After throwing $5 million at racing's two female superstars to run in the Apple Blossom Invitational (gr. I), Oaklawn Park's president got half of what he and the horse racing world wanted to see.
Trainer John Shirreffs says the 6-year-old mare, perfect in 15 races heading into the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 9, has "evolved into something much bigger than we ever imagined."
It was obvious watching Rachel on Saturday that this was not the same filly we saw last year, at least not right now. Read Story
Jess Jackson, principal owner of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, announced March 14 that the 4-year-old filly will not face Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park April 9.
Undefeated Zenyatta, showing she's ready for next month's much-anticipated Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), rallied in deep stretch to register her 15th consecutive victory March 13 in the $250,000 Santa Margarita (gr. I).
Rachel Alexandra was stunned by Zardana, who tackled the reigning Horse of the Year at the top of the stretch and outdueled the heavy favorite to win by three parts of a length in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes.
Life is Sweet, who was to travel to Dubai for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), has been retired after having muscle cramps following a workout March 13 at Hollywood Park.
The undefeated mare will carry top weight of 127 pounds March 13 when she makes her 2010 debut in the $250,000 Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I), spotting eight who entered from 12 to 19 pounds in the nine-furlong race.
Unbeaten champion Zenyatta will spot eight rivals from 12 to 19 pounds as she begins her quest for Horse of the Year honors in 2010 in the $250,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita March 13.
The connections of Rachel Alexandra admit that the reigning Horse of the Year will not be 100% cranked for her 4-year-old debut, which will come in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes March 13 at Fair Grounds Races & Slots
HRTV will present a special one-hour live show March 13 featuring the seasonal debuts of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and unbeaten Breeders' Cup Classic winner Zenyatta.
Two-time champion Zenyatta turned in what is expected to be her final work in preparation for the $250,000 Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I), drilling six furlongs in 1:11.80 March 5 at Hollywood Park.
Two-time champion Zenyatta turned her third consecutive six-furlong breeze at Hollywood Park Feb. 26 as she continues to prepare for her 6-year-old debut in the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) in two weeks.
Reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra posted her fourth workout of 2010 when she covered five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 at Fair Grounds while Zenyatta drilled six furlongs in 1:14 over the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park.
At a Thoroughbred Owners of California summit meeting Feb. 13 at Santa Anita, the subject of racetrack surfaces dominated all other issues.
Life Is Sweet makes her first appearance since her rousing victory in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) when she faces eight rivals in the $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. II)at Santa Anita Feb. 13.
Oaklawn Park president Charles J. Cella has upped the purse of the April 3 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) to $5 million provided champions Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta both start.
Undefeated champion Zenyatta could return to racing in the $250,000 Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I) on March 13 at Santa Anita.
Rachel Alexandra gets the main prize, but partisan crowd shows admiration for both at the 2009 Eclipse Awards.
Jerry and Ann Moss' wonder mare won all five of her 2009 starts and capped off the year with a scintillating win over the boys in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
A day after owners Jerry and Ann Moss announced that the undefeated champion Zenyatta would return for her 6-year-old season in 2010, she worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 for trainer John Shirreffs at Hollywood Park.
Jerry and Ann Moss decided at 3 a.m. on Jan. 16 to keep champion Zenyatta in training for 2010.
After conferring with owners Jerry and Ann Moss, a decision to run the champion mare Zenyatta will run in 2010, trainer John Shirreffs confirmed Jan. 16.
Seven-year-old Neko Bay earned the first graded stakes victory of his career in the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II), winning a dash to the wire in the final sixteenth of a mile at Santa Anita Jan. 9.
When Zenyatta worked a half-mile in :48 Jan. 6 at Hollywood Park, speculation continued that she may race again. The more mundane explanation revolved around cold weather in Kentucky and an injured exercise rider.
Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) winner Life Is Sweet was scratched from the the Jan. 2 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) when she "tied up a little" following a morning jog, according to trainer John Shirreffs.
Making her first start since a rousing triumph in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) two months ago, Life Is Sweet returns in the $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) on the turf at Santa Anita Jan. 2.
Steve Haskin ranks the greatest training achievements for the years 2000 - 2009, both for a trainer with an individual horse and overall. Who's #1?
Zenyatta, who became the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) last month at Santa Anita, finished second to tennis star Serena Williams as Associated Press' Female Athlete of the Year in 2009.
Gelding will be trained by John Shirreffs in California.
Santa Anita Park, which opened on Dec. 25, 1934, will celebrate its 75th anniversary season beginning with opening day, Saturday, Dec. 26, with a special early first post time of 11:30 a.m. PDT.
- By Steve Haskin
Zenyatta may be retired, but she remains the gift that keeps on giving. Through her memorabilia and "Moneigh" paintings she has contributed to a number of worthy organizations.
Trainer John Shirreffs left Life Is Sweet in the barn and won the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) anyway when outsider Zardana swept by pacesetter Briecat past the eighth pole en route to a 1 1/4-length victory Dec. 5 at Hollywood Park.
Life Is Sweet, winner of the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I), could run next the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park Dec. 5, according to the filly's owner.
The Turf Publicists of America announced Nov. 19 that "Team Zenyatta" composed of owners Jerry and Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs and his wife Dottie, and jockey Mike Smith, have been chosen as the 2009 winner of the organization's Big Sport of Turfdom award.
- By Steve Haskin
These are the final words from here on the Horse of the Year debate between racing's two monarchs, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Unfortunately, only one likely will be crowned, but you can be sure both will rule in the hearts and minds of most racing fans.
The nine members of the California Thoroughbred Trainers board of directors gave notice they will resign when a new board is seated after an election in January 2010.
Over the course of the next week, we'll have several wrapups, going over different aspects of Breeders' Cup 2009, but let's face it; this year's event will forever belong to Zenyatta.
A day after undefeated Zenyatta became a giant of the racing world with a spine-tingling victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), trainer John Shirreffs said she should be Horse of the Year over favored Rachel Alexandra.
A complete look at the major runners on the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships cards at Santa Anita Nov. 6-7.
Zenyatta made it look all too easy, becoming the first female to win the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Gio Ponti was second and Twice Over third.
Zenyatta gave trainer John Shirreffs and jockey Mike Smith precisely what they asked for Oct. 31 in her final work before the Breeders' Cup. With regular workmate Green Cat providing a target, she worked six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 at Hollywood Park at about 9 a.m.
Trainer John Shirreffs said on a national teleconference Oct. 28 that the first preference for Zenyatta is the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) as long as she works well this Saturday at Hollywood Park and appears to be peaking for the race.
Zenyatta worked six furlongs in 1:11.20 at Hollywood Park Oct. 23 in her first work since winning the Oct. 10 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I). Jockey Mike Smith was aboard, and the mare worked in company with Green Day and Sabina Fay.
As professional as ever, undefeated Zenyatta equaled Personal Ensign's 13-race winning streak to begin her career, sweeping past the pacesetters in upper stretch to capture Oak Tree's $300,000 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita in characteristic fashion Oct. 10.
Undefeated Zenyatta attempts to equal Personal Ensign's streak of 13 consecutive wins when she goes to the post in Oak Tree's $300,000 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) as the heavy favorite Oct. 10 at Santa Anita.
Trainer John Shirreffs said his undefeated champion Zenyatta came out of her six-furlong workout on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track Oct. 3 in good order and is on course to defend her title in the $300,000 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) on Oct. 10 at 1 1/16 miles.
Now that Rachel Alexandra is through for the year, it is time for Zenyatta, the defending Queen of all Turfdom, to take center stage, and her presence will be a welcome sight in a year where the Breeders' Cup has gone a bit haywire.
Unbeaten Zenyatta remained perfect in 12 starts, but she had her closest call yet in Del Mar's Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 9. Forced to circle the field six wide on the turn behind a slow pace, the giant mare just managed to get up by a head over Anabaa's Creation.
Ten fillies and mares have been nominated for the Aug. 9 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I), the anticipated next start for unbeaten Zenyatta.
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