08/07/2009 11:00PM

Zensational clearly best in Crosby


DEL MAR, Calif. - Zensational did as expected in Saturday's $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar, easily defeating four overmatched rivals in the Grade 1 race over six furlongs.

The victory was the second consecutive win in a Grade 1 sprint for Zensational, who won his stakes debut in the Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 5.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Zensational ($2.80) took the lead shortly after the start, set a moderate pace of 22.02 and 44.50 seconds while leading by 1 1/2 lengths and was never seriously challenged in the stretch.

Talkin to Mom Roo, a $40,000 claim in March 2008, rallied from fourth to finish second, a nose in front of Global Hunter, who won the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on turf here on July 25. Delta Storm and Hurry Up Austin completed the order of finish. Bamaha Breeze was scratched on Saturday morning.

Zensational, who started from the rail, needed a few strides to reach the front, which concerned trainer Bob Baffert.

"He broke a little tardy and Victor said he was a little confused leaving there," Baffert said. "He's a really talented horse. He's learning how to handle the pressure."

Zensational has yet to be tested in either of his stakes appearances. He won the seven-furlong Triple Bend by a length, leading by at least a length throughout.

Owned by Zayat Stables, Zensational has won 4 of 6 starts and $429,300. He has won his last three starts, all in sprints, a streak that began in an optional claimer over 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park on May 29.

Baffert and Ahmed Zayat have the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 7 as a long-term goal for Zensational, a 3-year-old son of Unbridled's Song.