Race Preview: Unzip Me Stakes - Santa Anita, September 28, 2013

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Matt Carter

September 27th, 2013

The only ungraded stake race on Saturday at Santa Anita may be one of the most important races on the card. As the finale, race 11, the Unzip Me Stakes is the last leg of the pick-6, the pick-4 and is the Super High Five race. Installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite is Unusual Way for trainer Jeff Bonde.

Unusual Way has been first or second in eight of her 12 career starts and is coming off a fifth place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks. That race was at nine furlongs and now Unusual Way will be cutting back to a sprint distance. Often horses that are routers take very well to the hillside turf course. Of the four wins for Unusual Way, three of them came in sprints.

The favorite is 7-2 on the morning line and there are five others between 9-2 and 6-1.

Judy In Disguise has not won since February of this year when she won the Sweet Life Stakes over the course. The daughter of Elusive City will be running late and is likely to get a solid pace.

Heir Kitty has run once down the hill, finishing a length and one-half behind Judy In Disguise in the Sweet Life. Heir Kitty is making her second start off the layoff and Peter Miller retains his go-to jockey, Garrett Gomez. Heir Kitty is another closer in the field.

Hail Mary drew post 12 for the Unzip Me and is likely to be one of the fillies on or near the lead early. By Old Topper, Hail Mary is making her turf debut on Saturday, but, based on breeding, should be able to handle the surface switch. It will be interesting to see what jockey Julien Leparoux does when the gates open. Unusual Way has speed as does several of the 20-1 long shots.

Pontchatrain has speed, but her speed has been show in route races. The Glen Hill Farm color bearer drops to a sprint and will be tough with her best. Jockey Gary Stevens could cap off a great day with a win in the Unzip Me.

Warren's Veneda is the other single digit odd filly and may be overlooked on the board. She has won three of her seven career races and has enough speed to be close early and has a kick to get the job done late.

It is a wide open race that can go many ways. Look for a bomb to end the day.

Post time for the Unzip Me Stakes is 9:00 pm ET.