Ridden by Mike Smith, Zenyatta rallied to take the lead from Santa Teresita in mid-stretch of the 1 1/16-mile test for fillies and mares and drew off from there to win by 2 1/2 lengths under a hand ride.
The nay-sayers who thought Zenyatta might have been vulnerable after her comparatively plodding win in the Vanity (gr. I) last time out were left with little left to criticize when the statuesque filly blew by her rivals to capture the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) under wraps at Del Mar Aug. 2.
Trainer John Shirreffs had his dark bay impeccably turned out for the race and she ran to her appearance. Zenyatta, loping along at the back of the field heading into the final turn, came from off the pace with a bold move leaving the bend while angling out for the drive to win drawn down in the final stages by Jockey MIke Smith.
A two-time grade I winner, the 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry--Vertigineux, by Kris S., won her first seven races by a combined margin of 16 1/2 lengths while banking $914,580 for owners Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss.
'I think it's great for the sport that we have one like her.' Smith said.
Photo: BENOIT PHOTO
Undefeated Zenyatta unwound her patented stretch drive once again to sweep by Hystericalady in the final furlong to win the $245,000 Lady's Secret (gr. IT) by 3 1/2 lengths during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park Sept. 27.
The strapping 4-year-old filly earned her eighth consecutive victory and became a clear favorite for the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I), which was to be contested over the same Pro-Ride racing surface at Santa Anita Oct. 24.
After finally straightening away in the stretch, Zenyatta pressed on to edge past the leaders at the eighth pole. Smith gave her a tap on the shoulder, and she responded to draw away from Hystericalady under a hand ride.