Richard Linihan: Zoellner has eyes for fast filly
BY RICHARD LINIHAN Horse Racing
Saturday, January 26, 2013
1/26/13 at 6:20 AM
DR. ROBERT ZOELLNER is well-known for his optometric offices around Tulsa, but he also owns a filly racehorse who has 20-20 vision for the finish line.
She's All In goes to post around 9:30 p.m. in Houston on Saturday night and is listed in the morning line at Sam Houston Race Park as the co-favorite at 5-2 odds.
It has been nine months since this 6-year-old mare won a race, and has not even run since last July, but her credentials are strong enough to make her one of the favorites in the $400,000 Ladies Classic, the largest purse for a Sam Houston race since the track opened in 1994.
Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel trains the filly for Zoellner. He said she shipped to Houston on Wednesday and will be in the field of six older fillies and mares that will go 1 1/16th miles.
It is a competitive field from top to bottom as no horse is lower than 5-2 odds and none are higher than 6-1.
Jockey Luis Quinonez is the regular rider for She's All In and gets the call again Saturday.
The last time She's All In had her picture taken in the winner's circle was April 21 in the $200,000 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne in Chicago.
She's All In had spent a productive meet last spring at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark., with two thirds and a second among stakes company, including runner-up in the Grade 3 Azeri Stakes against Tiz Miz Sue.
After the Oaklawn meet concluded in April, She's All In shipped to Chicago where she took the stakes there before tailing off in her final two races of the year at Belmont in New York and Arlington Park in Chicago. She ran fourth in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap before fading to sixth in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap on July 14.
She has been off since then.
Brushed by a Star, trained by Eddie Kenneally, is the co-favorite at 5-2 after finishing second in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 22. She had a troubled trip that day or might have won. Jockey Corey Lanerie, who won several riding titles at Sam Houston Race Park in the 1990s, returns with the call aboard this mare.
Early nominations are due Saturday for this year's Kentucky Derby, and last year's 2-year-old Champion, Shanghai Bobby, takes his first step toward becoming only the second horse ever to win both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Derby.
Shanghai Bobby looked like he might be dying on the vine coming down the stretch of the Juvenile this past fall, and then showed a heart as big as his trainer Todd Pletcher's stable by hanging on to win the race.
The 3-year-old colt will go favored in Saturday's $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., as 10 sophomores enter the gate for the biggest prep race thus far this year for the Derby.
One of the best stories in horse racing this week may be that of defending champion Michael Beychok in the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. Last year in January, the 49-year-old political consultant won the $1 million tournament when he chose a filly named Glorious Dancer, a cheap claiming horse at Golden Gate for his last pick of the tournament. He was trailing at that point and she got up to win by a nose. That clinched the $1 million for him.
So what was the most impressive thing he did with some of the money?
In March, he went to the track where Glorious Dancer was running and claimed (bought) her out of a race for $6,250 and took her home to Louisiana for a life of leisure.
"We could have rested her and returned her to the races," Beychok told the New York Times.
When she came up with a minor injury, he decided she had done enough for him.
Original Print Headline: Zoellner has eyes for fast filly
Richard Linihan is marketing director for Fair Meadows in Tulsa