Ridden by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, Ziconic was next to last turning for home but quickened his pace to get beat by 1 3/4 lengths in the $56,000 race for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Ziconic was sired by 2004 Wood Memorial winner Tapit and is trained by John Shirreffs, who oversaw his mare’s stellar career in which she was 19-1, including winning the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic over the same track.
”I was at the three-eighths pole and was so far back I said, ‘Buddy, your momma could win from here, do it!”’ Stevens said. ”The best part is that he enjoys his job. He loved what he was doing, especially that last eighth of a mile.”
Shirreffs said he wasn’t sure what to expect from the colt, who is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, who owned Zenyatta.
”You dream,” he said. ”With Zenyatta, we realized those dreams.”
Stevens was subbing for Mike Smith, who is serving a three-day riding suspension. The jockey was awed by the crowd’s reaction.
”I’ve never been cheered when I got third in a maiden special weight before,” he said. ”It’s an honor to get to ride him. John had a big smile on his face when I came back. He’s a man of few words, but that smile said it all.”
The race was won by another first-time starter, Fast Munny.