Vale Dori, Gloryzapper face off in Bayakoa

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Jen Caldwell

December 1st, 2016

Argentinean Group 1 winner Vale Dori and Grade 3 victress Gloryzapper will face off yet again on Saturday as part of an eight-distaffer field in the $200,000 Bayakoa Handicap (G2) at Del Mar.

Vale Dori just missed in her U.S. debut to Gloryzapper, coming up a neck short on August 3 in an allowance/optional claimer. That was the Bob Baffert trainee’s first race since running fourth by 1 1/2 lengths in the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) on March 26 in Dubai. The bay daughter of Asiatic Boy was only three parts of a length back in second in the U.A.E. Oaks (UAE-G3) before that one.

Vale Dori followed her U.S. bow with a 3 1/2-length win in the Tranquility Lake Stakes on August 31. She took third in the Zenyatta Stakes (G1) behind Stellar Wind and Beholder, and most recently captured an allowance/optional claimer going the Bayakoa distance of 1 1/16 miles by 10 lengths at Santa Anita Park. Mike Smith has the call.

Gloryzapper has done about as well as Vale Dori since beating that four-year-old rival. The Ghostzapper filly faded to eighth, though only beaten three lengths, next out in the John C. Mabee Stakes (G2) on turf before returning for a half-length score in the L.A. Woman Stakes (G3) sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on October 9.

The Philip D’Amato charge took on top level rivals when lining up in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) last out, leading the way early before fading to 11th in the field of 13. Gloryzapper will try to turn things around here under Jamie Theriot.

Also entered in the Bayakoa is Show Stealer, who ran a head behind Gloryzapper when third in the Southern Truce Stakes. That occurred in her last race on July 3 and the Eskendereya four-year-old gets Gary Stevens in the saddle for this return to action.

Former claimer Desert Madam could earn stakes credit in this spot after romping in three straight before just missing by a nose and a neck in her past two against allowance/optional claimers.

L.A. Woman runner-up Wild at Heart, stakes-placed Barbara Beatrice, Moyo Honey and Autumn Flower complete the Bayakoa field.

Gloryzapper photo courtesy of Benoit Photos via Santa Anita Press Box on Twitter