Undefeated champion Zenyatta, bidding for a record 17th consecutive victory, was assigned 129 pounds for the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park June 13, the same weight she carried in winning the race a year ago.
Trainer John Shirreffs said Zenyatta will start in the 1 1/8-mile Vanity, in which she will spot her main rival, grade II winner St Trinians, nine pounds. The racing office released the weight assignments for the 11 fillies or mares nominated to the Vanity June 6.
“The weight was pretty much what we were expecting,’’ said Shirreffs, who is seeking his record fifth win in the Vanity. “We’re just trying to focus on the Vanity and not on all of her accomplishments."
Shirreffs said Zenyatta would have a final breeze before the race June 7.
Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta is seeking an unprecedented third straight win in the Vanity. Four others had two victories in the Vanity—Annie-Lu-San (1957-58), Convenience (1972-73), It’s In The Air (1979-80) and Azeri (2002-03).
British-bred St Trinians won her first four starts in the United States, including the Santa Maria Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park in February, before a sixth-place finish as the favorite against males in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) three months ago.
Zenyatta will attempt to surpass the modern-day record of 16 consecutive wins in races not restricted to state-breds among major North American Thoroughbreds held jointly with Cigar, Citation, and Mister Frisky.
Her history-making try under jockey Mike Smith comes on the same day that Hollywood Park will honor the champion older female of both 2008 and 2009 with a giveaway of her bobblehead likeness.
If the 6-year-old daughter of Street Cry and the Kris S. mare Vertigineux wins, she will own the record for longest win streak by a modern-day Thoroughbred in races not restricted to state-breds.
Besides the two wins with Zenyatta, Shirreffs also has Vanity victories with Hollywood Story (2006) and Manistique (1999). He is one of four trainers with four wins in the race, joining Hall of Famers Neil Drysdale, Ron McAnally, and Charlie Whittingham.
Zenaytta also carried 129 pounds when winning last year’s Vanity, defeating Briecat and four others. The 2 1/2-length victory was her sixth at her home track.
With two wins in 2010, Zenyatta has pushed her earnings to $5,924,580. She began her current campaign capturing the Santa Margarita Handicap (gr. I) March 13 at Santa Anita. She then made a successful trip to Arkansas, winning the Apple Blossom (gr. I) April 9 at Oaklawn Park, a race she also won in 2008.
In the Vanity, Zenyatta bids for her seventh consecutive grade I success. In all, 10 of her victories have come in grade I races.
Following are the other nominees for the 69th Vanity along with their weight assignments: St Trinians (120); Zardana (118); Made For Magic (116); Third Dawn (116); Wynning Ride (115); Dance To My Tune (114); Will O Way (114); Cherryblossommiss (112); Miss Pleasant (112), and Miss Silver Brook (112).