Trainer George "Rusty" Arnold believed Zinzay was going to be a turf horse and the Smart Strike filly showed her affinity for that surface when she won a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies by a neck at Saratoga Race Course in her debut.
"She likes the grass," Arnold said of the filly bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock. "Her works were better on the grass. I don't think she is going to see the dirt."
Zinzay is the first foal to race out of Music Room, an unraced half sister to Music Note, a grade I winner in the Beldame, Coaching Club American Oaks, Ballerina, and Mother Goose; and Musical Chimes, a turf runner who captured the Poule d'Essai Des Pouliches (French One Thousand Guineas, Fr-I) and John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. I).
Zinzay is the first winner for Nat Rea's Regis Racing stable. Rea, a Canadian businessman who is putting together his stable with the assistance of consultant Richard Hogan, bought Zinzay for $700,000 from the Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds consignment to the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training sale earlier this year.
In breaking her maiden, Zinzay tracked 4-5 favorite Hillhouse High in second before moving to the fore in midstretch under jockey Joe Rocco Jr. Crown Queen, a half sister to champion Royal Delta, finished 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner in third.
"I never expect them to pull out a victory," said Arnold. "I expect them to run well. She had trained well and we thought she had performed well, and that's all you can ask for a 2-year-old first-time starter. Winning is just a bonus.
"She did everything right," said Arnold. "She acted good in the paddock, she acted good in the gate. She broke well and did everything the right way. We're very happy with her. She had trained well, but you don't know if they are going to do it until they do it."
Arnold said Zinzay likely will make her next start in the Jessamine Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 9 at Keeneland.
Meanwhile, Arnold said Centre Court, eighth in the Ketel One Ballston Spa (gr. II) Aug. 24, has been sent to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington to undergo a nuclear scan.
"She's sound, but something has gone amiss that I haven't found," said Arnold. "I worked hard trying to find it, but I'm missing something. She's going to be examined on Wednesday morning, and then I'll get a report from (Dr.Larry Bramlage). She trained sensationally, but something has changed in the afternoon. She wasn't comfortable leaving the gate, she had her head in the air, she was bearing out. Nothing was right. Something is there that I'm missing and all of my vets are missing."