Ziconic Sluggish in Second Start
Photo: Santa Anita Park
Dalmore came home the winner in Race 4 at Santa Anita.

Seemingly nothing went right for Jerry and Ann Moss' Ziconic in the second start of his career March 25 at Santa Anita Park.

The 3-year-old son of 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta and leading sire Tapit   had trouble before the race, as the gate opened, and during the 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight event.

After being saddled in an enclosed area, because he has been uneasy around the paddock televisions schooling, Ziconic was hard to handle in the walking ring and nearly took out trainer Jim Cassidy with an unexpected spin.

Then, as the gates opened, the John Shirreffs trainee dwelt in the gate and was eight lengths back after the opening quarter went in :23.85, with Magical Mystery setting the pace. Watch Video

"He hasn't done that in a long time. He couldn't be standing any better (in the gate)," jockey Mike Smith said. "He went backward so fast (in the gate), if he would have jumped forward, I would have flopped right off in front of him. He shot backward so fast, I almost went over his head."

Ziconic and Smith moved up well in the backstretch, but began losing ground in the final turn and finished fifth in the six-horse field, 14 1/4 lengths behind the winner, Dalmore, the Keith Desormeaux-trained  Colonel John colt who edged Ziconic for second in his debut Feb. 20.

BALAN: Ziconic More Than Memorable in Debut

"I wish I would have let him (move closer to the lead in the backstretch), if I could do it over again," Smith said. "But we dwelt, and then to go last-to-first and get beat, people would say 'What are you doing?' So I tried to teach him the right thing, and hope he's good enough to win it. I kept him behind and said, 'You stay here' and then he didn't have it."

So, what lies ahead?

"He can run. He can definitely run. We know that," Smith said. "How good he'll be? We don't know yet. No one knows." 

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