APPLETON STAKES | PURSE: $100,000 | 4-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 3 | 1 MILE (TURF)
Za Approval became the third graded stakes winner produced by his dam, the With Approval mare Win Approval, with a popular score in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Appleton at Gulfstream Park.
A homebred campaigned by Live Oak Plantation, Za Approval is a half-brother to 2006 champion turf male Miesque's Approval and the Grade 2-winning Revved Up.
Saving ground along the inside near the back of the field, Za Approval moved out for racing room around the far turn, reached contention passing the quarter pole and zoomed past long-time leader King Kreesa en route to a one-length victory in the one-mile, firm-turf test. The 2-1 favorite, Za Approval paid $6.20, $3.60 and $3 after passing the finish line in 1:32.
Za Approval is trained by Christophe Clement and was ridden by Jose Lezcano.
Beau Choix also rallied from near the back, besting King Kreesa for the place by 1 1/2 lengths. The latter, who set swift fractions of :22 4/5, :45 3/5 and 1:08 3/5, finished 1 1/4 lengths clear of Cool Blue Red Hot.
Completing the order of finish were Silver Max, El Commodore, Omayad, Joes Blazing Aaron, Decisive Moment and Off the Jak. Howe Great and Upgrade were scratched.
A Kentucky-bred son of Ghostzapper, Za Approval broke his maiden in September 2011 and spent all of 2012 in the allowance ranks, winning twice at Gulfstream and Belmont Park.
After a third allowance score at Gulfstream on January 5, the gray gelding faced stakes company for the first time in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf on February 23, where he finished a solid fourth, two lengths behind Data Link.
Za Approval's record now stands at 12-5-3-0, $242,165.