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.
Whether Zenyatta or Rachel Alexandra is the better horse is a question Gulfstream Park president and general manager Ken Dunn believes best answered in the Feb. 6 Donn Handicap (gr. I). The race will be run the day before the Super Bowl in nearby Miami Gardens.
- By Tom LaMarra
Zenyatta reclaimed the top spot in the final National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll of 2009.
Relive the 2009 Breeders' Cup with our collection of photo galleries.
Through Nov. 8, the all-sources handle for the recent Breeders' Cup World Championships exceeded $150.2 million. The total does not include an estimated $24.75 million in exchange wagering handled by Betfair.
Although she was back in her barn at Hollywood Park after her historic Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) win, Zenyatta was the hot topic the morning of Nov. 8 among those gathered at Clocker's Corner at Santa Anita, one day after they witnessed history.
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.
On an otherwise routine morning, Lillie Langtry tosses rider and forces trainer to climb aboard.
Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss' Zenyatta, undefeated in 13 career starts, was installed as the 5-2 favorite when she takes on males for the first time in the Nov. 7 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). She is attempting to be the first female to the win the World Championship's marquee event.
In what trainer Chip Woolley labeled "pretty much perfect," Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Mine That Bird worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 at Santa Anita Nov. 2 in preparation for the Nov. 7 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
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.
A hodgepodge of horses from all walks of life will converge on the Santa Anita Pro-Ride Nov. 7, most of whom would not be a surprise should they win.
Rachel Alexandra isn't coming and Zenyatta is leaning to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). However, anyone who believes that doesn't leave much for the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) needs to think again.
Jason, Tom, and James Scully Preview the Breeders' Cup, focusing on those races with returning champions. Plus, a look at Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Watch Now
If Zenyatta's connections opt to run her in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), she will be the favorite on the official Breeders' Cup morning line.
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.
A total of 166 horses were pre-entered Oct. 26 for the 2009 Breeders' Cup World Championships to be run Nov. 6 and 7 at Santa Anita.
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.
There is so much to discuss after the weekend's stakes extravaganza, but one race that likely had the most profound effect on the Breeders' Cup was the Goodwood Stakes (gr. I).
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.
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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.
It's time to accept the fact that Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta are not going to meet. As the cliche goes, that ship has sailed.
The Breeders' Cup board of directors Sept. 11 said the organization will increase the purse of the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) by $1 million if Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta start in the 1 1/4-mile event Nov. 7 at Santa Anita Park.
Majority owner Jess Jackson said on a national teleconference Sept. 1 that plans for Rachel Alexandra following Saturday's $750,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) are up in the air, and he did not dismiss the idea of putting her away for the year.
Online wagering companies TVG and Betfair have pledged an additional $400,000 to the New York Racing Association to invite Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta to participate in the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 3.
Tuscan Evening has taken tremendous strides in going from a maiden to a graded stakes winner in just one season, but the 4-year-old filly will now get her stiffest test yet when she faces a solid field of fillies and mares that includes multiple grade I winner Magical Fantasy in the $350,000 John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IT).
Gulfstream Park added the name of unbeaten champion Zenyatta to the list of superstar nominees whose fees have been waived to the 2010 Donn Handicap (gr. I).
Lenny and Steve are back! Topics include night racing, breakdowns at Del Mar, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, Gio Ponti, and Bob Baffert's Hall of Fame induction. Watch Now
James McIngvale, a Houston horse owner known for his high profile promotions on behalf of his Gallery Furniture stores, is proposing a $2-million match race between Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra.
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.
She's beaten most of them before, but undefeated Zenyatta won't be lonely in the starting gate when she defends her title in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar on Aug. 9.
The undefeated champion Zenyatta sent a clear message to any of her prospective foes in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) on Aug. 9 with a scintillating five-furlong breeze in 1 minute flat on Del Mar's main track Aug 2.
Ten fillies and mares have been nominated for the Aug. 9 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I), the anticipated next start for unbeaten Zenyatta.
Jerry Moss, owner of undefeated champion Zenyatta, said July 22 that he has not made a decision on the mare's next destination after her try in the Aug. 9 Clement Hirsch Stakes (gr. I), but he reiterated that he still wants to do "something different" with the rest of her 2009 campaign.
Owner-breeder Marty Wygod is spending the week in Canada on a fishing trip before returning in hopes of hooking the big one -- the $700,000 TVG/Betfair Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 11.
Jerry Moss, owner of champion mare Zenyatta, said he hopes to meet Rachel Alexandra in the Breeders' Cup, but likely wouldn't ship Zenyatta east to tangle with 'Rachel' this summer.
A 129-pound impost wasn't enough to stop the undefeated champion Zenyatta, who earned a repeat win in the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park June 27 for her 11th consecutive victory.
Jason, Tom, and the Wizard preview the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park on June 27. Watch Video
Unbeaten champion Zenyatta will break from the far outside in the $300,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park June 27 as she goes after her 11th consecutive triumph. The strapping 5-year-old mare will carry 129 pounds and will spot her seven rivals from 13 to 18 pounds.
Stonestreet Stables' Jess Jackson, majority owner of Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra, said in a wide-ranging media teleconference June 24 that the superb filly would not race in this year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita but that there is a good possibility that she would return in 2010 for a 4-year-old campaign.
Zenyatta, the undefeated champion older filly or mare of 2008, was assigned high weight of 129 pounds for the June 27 $300,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.
A review of the Preakness and the Triple Crown so far, including the jockey situation, and the return of Zenyatta. Plus, special guest Jack Wolf of Starlight Stable. Watch Video
Though it was her first start in seven months, undefeated Zenyatta's 10th consecutive win proved to be no more difficult than any of her earlier victories. In disposing of her top-notch stablemate, Life Is Sweet, the 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry rolled to an easy 1 3/4-length win in the $150,000 Milady Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park May 23.
Undefeated Zenyatta, last year's champion older female, gets her 2009 campaign off to a slightly belated start when she carries top weight of 126 pounds in Hollywood Park's $150,000 Milady Handicap (gr. II) May 23.
Last year's champion older female Zenyatta has been scratched from the $350,000 Louisville Distaff (gr. II) May 1, it was confirmed by the Churchill Downs racing office.
Although the Kentucky Oaks undercard May 1 got an added dose of excitement when trainer John Shirreffs announced 2008 champion older female Zenyatta would make her 5-year-old debut in the Louisville Distaff (gr. II), the talented Street Cry mare may be forced to scratch due to weather.
The Louisville Distaff (gr. II) is a fine race in its own right, but with the surprise addition of undefeated champion Zenyatta, the $350,000 event has now become the main attraction on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard May 1 at Churchill Downs.
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