Arienza, a 3-year-old filly out of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, scored an impressive first win in her debut March 6 at Oaklawn Park.
The 9-10 favorite in a field of nine pressed the pace and took a narrow lead on the turn for home for jockey Michael Baze in the six-furlong event. Arienza shook free by 2 1/2 lengths mid-stretch and maintained that advantage over Alyssa's Dream all the way to the wire while under encouragement. The final time was 1:10.42 (VIDEO).
Arienza is the product of a U.S. Horse of the Year and a Cartier Award winner in 2000. An $800,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2009, she is a chesnut filly by Giant's Causeway owned by Robert and Lawana Low and trained by Danny Peitz. The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust bred her in Kentucky.
Arienza is the second starter and second winner for Azeri. Her first foal, a colt by A.P. Indy named Take Control, also broke his maiden at first asking in his only start Dec. 30,2009 at Santa Anita.
Take Control, owned by Kaleem Shah, was a $1.9 million purchase as a 2-year-old. He was consigned to the Keeneland September 2008 yearling sale by Hill ‘n Dale Sales Agency, agent, but was bought back for a record $7.7 million.
Azeri, a daughter of Jade Hunter, has produced two other foals that are unraced: Wine Princess, a chestnut filly by Ghostzapper foaled in 2009, and an unnamed chestnut filly by Distorted Humor foaled last year.
She won Horse of the Year after nailing the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) (then the Distaff) and won the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn three straight years. She earned an Eclipse Award each season as champion older mare from 2002-04 and topped $4 million in earnings while going 17-for-24 over her career.
Arienza was nearly prepared to race at Arlington Park last summer but developed a chip in her left front knee that forced Peitz to take her out of training and point toward Oaklawn’s season.