The Brock Talk

Friday, October 1, 2010

Last Show At Hollywood For Queen Zenyatta

Zenyatta makes her Southern California swan song Saturday in career that will without a doubt go down as one of the greats of all time, when she run in the $250,000 Lady's Secret during the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park.

Zenyatta will be attempting to tie the North American record for consecutive victories at 19 when she runs what is believed to be her last race in her home state in the grade 1 Lady’s Secret Stakes. Zenyatta will also be attempting to win the Lady’s Secret for the third consecutive year, the third time she will have won a grade 1 races in three consective years. She also won the previous three Vanity Handicaps at Hollywood Park and Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar, although technically, the Hirsch was a grade 2 in 2008.

Only Forego has won two grade 1 races in three consecutive years since the American Graded Stakes Committee began grading races in 1972. Forego won the 1974-76 Brooklyn Handicaps and upped the ante considerably by winning the Woodward stakes four consecutive years from 1974-77. Worth mentioning is that Kelso won the Jockey Club Gold Cup five consecutive years from 1960-64 and three straight Woodward Stakes from 1961-63 in the pre-graded races era.

Hollywood Park has long been considered Zenyatta’s favorite track and where she is based in the barn of trainer John Shirreffs. Although the 1-1/16 distance of the Lady’s Secret is not her best distance, the come from behind Zenyatta is expected to handle her five foes.

Reinterval, second to Zenyatta in the Hirsch Aug. 7 is entered in the Lady’s Secret for another try at Zenyatta as is her mate in the stable of trainer Eric Reed, Satans Quick Chick, winner of the Lexus Raven Run Stakes (G2) last fall at Keeneland Race Course. Also lined up to take on Zenyatta is Switch, looking for her second upset of the year after defeating Blind Luck in the Hollywood Oaks Switch is also the only other filly or mare in the field with a win over Cushion Track. Trainer Bob Baffer t tries to win his third Lady’s Secret with stakes winner Moon de French and trainer Doug O’Neill has entered Emmy Darling, a filly he claimed for $62,500 Aug. 19 at Del Mar and has won 5 of 20 starts and more than $273,000.

But everything is right on schedule at Barn 55 at Hollywood Park where Zenyatta resides in the Shirreffs stable. “She’s just getting better and better and as nonchalant as ever,” said veteran assistant and exercise rider Fred Wilson. Asked if there was more pressure on victory 19, Shirreffs replied, “No, not really. It’s the same routine.”

Routine may be the order at the Shirreffs barn but Saturday at Oak Tree at Hollywood Park will be anything but. On a card that also features the grade 1 Goodwood, a race that has produced four winners of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, promising 2-year-old colt JP’s Gusto in the grade 1 Norfolk and the grade 1 Yellow Ribbon for fillies and mares on the turf, without a doubt the star of Hollywood will be Zenyatta Saturday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She ran another thriller! I love how she scares you almost every time and then just pulls the plug on the competition and sweeps to victory with ears pricked.
I can't believe she got to 19-for-19, that is just so incredible!