Saturday, August 07, 2010

Zenyatta To Try For 18th Win Today

Two weeks ago today here, I talked about the fabulous mare Zenyatta, who remains unbeaten after 17 races.

I've been watching the news to see whether Zenyatta would race today in the 2010 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes in California. Her owners waited until Wednesday to announce she would participate.

This morning's Lexington Herald-Leader reported:
On Saturday, five challengers will line up to try to put an end to Zenyatta's 17-race win streak in the Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar ... trainer John Shirreffs wouldn't commit to running the 6-year-old ... until he was satisfied with how she ran over the track's Polytrack surface.
I thought I would revisit the mare in order to share her playful side with readers.

She is known for her "dance." Here's a sample of what I'm talking about. This is the pre-race color to the 2009 Breeders' Cup. At 1 1/4 miles, it was the longest race Zenyatta had ever run and pitted her against an all-male field:

As you saw on my earlier blog, Zenyatta made history by winning that race last year, the first mare to ever do so.

She is likely to run in the Breeders' Cup again this November.

And--just to whet your anticipation for today's race, here is Zenyatta's heart-stopping last race in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park, California on June 13. Zenyatta was 12 lengths behind in the backstretch:

Today's race will be run at approximately 6:15 PM Pacific Time.

You go, girl!


Maria Zannini said...

That brought tears to my eyes. She is AMAZING!

And to watch her strut afterwards--you can't tell me she doesn't know what's going on.

I think I'm going to change my name to Zenyatta. :)

Maya Reynolds said...

Maria: I know. She simply takes my breath away.

I was glad to see that Mike Smith didn't mess around with holding her at the back of the pack in today's race. The uncertain track surface and her age (6 years) means he needs to be a little more careful.

Victoria Dixon said...

I think the best race horses know exactly what's going on Maria. They're the ones that you can see it matters to them if they win. They want it. That's what Seabiscuit's trainer (the good one) saw in the Biscuit.

Did you see her ears at the end of the last race? The other horses all had their ears laid back, running for all they were worth. Her head was up and her ears were forward as if this was an interesting exercise. She's breathtaking.