He’s waited a year – what’s one more week?
Zennor has not started since winning the $100,000 Lure Stakes last August on the Saratoga turf. He returns Saturday to defend his victory in the 1 1/16-mile Lure, which was originally carded for last Saturday but was postponed due to wet weather.
Zennor, a Godolphin homebred trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, won three straight races last year, taking salty allowance races at Keeneland and Belmont before winning the Lure by a length over Projected in his stakes debut.
“There were no conditions for him, but he’s doing well,” McLaughlin said.
Zennor knows how to fire off lengthy layoffs. After making his first two starts in the fall of 2014, he returned from more than nine months on the bench to win his maiden at Saratoga. That was his only start of 2015. More than 10 months later, he was second in a Belmont allowance.
The postponement of the Lure allowed Zennor to get in one more work, and he zipped a half-mile in 48.44 seconds on the Oklahoma turf course on Monday, the third-best of 99 at the distance that day.
Joe Bravo, aboard for Zennor’s three wins last year, has the mount on the gelding, who is among six horses returning from the original field for the Lure, along with Blacktype, Conquest Panthera, Dalarna, Inspector Lynley, and Mr Cub. Forge and Projected are the newcomers to the field, along with main-track-only entrants Secret Passage and You’re to Blame.
Camelot Kitten, Ticonderoga, and Voodoo Song all departed the field, with Voodoo Song entered in the Grade 1 Fourstardave on Saturday. Those shifts have resulted in a well-matched group, as five of the eight entrants in the main body of the field have last-out Beyer Speed Figures from 95 to 100.
Mr Cub is in career form for trainer Ian Wilkes, having won two of his last three. He was beaten a half-length when caught late in the Grade 2 Wise Dan Stakes last out, finishing third behind Mr. Misunderstood and Inspector Lynley.
Conquest Panthera, Grade 1-placed last year, gets some class relief after finishing third in the Connaught Cup and King Edward Stakes, both Grade 2 events at Woodbine.
“He’s tough,” trainer Mark Casse said. “It’s been a little while since he’s won, but he tries hard all the time. He’s a nice horse.”
Projected, a Grade 2 winner at Laurel last year after running second in the Lure, enters off a second to Voodoo Song in the Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont. Forge, who like Projected is a Juddmonte homebred, finished second in the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland two starts back and then was fifth in the Connaught Cup.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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