Unzip Me shipped into Canada from Southern California and made easy work of the Aug. 2 Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT) at Woodbine, cruising to a two-length triumph under a hand ride from Joe Talamo as the 7-10 favorite.
A California-bred 4-year-old daughter of City Zip-Escape With Me, by Arazi, Unzip Me settled in behind Mother Russia, who shot out of the gate and into the lead in the six-furlong grass test. With New York-based Mother Russia and jockey Mike Luzzi leading by three-quarters of a length into the turn after getting the first quarter in :22.37, the order remained unchanged. Mother Russia got the half-mile in :44.83 before being overtaken by Unzip Me in the middle of the track as the field raced down the stretch. Unzip Me was unchallenged from there, getting the trip in a quick 1:08.05.
The winner, who earned $87,525 (U.S.) of the $153,072 purse, paid $3.40, $2.60, and $2.10. Mother Russia finished second, paying $4.90 and $3.80, and Mullins Beach was third, paying $2.80.
The victory was the fifth in six 2010 starts for Unzip Me, who has won eight of 14 overall and earned $424,513. The filly began the season with victories in an optional claiming/allowance race, the Irish O’Brien, Las Cinegas Handicap (gr. IIIT), and Great Lady M. before finishing third, only three-quarters of a length behind winner My Summer Slew, as the 6-5 favorite in the Robert F. Kerlan Memorial Handicap.
Unzip Me is trained by Marty Jones, who is part owner along with breeders Harris Farms and Donald Valpredo, and Harris Farms trainer Per Antonsen.
"I had such a great trip and she’s so versatile," said Talamo. "I know in all of her races she’s on the lead, but she definitely doesn’t need it. She did all the work down the lane. She was incredible. She’s got a really good kick in her. There was plenty left."
"It’s quite an experience, a wonderful thrill," said Valpredo.
"When we put her on the grass, she seemed to turn on," said Jones. "I think she can go further, too, at some point. She has trouble running on turns and that was one of the reasons we came up here because it has the big, wide turn. She really seemed to enjoy it."