Zensational, the first horse to win three consecutive grade I sprint stakes, has arrived at John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms near Lexington to stand the 2010 breeding season. The 3-year-old son of Unbridled's Song was retired after contesting the Nov. 7 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
Zensational, who raced for Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables, will stand for a fee of $25,000 stands and nurses. A 10% discount will be applied if the stud fee is paid on or before Nov. 15, 2010.
A standout from the beginning, Zensational was sent off as the favorite in all of his eight races. He enters stud with five wins and earnings of $669,300 while trained by Bob Baffert.
In his first added-money start, Zensational won the seven-furlong Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park while recording a 105 Beyer Speed Figure. He registered a 110 Beyer in capturing the Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) at six furlongs at Del Mar in his next start. His third consecutive grade I win—and another triple-digit Beyer--came in the seven-furlong Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar. In the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at six furlongs, Zensational was beaten 1 3/4 lengths while finishing fifth.
“Having already won three grade I races, we feel that he will be more valuable at stud,” said owner Ahmed Zayat. “We are committing a majority of our best mares to Zensational, including the dam of multiple grade I winner and Kentucky Derby (gr. I, Presented by Yum! Brands) runner-up Pioneerof the Nile, and we look forward to his chances as a stallion.”
Bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm, Zenzational is out of the multiple stakes-winning Phone Trick mare Joke, a half-sister to two stakes winners, including graded winner Trip.
Claiborne as agent consigned Zensational to the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale, where he was purchased for $20,000 by A1A Racing, agent. The following year at the Fasig-Tipton Florida February sale of 2-year-olds in training, Zayat Stables bought Zensational for $700,000 from Crupi’s New Castle Farm, agent.
Zensational’s book includes Hal Earnhardt’s two-time champion Indian Blessing and grade I winner Behaving Badly.