|A.P. Answer Related Zagora Wins Eclipse Female Turf Award|
Zagora, who carries a strong pedigree connection to resident Clifton Stud sire A.P. Answer, walked away with an Eclipse Award for Female Turf Horse. Zagora is by Green Tune(FR), a half-brother to the dam of A.P. Answer, Pas de Reponse.
Bloodhorse.com reports that those who attempted to wrest the microphone from owner Martin Schwartz at last year’s Eclipse Awards ceremony probably weren’t prepared for Round Two to come so quickly. Schwartz, who collected the hardware last year for 2011 champion female grass horse (Stacelita), returned to the podium to receive a new trophy in the same category thanks to Zagora.
The 5-year-old of 2012 won five of eight starts with two placings, and banked nearly $1.7 million. She was at her best when it mattered most, overtaking Marketing Mix to win the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita.
French-bred Zagora (Green Tune – Zaneton by Mtoto – out of a Zafonic/Be My Guest mare) was good enough to take multiple group events in her native land before being imported Stateside by Schwartz and handed to trainer Chad Brown. She began 2012 with a pair of grade III victories at Tampa Bay Downs (the Endeavour and Hillsborough stakes) before coming north and disappointing for the second straight year in the Jenny Wiley Stakes (Gr. IT) at Keeneland. She was winless in three lifetime starts there.
Zagora, bred by E. Puerari and Oceanic Bloodstock, rebounded to win the Gallorette Handicap (Gr. III) at Pimlico but then was slowed by a leg injury that led to a third-place effort in the Diana Stakes (Gr. I). When it looked as if she might under perform for the season, however, she snapped back and set a course record at Saratoga at 1 1/16 miles in the Ballston Spa Stakes (Gr. II), winning in 1:39.07.
Having decided not to race Zagora at age 6, Schwartz sold her to Mandore International Agency for $2.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale. Schwartz said that Zagora is believed to be booked to undefeated Frankel in his first year at stud.
A.P. Answer’s first yearlings will be going to the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale on 26 and 28 April this year.