Pan Zareta was a chestnut daughter of Abe Frank, a son of Hanover. Her dam,Caddie Griffith, carried the royal blood lines of Iroquois, a brown son of Leamington and Maggie B.B., the first American bred Epsom Derby winner. Caddie Griffith also carried Quarter Horse bloodlines. Her second dam was Sallie Johnson, who was half QH. Sallie Johnson’s dam, Mittie Stephens was pure QH. So, Pan Zareta was said to be from an impure family.
Rancher J.F. Newman bred Pan Zareta in Texas, and named her for a Mexican politician’s daughter. The chestnut mare carried his silks through four tough seasons, beginning as a juvenile in January of 1912. She raced primarily in sprint races, worth about $300 each and raced at minor racetracks all over North America.
Pan Zareta made her racing debut on January 7th of her 2 year old year, almost unthinkable in today’s racing. A 3 furlong event at Jaurez didn’t give enough ground for a horse to recover from an error. Pan Zareta finished out of the money. 3 days later, she raced again and finished second. The chart indicated that had she been kept running in a straight line she would have won.
Pan Zareta didn’t waste any more time getting her act together. She won next time out, only four days later, taking the Senoritas Stakes by three-quarters of a length, despite running wide on the turn. She ran wide again in her fourth start, but was still the two length winner. In her next start she proved her courage by holding her ground in a hard fought stretch dual, finishing in a dead heat while conceding twelve pounds.
After tiring and placing third on March 2, Pan Zareta was given some time off. She raced next in Idaho that May, and was the four length winner despite being eased. After a second win at Idaho’s Coueur d’ Alene, Pan Zareta shipped to Utah, where she ran at Lagoon, scoring two wins and a second in three starts.
Next it was Butte, Montana. The filly won three of four starts, finishing second in her only loss. She then ran third in the Wonderland Handicap at Helena before returning to Juarez, where she won her final three juvenile races. In her freshman year, she had been to the post nineteen times, scoring thirteen wins and earning $3,512.
In her first start at 3, Pan Zareta won the Rio Grande Stakes. Six days later she won an allowance race, then won the Chihuahua Stakes. When she won the Chapultepec Handicap by two lengths she gave twenty seven pounds to the runner up. As a three-year-old, Pan Zareta was sent to the barrier on thirty-three occasions. She came away victorious fifteen times, and was out of the money in only seven starts.
As a 4 year old, Pan Zareta was expected to carry even more weight. She won 16 races carrying as much as 146 pounds. She ran second, beaten a head by a horse to whom she was giving twenty eight pounds, then beat him by two and a half lengths while under the burden of 140, and was edged by a filly to whom she had given forty-four pounds, only to soundly defeat her while giving away thirty-nine pounds in a later race.
In a match with Joe Blair, to whom she gave ten pounds, Pan Zareta and rider Johnny Loftus were left at the post. While her opponent blazed through the early fractions with times of :21 3/5, :33 2/5, and :44 4/5, Pan Zareta worked to catch up, passing him in the stretch to win by two lengths. Her time of :57 1/5 was a new American record for five furlongs.
Forced by financial problems to sell their racing stock in 1916, the Newmans sold Pan Zareta to E.T. Colton for ten thousand dollars. After triumphs in New Orleans, Arkansas, and Canada, Pan Zareta visited New York for the first time. She began her stay by breaking a track record at Jamaica, running five and a half furlongs in 1:05 3/5. After a successful campaign at Aqueduct, she ran at Empire City, where she scored three victories, despite carrying between 135 and 140 pounds in each start. Ending her career with 76 victories in 151 starts, and a handicap division championship in 1914, Pan Zareta was retired. She had set or equaled eleven track records, had tied the American record of 1:04 3/5 for five and a half furlongs on two occasions, and herself held the American record for five furlongs. She had won at weights up to 146 pounds.
Failing to conceive, Pan Zareta was put back into training. She died of pneumonia on Christmas Day in 1918, and was buried in the infield at the Fair Grounds. Nine years later, the son of her old challenger U-see-it, 1924 Kentucky Derby winner Black Gold, was buried beside her. Pan Zareta became a Hall of Fame member in 1972.