Matthew Schera’s Zonda put forth a powerful performance in the $125,000 Maryland Million Ladies to defeat two-time Ladies winner My Sistersledge on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Laurel Park.
Making her fifth attempt to find a stakes victory out of eight career starts, Zonda moved to the front to trail pacesetter Something Magical, dueling briefly before surpassing her as they led the pack into the final turn. My Sistersledge moved up along the outside to present a challenge, but just couldn’t extend enough to catch Zonda down the stretch, who managed to preserve a one and a half length win over the previous year’s winner, with Jameela Stakes winner Ghoul’s Night Out finishing third.
The James L. Lawrence, II trainee completed the one and one-eighth miles on the turf, rated firm, in 1:50.46, showing a much improved performance over her fifth-place finish in the one and a half mile Bald Eagle Derby at Laurel last month. Since winning her career debut in May, the 3-year-old filly has finished fifth in the Light Hearted Stakes, fourth in the Christiana Stakes at Delaware Park, and fourth in the Fasig-Tipton Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs. Her most recent win prior to the Ladies was an allowance at Colonial Downs in August, where she finished a neck ahead of Princesschope.
A daughter of Scat Daddy who was purchased for $155,000 as a yearling by Schera in the 2017 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga Select sale, Zonda’s record has improved to 3-1-0, with $159,407 in total earnings.
Bred by Caroline Stautberg’s Willow Oaks Stable LLC, Zonda is out of the graded stakes placed daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, Winning Season. Out of 10 foals produced, Winning Season has five winners from six starters, with Zonda her first blacktype winner. Winning Season is the daughter of multiple graded stakes winning mare Topicount, a daughter of Private Account, who won the 1988 Rare Perfume Stakes-G2 and the 1990 Monmouth Park Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Handicap-G3, also finishing second in the 1988 Acorn Stakes-G1 and 1989 John A. Morris Handicap-G1.
To view the replay of the Maryland Million Ladies, click here