Tom Hall

Zenyatta Set for Lady's Secret After Workout

Shirreffs says no decision has been made on undefeated mare's Breeders' Cup plans.

(from Santa Anita notes)

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.

Zenyatta drilled in in 1:13.

The trainer, speaking Oct. 4, did not reveal the answer to the question on every racing fan’s mind: If Zenyatta fares well in the Lady’s Secret, would she take on males in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) on Nov. 7?

“We have time to make that decision,” he said.

The 5-year-old Zenyatta, owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, would ship from Hollywood for the Lady’s Secret either Oct. 9 or the morning of the race.

Zenyatta won the 2008 Lady’s Secret Stakes en route to a triumph in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) last Oct. 24. She brings a 12-race winning streak into this year's Lady's Secret.

Regular rider Mike Smith was aboard for the drill, describing it as “awesome.”

“She broke off behind three or four horses and finished strong like always,” Smith said.

Asked how he felt about Zenyatta tackling the boys in the BC Classic, Smith didn't hesitate. “It wouldn’t bother me one bit. I wouldn’t mind it."

The Street Cry mare has won 11 of her races on synthetic surfaces, three of them on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride. Her lone win on traditional dirt came at Oaklawn Park in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) on April 5, 2008.

“She’s run some pretty big races over this track,” Smith said in reference to Santa Anita. “I don’t think the surface really matters. One of her best races was probably on the dirt at Oaklawn, but her Breeders’ Cup last year here was awfully impressive (winning by 1 1/2 lengths as the heavy favorite in a field of eight). She seems to run over anything you put her on, and it doesn’t seem to matter to her whether there’s pace or no pace. She gets the job done every time, and I’m just blessed to be part of it.”

Agent Ron Anderson said Garrett Gomez has been given the call to ride Zenyatta’s stablemate Life Is Sweet in the Lady’s Secret.