It's game on, according to trainer John Shirreffs, for two-time champion
older female Zenyatta as she approaches her target of three consecutive
victories in Del Mar's Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes Saturday.
Shirreffs said this morning that, unless something untoward occurs,
Zenyatta would seek a three-peat in the Hirsch, as well as aiming to improve
her record number of victories to 18 in her undefeated career.
She tested Del
Mar's Polytrack surface for the third time this morning, prompting her regular
exercise rider, Steve Willard, to say once again, "She did fine again. She
got over it fine."
Asked if Zenyatta would go to the track on race-day morning, trainer
John Shirreffs said, "It depends on the weather and how much excitement
there is around here."
Zenyatta headlines a field of six for the 1 1/16-mile Hirsch over the
Lining up to offer competition are Princess Taylor, who possibly will be
scratched since she worked 5 furlongs on Thursday; Made for Magic, Spring Style,
Dance to My Tune and Rinterval. Only Dance to My Tune has tested Zenyatta
before, finishing second in Santa Anita's Grade I Santa Margarita Handicap, the
champion's 15th consecutive career victory.
There will be no show wagering in the Hirsch, as was the case in the
six-horse Vanity Handicap at Hollywood
Park, Zenyatta's most