Hollywood Gold Cup winner Awesome Gem breezed for the first time Tuesday
since his July 10 victory as he prepares for his fourth straight run at Del
Mar's signature $1-million, Grade I Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 28.
The 7-year-old gelded
son of Awesome Again turned 4 furlongs in 48.60 on the main track, leaving
trainer Craig Dollase still beaming this morning. "He went great and came
back really good," the enthusiastic trainer said, adding that another
workout is tentatively scheduled for early next week.
Crowded House, fourth
in Del Mar's
opening weekend Grade I Eddie Read on the turf and a possible prospect for the
Pacific Classic, worked an easy half-mile in 50.80 for trainer Ben Cecil this
ZENYATTA IS THE MORNING STAR AT DEL MAR
Regal as ever, two-time
Eclipse Award older female Zenyatta set hoof on Del Mar's Polytrack surface
late in this morning's training period and drew the usual awestruck response
from onlookers around the racetrack.
She took one
gallop around the one-mile oval with regular exercise rider Steve Willard. But
she did it on her terms, as is her style, pausing after coming onto the track
near the 6-furlong pole for nearly 10 minutes before turning to gallop.
All the while,
her ears were up and she was busy looking over the landscape, giving the
impression she knew she was mistress of all she surveyed.
mare, the only female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic (2009 at Santa Anita),
galloped blithely down the backstretch as Willard guided her along. "She got
over it really good," the upbeat Willard said as she was returned to trainer
John Shirreffs' barn to get her bath and cool out.
Zenyatta vanned from his Hollywood Park base this morning, one day earlier than
originally announced. She went to the track about 9:15, right on her routine
mum on whether Zenyatta will try to win her third straight Clement L.
Hirsch Stakes on Saturday and a record 18th overall. However, he did
say, "Countdown begins," after watching his star travel around the
track and cool
Zenyatta, who will have regular rider Mike Smith aboard, was entered this
morning as part of a field of six older mares for the 1 1/16-mile Hirsch on the
main track. Joining the fray will be Dance to My Tune, with David Flores in the
saddle; Made for Magic, Omar Berrio; Princess Taylor, Victor Espinoza;
Rinterval, Rafael Bejarano, and Spring Style, Patrick Valenzuela.
Only Dance to
My Tune, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, has tested Zenyatta before, finishing
second, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, after leading for most of the Grade I Santa
Margarita Handicap at 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita March 13. Zenyatta carried 127
pounds in that race while Dance to My Tune got in the race with 112.
For the Hirsch, Zenyatta
will carry high weight of 123 pounds, with Made for Magic at 121 and the other
four at 119. Zenyatta will break from past 5, with Princess Taylor on the rail,
Made for Magic in post 2, Spring Style in post 3, Dance to My Tune in post 4,
and Rinterval on the outside.