Unbeaten Zenyatta is getting a bit of a break at trainer John Shirreffs’ barn before a 2009 campaign, but she may parade at Hollywood Park Nov. 30 as part of a special day in her honor.
“Vic Stauffer, Hollywood’s announcer, came by and asked if we’d do it,” Shirreffs said Nov. 17.
Stauffer is a particular fan of Zenyatta’s, as he has called four of her nine races. Those four starts came at the filly’s home base of Hollywood Park and included the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) and Milady Handicap (gr. II).
“It’s exciting—it will be fun,” Shirreffs said of the proposed Zenyatta day. The trainer said he still can’t get over the standing ovation the filly received as she coasted under the finish line to capture the Oct. 24 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
“Wasn’t that something?” he said.
Nov. 30 is the final day of Hollywood’s upcoming three-day Turf Festival and will include the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) and $500,000 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT).
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Shirreffs said he is currently giving the 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry—Vertigineux, by Kris S., a 60-day break from training following her Breeders’ Cup triumph. Owners Jerry and Ann Moss have elected to keep Zenyatta in training for her 5-year-old season, but Shirreffs is not sure when she will make her first 2009 start.
“It’s hard to say if she will run at the Santa Anita winter meeting,” Shirreffs said. “We’ll wait and see how quickly she comes around. She’s doing good.”
Zenyatta has won all nine of her starts, which have taken her throughout the Southern California circuit as well as to Arkansas’ Oaklawn Park, where she defeated Brownie Points and champion Ginger Punch in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I). Ginger Punch was among the vanquished in the Ladies’ Classic.