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Reneesgotzip captures Santa Ynez in second career start
Despite owning just one prior start, Lanni Family Trust's Reneesgotzip ran away with the Grade 2, $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday. Ridden by Corey Nakatani, the Peter Miller trainee finished 6 1/2 furlongs on the fast dirt in 1:15 1/5, returning $4, $2.80 and $2.60 as the even-money favorite.
Reneesgotzip broke a step slow, but quickly recovered and scooted in between horses to take command on the backstretch. The City Zip filly set splits of :22 1/5 and :45 while comfortably holding the pressing Rowdy Girl to her outside. Grade 1-placed stakes winner Candrea, the 5-2 second choice, raced widest of all to the outside of Rowdy Girl and put in her move alongside that rival entering the turn.
Nakatani shook the reins at Reneesgotzip exiting the turn and the chestnut miss began drawing away from her two rivals. She drifted way out entering the lane, but still held the advantage before heading back toward the rail under right-handed encouragement. Finally straightened out by her rider, Reneesgotzip merely extended the margin until she crossed under the wire 7 3/4 lengths in front of Made to Love Her, who put in a game rally down the center of the track to snatch second away from Painted Woman. Rowdy Gal, Candrea and Lady Hokulea completed the order under the wire.
"I've been getting on this horse in the morning for Pete (Miller), and she's showed me every time what she can do," Nakatani said. "She was a little green coming to the quarter-pole today. She shied and drifted out so I shook her up right there and she responded.
"It's a good thing that Pete puts me to work on her because you get to know what she's capable of doing. He's confident in what we wanted to do with her. She's a tremendous filly."
Reneesgotzip broke her maiden at first asking on December 18 at Hollywood Park, scoring by 2 1/4 lengths after leading from gate-to-wire. This one boosted her resume to two-for-two and she's now banked $117,000 in career earnings.
"I thought, if it's not broke, don't fix it," Miller said. "She won wire-to-wire first time, and we drew inside. I think she will rate off horses, but being down on the inside in the two hole, it kind of forced our hand to send her out of there.
"She broke well again and she was up to the task. I was surprised at how easy she won her first start. I thought she might have needed a race, but evidently, she didn't. She had shown a lot of ability, but not this kind of ability.
"Eventually I definitely would like to stretch her out. I think the way she relaxes and the way she has that nice turn of foot I do think she will get two turns. I think that's in the future, whether it's her next start or not, we'll just kind of play it by ear."
Bred in Kentucky by John Liviakis, Reneesgotzip is the first stakes scorer out of the winning Distorted Humor mare No Dress Code. This is the same family as 1977 champion older mare Cascapedia; Grade/Group 1 heroines Captive Miss, Acey Deucey and Republic Lass; and multiple Grade 2-winning highweight Big Jag.
Reneesgotzip has passed through the sales ring twice, bringing $3,500 as a Fasig-Tipton October yearling and $45,000 from her current connections as an OBS April two-year-old.