Biancone Back at 'Anita; Zavata, Brancusi Drill

Michael Tabor's multiple graded stakes winner Zavata, getting ready for a likely start in the Oct. 5 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita, worked a half-mile in :48 1/5 over the Arcadia, Calif. oval's fast main track Friday morning.

The drill was the fifth fastest of 33 who went the distance on the day.

Zavata, a 3-year-old son of Phone Trick who was a disappointing eighth in the Aug. 23 King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), his last start, arrived back in Southern California with the bulk of trainer Patrick Biancone's string earlier this week.

"It's nice to be back where there's no rain," Biancone said, referring to storms in New York during the summer and early fall.

Zavata won the Tremont Stakes (gr. III) and Saratoga Special (gr. II) as a juvenile and spent the bulk of last winter recovering from an injury suffered during last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). He returned this summer to win the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga by a widening 5 ΒΌ lengths prior to the King's Bishop. The ultimate goal for Zavata, according to Biancone, is a spot in the gate for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) on Oct. 5.

Kentucky-bred Zavata has won half of his 10 career starts, with a second and a third, for earnings of $342,320.

Biancone also sent grade I-placed Brancusi out for a morning drill Friday. The son of Deputy Commander posted a five-furlong move in 1:02 at Santa Anita. The Tabor color bearer hasn't started since finishing last of 15 in the May. 4 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

According to Biancone, Brancusi has been training strongly over the past few months and will likely return to action during the upcoming Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita, which gets underway on Sept. 28.

Brancusi, who was third in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) and second in the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on the Road to the Roses, has banked $229,220 from a record of 8-1-2-3.