The Turf Publicists of America announced Nov. 19 that "Team Zenyatta" composed of owners Jerry and Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs and his wife Dottie, and jockey Mike Smith, have been chosen as the 2009 winner of the organization's Big Sport of Turfdom award.
- By Steve Haskin
These are the final words from here on the Horse of the Year debate between racing's two monarchs, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Unfortunately, only one likely will be crowned, but you can be sure both will rule in the hearts and minds of most racing fans.
The nine members of the California Thoroughbred Trainers board of directors gave notice they will resign when a new board is seated after an election in January 2010.
Over the course of the next week, we'll have several wrapups, going over different aspects of Breeders' Cup 2009, but let's face it; this year's event will forever belong to Zenyatta.
A day after undefeated Zenyatta became a giant of the racing world with a spine-tingling victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), trainer John Shirreffs said she should be Horse of the Year over favored Rachel Alexandra.
A complete look at the major runners on the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships cards at Santa Anita Nov. 6-7.
Zenyatta made it look all too easy, becoming the first female to win the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Gio Ponti was second and Twice Over third.
Zenyatta gave trainer John Shirreffs and jockey Mike Smith precisely what they asked for Oct. 31 in her final work before the Breeders' Cup. With regular workmate Green Cat providing a target, she worked six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 at Hollywood Park at about 9 a.m.
Trainer John Shirreffs said on a national teleconference Oct. 28 that the first preference for Zenyatta is the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) as long as she works well this Saturday at Hollywood Park and appears to be peaking for the race.
Zenyatta worked six furlongs in 1:11.20 at Hollywood Park Oct. 23 in her first work since winning the Oct. 10 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I). Jockey Mike Smith was aboard, and the mare worked in company with Green Day and Sabina Fay.
As professional as ever, undefeated Zenyatta equaled Personal Ensign's 13-race winning streak to begin her career, sweeping past the pacesetters in upper stretch to capture Oak Tree's $300,000 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita in characteristic fashion Oct. 10.
Undefeated Zenyatta attempts to equal Personal Ensign's streak of 13 consecutive wins when she goes to the post in Oak Tree's $300,000 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) as the heavy favorite Oct. 10 at Santa Anita.
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.
Now that Rachel Alexandra is through for the year, it is time for Zenyatta, the defending Queen of all Turfdom, to take center stage, and her presence will be a welcome sight in a year where the Breeders' Cup has gone a bit haywire.
Unbeaten Zenyatta remained perfect in 12 starts, but she had her closest call yet in Del Mar's Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 9. Forced to circle the field six wide on the turn behind a slow pace, the giant mare just managed to get up by a head over Anabaa's Creation.
Ten fillies and mares have been nominated for the Aug. 9 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I), the anticipated next start for unbeaten Zenyatta.
Jerry Moss, owner of champion mare Zenyatta, said he hopes to meet Rachel Alexandra in the Breeders' Cup, but likely wouldn't ship Zenyatta east to tangle with 'Rachel' this summer.
The Inglewood City Council approved a final environmental impact report and a significant land use revision June 3 that would allow the conversion of the 238-acre Hollywood Park racetrack site to a mixed use development.
For the second race in a row, Mine That Bird's connections must look for a different rider, as Mike Smith has decided to honor his commitment and ride Jerry and Ann Moss' Madeo in the Charlie Whittingham Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park the same day as the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Last year's champion older female Zenyatta has been scratched from the $350,000 Louisville Distaff (gr. II) May 1, it was confirmed by the Churchill Downs racing office.
To say 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo was a surprise winner of the Kentucky Derby would be an understatement since he generated a $102.60 win pay-off
The Louisville Distaff (gr. II) is a fine race in its own right, but with the surprise addition of undefeated champion Zenyatta, the $350,000 event has now become the main attraction on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard May 1 at Churchill Downs.
Zenyatta will likely return to the work tab in a couple of weeks, toward late February or early March, said trainer John Shirreffs Feb. 15. He could not speculate on when she would make her 2009 racing debut.
- By Tracy Gantz
Exercise riders have a special trash talk all their own, usually along the lines of how the horse they are aboard can trounce anything on four legs in this century or last. That's why few people paid any attention in 2007 when Steve Willard, riding a huge unraced filly from John Shirreffs' barn, told a Hollywood Park outrider, "This is the second coming of Ruffian."
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.
Mike Smith and Zenyatta have been an unbeatable team so far, and they're the heavy favorites to add yet another victory to their sizzling streak in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Oct. 24 at Santa Anita.
All horses racing in Friday's Breeders' Cup races had to be on the grounds at Santa Anita at noon today. Zenyatta, accompanied by stablemate Tiago, passed through the stable gate at 11:59. Judging from her 3-5 morning line odds and all the accolades she has received, that should be the only close call the magnificent filly will have this week.
Jerry and Ann Moss' Zenyatta likely will be the heavy favorite in the $2-million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Oct. 24 at Santa Anita Park. She is undefeated in her career, with an eight-race win steak heading into the World Championships.
Unbeaten Zenyatta will be looking for career win No. 8 when she takes the gate for the Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 27 at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. The California-based runner will face four rivals, including grade I winner Hystericalady, in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Graded stakes winners Zenyatta and Tiago both "are doing very well" and probably will run in stakes at the upcoming Hollywood Park spring/summer meet, which gets under way April 23, trainer John Shirreffs said.
Inside Information features Captain Squire, the first stakes winner for Jeff Mullins; jockey Garrett Gomez and Frankie Herrarte, who worked his way up the ladder to be the exercise rider for 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo.
After Market is set to take his place in the lineup for the Oct. 27 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) despite some concerns from trainer John Shirreffs about the condition of the turf course.
NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) candidate After Market will be given a crucial turf workout the morning of Oct. 26 to ensure his place in the lineup the following day.
After Market, a California shipper, will try his hand on an East Coast turf course when he competes in the Oct. 27 NetJet Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park.
Dottie Ingordo has served as racing manager for Jerome and Ann Moss for more than 25 years. For her, one of the most exciting parts of the Thoroughbred business is watching a homebred weanling develop into a winning racehorse.
John Shirreffs, not comfortable running Tiago on the Del Mar Polytrack, has decided to scratch the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Swaps (gr. II) winner from the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic (gr. I).
At this point in his career, nothing The Tin Man does would be a surprise. But if the gutsy 9-year-old gelding can pull off another victory in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 11, it might be the greatest accomplishment of his championship career.
After Market, one of the favorites in the Arlington Million (gr. IT), is special because of his late kick, trainer John Shirreffs said.
After Market, the 3-5 favorite ridden by Alex Solis, enhanced his reputation as one of America's outstanding horses on grass Sunday with a sparkling victory in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar.
Yes, there are 3-year-olds west of the Mississippi this year. Which one, or ones, will earn the right to take on the big guns back east will be decided in Saturday's $350,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II), where Tiago will make his first start in California since winning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
After Market took a giant step forward Saturday when he surged past odds-on choice Lava Man to win the $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) going away on the Hollywood Park turf.
The paddock opens at 11:30 for schooling. One of the first to arrive is Belmont (gr. I) entrant Tiago. Trainer John Shirreffs, his stepson David Ingordo, and Frankie Herrarte, a member of his crew, follows the Pleasant Tap colt, who is led by Frank Leal.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders Hard Spun, Imawildandcrazyguy, and Tiago, as well as Todd Pletcher-trained candidates Rags to Riches and Circular Quay, all hit the Belmont main track for work-outs Sunday morning.
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Tiago and Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) victor Stormello gave their connections encouragement for an anticipated date in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 5 with strong works at Hollywood Park Sunday.
Pam and Martin Wygod's homebred colt After Market returned to his winning ways with a mid-stretch surge to capture the $108,200 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) by two lengths on the Hollywood Park lawn Saturday.
A long-running controversy over toe grabs before the California Horse Racing Board could turn into a referendum on trainer authority.
George Krikorian's millionaire Hollywood Story, getting ready for her next start in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) on Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, worked six furlongs in 1:14 over Santa Anita's fast main track on Thursday.
Stan Fulton's A.P. Warrior made his turf debut a successful one when he nosed favorite Porto Santo in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds at Del Mar Saturday.
- By Jack Shinar
The California Horse Racing Board turned its attention to jockey protection at its meeting July 20 at Del Mar, moving along one rule change that would make safety reins mandatory and a second that revises criteria for vest standards.
A.P. Warrior worked five furlongs in 1:01 Monday under jockey David Flores for the $350,000-added Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes, a grade II test for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park on Saturday.
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