Reneesgotzip, an impressive first-out maiden winner one month ago, sped to the front for jockey Corey Nakatani and never looked back while romping to a 7 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Santa Anita Jan. 15.
Sent off as the even-money choice, Reneesgotzip defeated five 3-year-old fillies while running 6 1/2 furlongs in a solid 1:15.25 on a fast track. Peter Miller trains the daughter of City Zip for Lanni Family Trust.
Reneesgotzip was given plenty of respect by bettors after she handled Bob Baffert's well-regarded filly Eden's Moon by 2 1/4 lengths in her debut at Hollywood Park Dec. 18. She earned a 98 Beyer speed figure in at race, which was made more impressive when Eden's Moon returned to break her maiden by 11 /2 lengths in her next start.
"She won wire to wire first time, and we drew inside," Miller said of Reneesgotzip. "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."
John Liviakis bred the winner in Kentucky. A $45,000 Ocala Breeders' Sales Company purchase in April, Reneesgotzip is out of the Distorted Humor mare No Dress Code.
Making her first start on dirt, Reneesgotzip was hustled to the front from her inside draw by Nakatani and set the pace over Painted Woman and Rowdy Gal while racing a bit off the rail. She showed the way while carving fractions of :22.31 and :45.06 as Rowdy Gal applied pressure leaving the backstretch.
Rowdy Gal challenged Reneesgotzip rounding the bend but Reneesgotzip responded, spurting away again leaving the quarter pole to open a clear advantage coming into the stretch. Reneesgotzip drifted out in the lane and drifted back in while reacting to the whip but she continued to increase her lead. She was in front of Painted Woman by four lengths at mid-stretch and increased the margin of victory to the wire while urged on by Nakatani.
"She was a little green coming to the quarter pole today," said Nakatani, who has gotten to know the filly better while working her in the mornings for Miller. "She shied and drifted out so I shook her up right there and she responded."
It has been a good weekend so far for Nakatani. He won the San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) a day earlier at Santa Anita aboard the front-running Tapizar .
Moccasin Stakes winner Made to Love Her, angled out in the stretch by Rafael Bejarano, closed best of the rest to get the place spot by one length over Painted Woman and Mike Smith.
Reneesgotzip earned $90,000 for the win, increasing her career total to $117,000.
“Eventually I definitely would like to stretch her out," Miller said when asked about his next move with Reneesgotzip. "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.”
Under equal weights of 118 pounds, Reneesgotzip paid $4, $2.80, $2.60. Made to Love Her returned $5.40 and $3.80 and rounded out a $16.80 exacta. Painted Woman paid $4.20 to show.
Rowdy Gal was two lengths farther back in fourth, followed by the Baffert-trained duo of Candrea and Lady Hokulea.