All Zenyatta All the Time at Churchill
With only two workouts by Breeders’ Cup World Championship entrants, the scene on the backside of Churchill Downs the morning of Nov. 3 was all about Zenyatta.
There was a huge throng outside Barn 41 as the 6-year-old mare was being prepared to go to the track shortly after the morning track maintenance break. It was the first appearance on the track during Breeders’ Cup week for Zenyatta, who arrived at Churchill Downs around noon Nov. 2.
After parking attendants directed the driver of a large truck that was blocking the path to move out of the way, Zenyatta went to the track, accompanied by owners Jerry and Ann Moss and three deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.
"No flash, no flash" the deputies shouted to the large group of onlookers, many of whom were taking advantage of the photo op.
After standing in the mile chute, Zenyatta then galloped under exercise rider Steve Willard with no problems.
Zenyatta, who will be seeking to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) for the second year in a row, is ending her career Nov. 6. Trained by John Shirreffs, Zenyatta has won all 19 starts to date.
"She did fine," Shirreffs said with big smile on his face. "She seems very happy and really got over the track good."
"She’s terrific," added Willard. "She couldn’t be training any better. She loves the dirt. I knew it two years ago, and I knew it going into Hot Springs (for the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park). She drives off it. It doesn’t have the trampoline effect like the synthetics. The crowd was great. They were mostly quiet, a couple yelled, but for the most part very accommodating."
Zenyatta was scheduled to school in the paddock with the horses running in the second race.
Espoir City breezed a half mile in :49 3/5, with fractional splits of :13 1/5 and :25 3/5 and a gallop out time of 1:04 for five furlongs. Dakota Phone, from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn, worked a three furlongs in :36 2/5.
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