04/23/2017 7:14PM

Zippit E wins second straight sprint in Wayne Hanks Memorial


Trainer Bret Calhoun wasn’t thrilled about running Zippit E on Sunday at Lone Star Park in the $50,000 Wayne Hanks Memorial Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong dirt sprint for older Texas-bred females. Zippit E had won a sprint race making her 4-year-old debut March 11 at Sam Houston, but the filly had done her best work last year going two turns, and had an attractive route option presented itself, Calhoun probably would have chosen it for Zippit E.

But Calhoun need not have fretted. Zippit E, it appears, is just a good filly, be it around one turn or two. She went straight to the front Sunday under Eddie Martin, held the lead while racing two or three paths off the fence the entire trip, and stayed on solidly to win the Hanks by 1 3/4 lengths. Valid Bride rallied from mid-pack to finish second, three-quarters of a length in front of My Master Plan, who pressed the pace from second while stuck down on the fence the entire trip.

Zippit E had a few dollars more bet on her to win than did My Master Plan, and paid $5.40 as the favorite. Racing over a dirt surface that has been yielding radically slow times, Zippit E stopped the timer in a glacial 1:19.32.

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Zippit E, a homebred owned by Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch, is by My Golden Song and out of the Magic Cat mare Final Trick. It’s a modest pedigree, but the filly has talent. Zippit E made two starts as a 2-year-old but wasn’t really ready to be a racehorse, and only found her footing last year at 3, when she won the last three starts of her campaign, all around two turns, and twice on turf. But Zippit E, properly spotted, seems equally adept on turf or dirt, long or short – as she showed Sunday at Lone Star.