Santa Anita: How to bet the Zenyatta Stakes 2021

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

October 1st, 2021

An octet of fillies and mares will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Santa Anita dirt in Sunday’s $200,000 Zenyatta S. (G2). The winner of the important affair will receive an entry to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Del Mar on Nov. 6.

The Zenyatta is a tough handicapping assignment that features a bevy of early speed, and determining who will be placed where in the early stages is a complicated puzzle. I will look for a horse coming from off of the pace to key in my wagers.

Zenyatta Stakes Wagers

  • $10 win and place #4 Miss Bigly ($20)
  • $5 exacta key box 4 with 2,3 ($20)
  • $3 trifecta box 2,3,4 ($18)

#4 Miss Bigly is not the most talented runner in the field, but she carries good current form and figures to get a nice trip. The five-year-old daughter of Gemologist has been runner-up to a pair of very good fillies in the stakes ranks this season,  which preceded her game tally in the Tranquility Lake S. at Del Mar last time out.

The Phil D’Amato-trained mare has ample early presence, but the Kentucky-bred has also shown the ability to rate off of the tempo and kick for home with good energy. I expect getting a nice price on the bay with solid local pilot Juan Hernandez in the controls.

Conditioner Bob Baffert has a strong duo entered in the cast, led by dual Grade 2 vixen #2 As Time Goes By. The impeccably bred four-year-old has been outrun in her last two assignments, but she has plenty of back class as well as an affinity for the Santa Anita surface with a 5-3-2-0 local line. The dark bay American Pharoah filly has been working well as of late, and her best could be good enough with John Velazquez in the stirrups.

Flavien Prat will guide the second Baffert pupil, #3 Private Mission. The lightly raced Into Mischief filly drove home a six-length winner of the Torrey Pines S. (G3) at Del Mar in her most recent endeavor, and she possesses the highest ceiling of any in the field. It’s also worth noting that Private Mission is 2-for-2 on this course.