Michael Tabor's Zavata, a graded stakes winner last year who finished last in his first try as a 3-year-old, was all business Thursday at Monmouth Park as he outgamed Rockin on Ready to win the $41,000 allowance feature by a length.Zavata, trained by Patrick Biancone and ridden by Tony Farina, zipped the six furlongs in 1:08 4/5 over the fast main track and paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.20 across the board as the odds-on favorite. Rockin on Ready, who raced head-and-head with the winner through fractions of :21 4/5 for the quarter, :44 1/5 for the half and :56 1/5 for five furlongs, completed the $8 exacta. Skip a Grade was third."He hated the slop at Belmont last time," said Biancone. "Today we picked out a beautiful day at Monmouth Park. This was exactly what we were looking for. We're on target for the Summit of Speed (at Calder Race Course on July 12). And today was hot and humid, probably like it will be at Calder. Our ultimate goal is the Breeders' Cup Sprint and today was the first step on that long journey."
Zavata, a son of Phone Trick, was one of the top juveniles in the nation last year when he won the Tremont Stakes (gr. III) and Saratoga Special (gr. II). He finished third behind Sky Mesa in the Hopeful (gr. I) and his season ended when he was pulled up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He made his first start of 2003 in an allowance race at Belmont on May 24 and showed speed and then stopped badly on a sloppy track to run last in a field of five. (Chart, Equibase)