July 4, 2016
Source: TDN

Empyrean Stables’s Zipessa (City Zip) went wire-to-wire to win the GIII Dr. James Penny Memorial S., the lone North American graded event on the holiday schedule, at Parx Monday. The chestnut filly jumped out to the early lead and loped along unpressured through fractions of :24.37 and :48.72. Briefly challenged by favored Tammy the Torpedo (More Than Ready) turning for home, Zipessa kicked away at the top of the lane and was never seriously threatened while coming home two lengths in front of Tuttipaesi (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire}) and completing the 1 1/16 miles over the Parx turf course in 1:41.42. Tiger Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}) nailed Tammy the Torpedo for third.

“We are obviously elated with the victory,” winning trainer Mike Stidham told TDN. “She skipped over that turf course and was very impressive. It was a big win and a graded win for the filly and we’re really pleased.”

Stidham continued, “I think we learned something about her today. She is more comfortable going a little bit further than a mile where her speed can control the race. And that’s what the plan was today, thinking we would try to go to the lead and she seemed very happy out there.”

Zipessa, scoring her first graded victory Monday, was coming off a third-place effort in the June 11 GIII Mint Julep H. going 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs. Prior to that race, she was fourth behind champion Tepin (Bernstein) in the one-mile GII Churchill Distaff Turf Mile May 7.

“She ran against Tepin and actually ran pretty well in that race and then last time in the Mint Julep at Churchill, she ran another good race, but just wasn’t quite good enough that day,” Stidham explained.

Zipessa began her racing career with a pair of dazzling efforts last summer, first over the synthetic at Arlington May 31 and then over the Del Mar lawn in July, but went to the sidelines after a last-place finish in the Aug. 15 GI Del Mar Oaks.

“She had a little bit of what we think was a tibia issue, nothing really serious, but she needed 90 days,” Stidham said of the absence. “We gave her the time and brought her back slowly and–knock on wood–she has been very sound ever since.”

Zipessa returned to the races with a dominating 5 1/4-length victory going one mile over the turf at Fair Grounds in a Mar. 14 optional claimer.

As for where the promising filly could start next, Stidham said, “We’re really mapping out the course as we go. What we always do is nominate to any possible spot that we think is something we might run in and we look around and try to pick what will be the best spot for her. So nothing definite, but she’ll be nominated to several spots in the next four to six weeks.”

Zipessa’s stakes-placed dam Precious Princess (Horse Chestnut {SAf}) produced a filly by Street Sense in 2015 and a colt by Cairo Prince this year. Her Street Boss 2-year-old sold for $115,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale. The mare is a half-sister to Keowee Clai (Cherokee Run), the dam of Saturday’s Azalea S. winner and graded stakes placed Dearest (Midshipman).

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