Undefeated champion mare Zenyatta -- a perfect 17-for-17 in a stellar career
thus far -- Wednesday was entered to race at Del Mar in the Grade I, $300,000
Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on Saturday.
Mr.-Mrs. Jerome Moss' strapping 6-year-old daughter of
Street Cry not only will be going after her 18th straight victory in the Hirsch,
but also her third in a row in the mile and one-sixteenth contest on the main
track that she won by a length in 2008, then by only a head in a thrilling
finish last season.
Trainer John Shirreffs, who has guided the big mare's perfect
run to this point, appears set to send his charge out Saturday against five
rivals in her next step en route to defending her title in the Breeders' Cup
Classic at Churchill Downs on Saturday, November 6.
In 2009 Zenyatta capped off a five-for-five championship season
with a powerful one-length tally in the Classic, beating 11 of the best male
horses in the world with her crowd-stirring late run in an outcome that has
been called the best Breeders' Cup race ever, as well as one of the greatest
performances in the history of the sport.
Saturday's headliner will be the highlight of a 10-race card
that Del Mar designated Zenyatta Day, feauring a special pint-glass set
giveaway with likenesses of the mare and her regular rider, Hall of Famer Mike
Zenyatta, who shipped to Del Mar early Wednesday and
galloped later in the morning on the main track, drew Post 5 in the six-horse
field. She'll carry 123 pounds under the conditions of the race, most of it
made up by her regular partner Smith.
The Hirsch field, from the rail out with riders and weights,
is as follows:
Dr. Ronan Lambe's Princess Taylor, 119 pounds, Victor
Espinoza the rider; L-Bo Racing & Lamb's Made for Magic, 121, Omar Berrio;
Mmes. Cecil or Reddam's Spring Style, 119, Patrick Valenzuela; Olympia Star,
Inc.'s Dance To My Tune, 119, David Flores; Zenyatta, and Jerry Jamgotchian's
Rinterval, 119, Rafael Bejarano.
The Hirsch will be the ninth of 10 races with a post time of
approximately 6:15 p.m. It carries a winner's share of $180,000.