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Zenyatta Faces Five in Clement Hirsch

Zenyatta captures the 2010 Santa Margarita for a perfect 15 for 15

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 Smith.

 

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. 

 

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Older Comments about Zenyatta Faces Five in Clement Hirsch...

Looks like the Queen will be running Sat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4XXH2mrCec : around 6:15 speaking w/ John Sheriffs
"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." Z is a great horse, but this kind of over the top hyperbole is absurd. Z's win over a mediocre field of males was NOT one of the best Breeder's Cup races ever and certainly NOT one of the greatest sports performances. I could cherry-pick many better Breeder's Cup races, but Awesome Again's victory in 1998 against probably the best Classic field ever assembled (Skip Away, Silver Charm, Swain, Victory Gallop, Coronado's Quest, etc) was a far, far better race against far superior competition. http://www.breederscup.com/greatestmoments.aspx?year=1998&divisionname=classic
  • medlocke · True enough. Zenyatta's Classic was certainly not the best ever. But she did beat all of the best American and European horses that were willing to race against her. Almost everyone of them now, Grade 1 winners. But speaking of great B.C. Classics. Tiznow's Classic's in 2000 and 2001 both had phenomenal competition. The 2000 Classic starting Tiznow, Giant's Causeway, Albert The Great, Lemon Drop Kid, Fusaichi Pegasus, and Cat Thief. Then, in 2001, it started Tiznow, Arc winner, Sakhee, Albert The Great, Macho Uno, and Galileo. That was probably the two best Classics I've ever witnessed. IMO. · 1452 days ago
Yep, I'm quesy. I don't know what they are thinking here. Sure would hate to see her fantastic streak end here! I guess they can still pull out, huh? Do they read Horse Racing Nation? Surely if they see our expert opinions they will not "make" her run at Del Mar. But, if you do Zenyatta baby, you mow 'em all down! Good luck and safe trip for you and all:)
  • medlocke · luvzenyatta, much agreed. Don't the Moss's and Shirreffs actually take time to read out expert opinions? LOL. All kidding aside. I don't get a good feeling about this Clement L. Hirsch either. Both of Zenyatta's previous two Clement L. Hirsch's have difficult at best. She just doesn't adapt to the surface at Del-Mar the way she does at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park. Or even Oaklawn, for that matter. Many people call Zenyatta a synthetic specialist. Her two most difficult races of her career have come over synthetics at Del-Mar. Her two Apple Blossom Handicaps were ran easy, peasy, Japanesee. Nothing to either one of them. She glided right across the conventional dirt at Oaklawn as if she had 10 or 15 starts on dirt. You can't really logically claim that a horse is a synthetic specialist when the horse has proven more than once that it can, and did win over conventional dirt. Her 2008 Apple Blossom, she passed reigning 07' B.C. Distaff champion, Ginger Punch, like she was tied to a poll. The moral to this story that I'm trying to get across is. This great mare has proven she can win on dirt. Load her up, and ship her to Saratoga, and let her race in the Personal Ensign Handicap. That way, she gets more experience on dirt and at the 1-1/4 distance before this year's Breeders Cup Classic. Eliminate the Del-Mar worry. There's more races that the Clement L. Hirsch that Zenyatta could be running in. · 1452 days ago
  • medlocke · luvzenyatta, much agreed. Don't the Moss's and Shirreffs actually take time to read out expert opinions? LOL. All kidding aside. I don't get a good feeling about this Clement L. Hirsch either. Both of Zenyatta's previous two Clement L. Hirsch's have difficult at best. She just doesn't adapt to the surface at Del-Mar the way she does at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park. Or even Oaklawn, for that matter. Many people call Zenyatta a synthetic specialist. Her two most difficult races of her career have come over synthetics at Del-Mar. Her two Apple Blossom Handicaps were ran easy, peasy, Japanesee. Nothing to either one of them. She glided right across the conventional dirt at Oaklawn as if she had 10 or 15 starts on dirt. You can't really logically claim that a horse is a synthetic specialist when the horse has proven more than once that it can, and did win over conventional dirt. Her 2008 Apple Blossom, she passed reigning 07' B.C. Distaff champion, Ginger Punch, like she was tied to a poll. The moral to this story that I'm trying to get across is. This great mare has proven she can win on dirt. Load her up, and ship her to Saratoga, and let her race in the Personal Ensign Handicap. That way, she gets more experience on dirt and at the 1-1/4 distance before this year's Breeders Cup Classic. Eliminate the Del-Mar worry. There's more races that the Clement L. Hirsch that Zenyatta could be running in. · 1452 days ago
I wish she would got to Saratoga for the PE at 1 1/4 what is the need for her to race at 1 1/16 over a track she doesn't like. Here is a good look at her at Del Mar yesterday. She looks good though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyz0GIrhx6k
I love Zenyatta. I'm a huge fan, and have been since the beginning of her career. But the Moss's and John Shirreffs are flirting with disaster for a third year in a row. Entering Zenyatta in the Clement L. Hirsch. On a track that Zenyatta clearly doesn't like at Del-Mar. She doesn't run the Del-Mar surface nearly as well as the Hollywood Park track. Or her favorite of them all, Santa Anita. Frankly, watching Zenyatta race over conventional dirt at Oaklawn. I believe she handle's conventional dirt better than the surface at Del-Mar. She won the 08' Clement L. Hirsch by only a length. And everyone remembers the thrilling finish to the 09' Clement L. Hirsch. When Zenyatta just narrowly ran down Anaaba's Creation in the shadow of the wire. You keep messing with the bull, and you finally get the horns. There's nothing for Zenyatta to gain by racing at Del-Mar again. It's roughly 3 months until Breeders Cup Classic time. Why not ship Zenyatta to Saratoga to race in the Personal Ensign Handicap? Rachel Alexandra or no Rachel Alexandra. That's not what this would be about. It's about finding out how you're great, undefeated race-mare is going to handle conventional dirt over 1-1/4. That's why the Personal Ensign would be ideal for Zenyatta at this stage of the season. She likely stands a greater chance of losing at Del-Mar than she would shipping to Saratoga. JMO.

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