Joe Bravo to get second, three-quarters of a length over Bern Identity. Dads Caps, the 9-5 favorite, had a good trip just off the pace but was outfinished in the stretch and ended up fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths.

Zee Bros is owned by Zayat Racing Stable and trained by D. Wayne Lukas. He paid $60.20 to win and was timed in 1:08.77.

"We got this horse right after the Saratoga meet," said assistant trainer Tim Austin, who was on hand for the race. "It took a few weeks to figure him out but in his last four workouts, I know they saw a big improvement in him."

The trainers of Ben's Cat and La Verdad said on Friday they were going to scratch from the De Francis, reducing the field to eight.

Zee Bros originally was to be ridden by Alex Cintron but he was injured in a Friday spill at Laurel. Cintron had also been named to ride Who's In Town, winner of the $100,000 Safely Kept at Laurel on Saturday.

Jose Ortiz, who has been scheduled to ride La Verdad, picked up the mount on Zee Bros.

“My agent called Mr. Lukas when La Verdad was scratched,” Ortiz said. “I was available because I had taken off of all of my mounts to come here today. I was very sorry to have to get this mount the way that I did and I wish Alex the best.

"Mr. Lukas told me that this horse had the talent and the speed, to make sure that we broke well and go after it," Ortiz added.

Zee Bros combined with 5-1 Happy May Way for a $2 exacta worth $471.20.

The penta, or super high give, paid $121.70 for 4-all-all-all-all, meaning nobody even bet a Zee Bros/Happy My Way combination. In all fairness, the penta is only offered on big days in Maryland and the pool was only $6,022.

 

russell More than 1 year ago
Congrats to the Coach. He's a true old school gentleman. I'm just a bettor in NY and I've spoken to him a few times. And that was when he was on top. Lukas always said I don't bet. I respect that. D Wayne is good for racing.
Richard Kennedy More than 1 year ago
Always have to include Lukas horses, no mtter the odds. TAKE CHARGE BRANDI, as an example.
mike More than 1 year ago
Lukas cares about Lukas only.
Bob Bernhardt More than 1 year ago
His last race ( a sprint on the turf ) was just as impressive. Of course i didn't play it because it was a turf race. Speed Kills.