Breeders' Cup 2014

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Heavyweight Champ

Unbeaten champion Zenyatta will spot eight rivals from 12 to 19 pounds as she begins her quest for Horse of the Year honors in 2010 in the $250,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita March 13.

Perfect in all 14 of her career starts to date, the magnificent 6-year-old mare begins the new year with a hefty 127-pound weight assignment for her first race since she humbled a stellar field in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 7 to become the first female to win America's richest race.
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Older Comments about Heavyweight Champ...

First I'm glad Zen's lousy connections finally realize what a terrific horse she is and now are going to let her prove it. Instead of trying to cheat their way in. Second there's way to much made of the weight, remember Zen is a very big girl and she most likely out weighs her rivals by 100-200 pounds or more. She's up to the task. Maybe this year she will run as she should have last year(no fault of hers) and HOY will be hers. RA was hands down HOY 2009, doesn't mean she was the better horse but; she sure had a better campaign.
Ok I feel a little better about the weight, I looked back at the Vanity and with the exception of Life is Sweet, which was carring 122, the other entries were btw 13-18 lbs lighter. Things can be different on any given day but this makes me feel somewhat better about the wieghts for today.
That is my concern also. I know she can handle the weight it's just the weight difference. I mean 12 - 16 lbs is alot. As long as Mike keeps her a little closer and she can get going I think there will be no problems and hopefully she want run into traffic.
Even though Zenyatta carried a higher weight of 129 lbs. in the 2009 Vanity Handicap, in the 2010 Santa Magarita, carrying 127 lbs., she's actually giving away more weight to the rest of the field as a whole than she did in the Vanity. But Zenyatta has always seemed to be up to the task, and always seems to respond to every challenge put before her. It does bother me, however, that in Handicap races that Zenyatta is treated as if she were a colt, and not a mare because of her size and physical presence. Some colts don't get assigned the weight that Zenyatta carries in Handicaps. I wonder, at times, looking at the weight assignments for the entire field of the Santa Magarita, if they're not trying to intentionally get Zenyatta beat by saddling her with such burdens weight wise. JMO.
bband, I think your absolutely correct. Zenyatta, anytime she races in Handicap's, because of her size and physical nature, is always the only horse in her races that get's saddled with a "boulder" while the rest of the field run's with a "brick." Rachel Alexandra drew top weight of 123 lbs. in the New Orleans Ladies Handicap, but she's only giving away from 2 to 6 lbs. Anything wrong with that picture? But provided both win their prep's, and one can only assume they will, finally fairness will be at play in the 2010 Apple Blossom Invitational, provided Rachel's camp actually shows. Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, and any other potential fillies or mares that will race in the Apple Blossom will all carry 123 lbs. All of them. To me, handicapping that race, that's one of the two deciding factors that makes me think Zenyatta will win. I think the two things Rachel needs to have a shot at beating Zenyatta are both gone. 1. The Distance- Rachel Alexandra's best chance of beating Zenyatta, no matter how many times they might race, will be at 1-1/16th. Since the distance was extended to 1-1/8th, advantage Zenyatta. 2. The weight- Zenyatta has been saddled with and won with as high as 129 lbs. in her career. I'm not certain what Rachel's top weight carried has been, as I think, starting her 4yr.old season, this is her first Handicap, and first time giving away weight. If anything, as a 3yr.old, I'd say she got weight given to her against the colt's. I don't see the conventional dirt at Oaklawn being an advantage for either. Rachel has raced and won over it twice. Zenyatta won, drawing off by 4 or 5 lengths in the 2008 Apple Blossom over it. So to sum it up, IMO, for Rachel to ever have a shot at beating Zenyatta, the race will have to be 1-1/16th and she'll have to get a weight break. But that's a break she'll never get in any race the two of them are entered in together because she won 2009 HOY. It would be extremely unusual for the horse that won HOY honors to get a weight break in a Handicap with other fillies and mares. TJMO.
The truth is that racing secretaries are big wimps when it comes to assigning weights. They rarely assign high weights, except in the case like this where Zenyatta's camp really can't complain. They create big spreads to entice the others to run.
ok I'm kind of new to this but why is Striking Daner carring 115 lbs Sat and carried 116 lbs in the La Canada Stakes? Since she won that race wouldn't you think they would have given her a bit heavier weight, they accually went down a pound. I have faith in Z but that just seams like a huge weight difference, with the closest wieght 12 lbs lighter.

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