Location: Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California, United States
Race type: Thoroughbred - Flat racing
Distance: 11/16 miles (8.5 furlongs)
Track: Dirt, left-handed
January 17, 1994
A grandson of Northern Dancer and a son of Danzig, Zignew is a 4-year-old colt whose races have never been as good as his breeding.
Northern Dancer won the Kentucky Derby in 1964; 29 years later, Sea Hero, a grandson of Danzig, did the same. But Zignew spent his 3-year-old season unable to bridge the competitive gap between allowance company and stakes races.
Trainer Speedy Smithwick moved the colt from dirt to grass and back to dirt while trying to find the answer. Smithwick's patience might pay off. Waiting until his 12th start before scoring his first stakes victory, Zignew scored a 21-1 upset on dirt Sunday at Santa Anita in the $225,400 San Fernando Stakes.
Zignew, bred and owned by Jack Kent Cooke and ridden by Chris McCarron, earned $135,400, which was $22,875 more than his purses for 11 previous starts. He had won four times, but was not better than fourth in three stakes starts. Sunday marked Zignew's first stakes race since an eighth-place finish in the Ascot Handicap at Bay Meadows on Sept. 25.
Zignew, who paid $44.80 after running 1 1/8 miles in 1:47 4/5, came into the San Fernando off an allowance victory at Hollywood Park a month ago. He carried 116 pounds Sunday, four less than the top-weighted Diazo.
"He's getting better with age," said Smithwick, who comes from a family of Hall of Fame steeplechase horsemen. "I think he's matured, he's learned how to rate and he didn't stall when he made the lead this time. He's out of a Prince John mare (Newfoundland) who's had nothing but nice horses, and they've all put it together late in life, too."
Zignew broke from the outside post, and with Bat Eclat, Diazo and Del Mar Dennis doing the fastest early running, McCarron was able to drop his mount into fourth place after a half-mile.
At the top of the stretch, Bat Eclat and Diazo dropped out of contention. Del Mar Dennis had the lead with an eighth of mile to go, and although McCarron could have gone to the front then, he was reluctant to do so.
"I didn't want to open up three lengths or so leaving the eighth pole," McCarron said. "Because then he might stick his toes into the ground and lose momentum."
McCarron said that after he heard the Santa Anita announcer, Trevor Denman, say that Pleasant Tango was moving, he asked Zignew to dig in. McCarron, who rode Bertrando to victory last year, became only the third back-to-back winner of the stake, which was first run in 1952. Bill Shoemaker rode the winners in 1957-58 and Eddie Belmonte had a three-race streak that started in 1969.
McCarron rode Zignew early in his career and has been aboard for the horse's last three races.
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|2013||Fed Biz||Mike E. Smith||Bob Baffert||Kaleem Shah, Inc||1:42.34|
|2012||Tapizar||Corey Nakatani||Steve Asmussen||Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC||1:41.98|
|2011||Indian Firewater||Mike E. Smith||Bob Baffert||Karl Watson, M. Pegram, Paul Weitman||1:41.53|
|2010||Papa Clem||Tyler Baze||Gary Stute||Bo Hirsch||1:42.64|
|2009||Nownownow||Joe Talamo||Patrick L. Biancone||Fab Oak Stable||1:41.45|
|2008||Air Command||Aaron Gryder||Bob Baffert||Faisal Salm||1:40.16|
|2007||Awesome Gem||Tyler Baze||Craig Dollase||West Point Thoroughbreds||1:41.90|
|2006||Unbridled Energy||Garrett Gomez||Richard E. Mandella||Doug Cauthen||1:44.33|
|2005||Minister Eric||Rene Douglas||Richard E. Mandella||Diamond A Racing||1:42.14|
|2004||During||David Flores||Bob Baffert||James McIngvale||1:41.63|
|2003||Pass Rush||Corey Nakatani||Patrick B. Byrne||Michael Tabor||1:42.97|
|2002||Western Pride||Garrett Gomez||James K. Chapman||Chapman & McArthur||1:41.30|
|2001||Tiznow||Chris McCarron||Jay M. Robbins||Michael Cooper, et al.||1:42.05|
|2000||Saint's Honor||Kent Desormeaux||Craig Dollase||Stephan G. Herold||1:41.94|
|1999||Dixie Dot Com||David Flores||William Morey, Jr.||Chaiken, Chaiken & Heller||1:41.06|
|1998||Silver Charm||Gary Stevens||Bob Baffert||Bob & Beverly Lewis||1:41.94|
|1997||Northern Afleet||Chris McCarron||David E. Hofmans||Anderson & Waranch||1:48.59|
|1996||Helmsman||Chris McCarron||Wallace Dollase||Horizon Stable, Jarvis||1:48.87|
|1995||Wekiva Springs||Kent Desormeaux||Robert B. Hess, Jr.||Donald R. Dizney & English||1:48.59|
|1994||Zignew||Chris McCarron||Daniel Smithwick||Jack Kent Cooke||1:47.87|
|1993||Bertrando||Chris McCarron||Robert J. Frankel||Marshall Nahem||1:51.22|
|1992||Best Pal||Kent Desormeaux||Gary F. Jones||Golden Eagle Farm||1:48.25|
|1991||In Excess||Gary Stevens||Bruce L. Jackson||Jack J. Munari||1:46.60|
|1990||Flying Continental||Corey Black||Jay M. Robbins||Jack Kent Cooke||1:47.20|
|1989||Mi Preferido||Chris McCarron||Laz Barrera||Barrera & Saiden||1:47.40|
|1988||On the Line||Jose A. Santos||D. Wayne Lukas||Eugene V. Klein||1:49.00|
|1987||Variety Road||Laffit Pincay, Jr.||Bruce Headley||Kjell H. Qvale||1:49.00|
|1986||Right Con||Rafael Meza||Melvin F. Stute||William R. Hawn||1:48.40|
|1985||Precisionist||Chris McCarron||Ross Fenstermaker||Fred W. Hooper||1:47.40|
|1984||Interco||Patrick Valenzuela||Ted West||David I. Sofro||1:48.60|
|1983||Wavering Monarch||Eddie Delahoussaye||Laz Barrera||Glencrest Farm||1:50.00|
|1982||It's the One||Walter Guerra||Laz Barrera||Amin Saiden||1:47.60|
|1981||Doonesbury||Sandy Hawley||Barney Willis||Jones, Roffe, et al.||1:47.00|
|1980||Spectacular Bid||Bill Shoemaker||Bud Delp||Hawksworth Farm||1:48.00|
|1979||Radar Ahead||Darrel McHargue||Gary F. Jones||Sidney H. Vail||1:48.00|
|1978||Text||Fernando Toro||Vincent Clyne||Elmendorf Farm||1:49.40|
|1977||Kirby Lane||Laffit Pincay, Jr.||Laz Barrera||Gedney Farms||1:47.60|
|1977||Pocket Park||Steve Cauthen||Ron McAnally||Elmendorf Farm||1:48.60|
|1976||Messenger of Song||Jerry Lambert||Gordon C. Campbell||Bernard J. Ridder||1:48.20|
|1975||Stardust Mel||Bill Shoemaker||Charlie Whittingham||Marjorie L. Everett||1:48.60|
|1975||First Back||Jacinto Vasquez||Ron McAnally||Post Time Stable||1:46.80|
|1974||Ancient Title||Laffit Pincay, Jr.||Keith L. Stucki, Sr.||Ethel Kirkland||1:47.60|
|1973||Bicker||Glenn Brogan||Robert Wingfield||Green Thumb Farm Stable||1:48.20|
|1972||Autobiography (DH)||Eddie Belmonte||Pancho Martin||Sigmund Sommer||1:47.20|
|1972||Triple Bend (DH)||Donald Pierce||Vance Longden||Frank M. McMahon||1:47.20|
|1971||Willowick||Eddie Belmonte||Joseph Manzi||Robert E. Hibbert||1:48.80|
|1969||Cavamore||Eddie Belmonte||Buster Millerick||Mrs. M. Troy Jones||1:49.00|
|1968||Damascus||Bill Shoemaker||Frank Whiteley, Jr.||Edith W. Bancroft||1:48.80|
|1967||Buckpasser||Braulio Baeza||Edward A. Neloy||Ogden Phipps||1:48.20|
|1966||Isle of Greece||Walter Blum||Hirsch Jacobs||Ethel D. Jacobs||1:48.60|
|1965||Hill Rise||Donald Pierce||William B. Finnegan||El Peco Ranch||1:48.40|
|1964||Nevada Battler||Manuel Ycaza||George D. Adams||J. Kel Houssels||1:48.80|
|1964||Gun Bow||Bill Shoemaker||Edward A. Neloy||Gedney Farms||1:47.80|
|1963||Crimson Satan||Herb Hinojosa||Charles Kerr||Crimson King Farm||1:47.20|
|1962||Four-and-Twenty||Johnny Longden||Vance Longden||Alberta Ranches, Ltd.||1:48.80|
|1961||Prove It||Bill Shoemaker||Mesh Tenney||Rex C. Ellsworth||1:47.60|
|1960||King O'Turf||Angel Valenzuela||Ron McAnally||M/M J. Ross Clark II||1:50.00|
|1959||Hillsdale||Tommy Barrow||Martin L. Fallon, Jr.||Clarence Whitted Smith||1:42.40|
|1958||Round Table||Bill Shoemaker||William Molter||Kerr Stables||1:42.20|
|1957||Holandes II||Bill Shoemaker||Bob R. Roberts||Wood, De Benedetti, Roberts||1:43.20|
|1956||Beau Busher||Jack Westrope||Dale Landers||Sunnyside Stable||1:43.60|
|1955||Poona II||Bill Shoemaker||Red McDaniel||Helbush Farms||1:40.80|
|1954||By Zeus||Jack Westrope||William J. Hirsch||Cynthia Lasker||1:49.40|
|1953||Mark-Ye-Well||Eddie Arcaro||Horace A. Jones||Calumet Farm||1:44.20|
|1952||Counterpoint||Dave Gorman||Sylvester Veitch||C. V. Whitney||1:45.20|