Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss' unbeaten equine phenomenon Zenyatta
continued her march toward Thoroughbred racing immortality Saturday as she won
her 18th consecutive race with a narrow but convincing victory in the Grade I $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes
before an admiring audience of
With regular rider Mike Smith in the saddle, the strapping six-year-old daughter of
Street Cry outran the surprising 10-1 outsider Rinterval to win by a neck to
continue her amazing streak of triumphs, most in modern major racing history.
Princess Taylor was third, with Spring Style fourth in the small field of six
older fillies and mares.
Zenyatta, sent postward at 1-9 while carrying highweight of
123 pounds, was scoring her third straight success in the Hirsch, equaling the
Del Mar feats of Native Diver, Flawlessly and Track Gal who also won a Del Mar
stakes event three years in a row.
Typically, Zenyatta dropped off the pace to run fifth in the
early stages of the mile and one-sixteenth race behind dawdling fractions of
25.41 for the first quarter and 50.61 at the half-mile for Rinterval under
jockey Rafael Bejarano.
The slow pace continued until midway of the stretch turn
where Smith sent Zenyatta into contention on the far outside, engaged a
stubborn Rinterval who proved difficult to beat in a stirring duel to the wire.
Final time was 1:45.03 with a blistering final sixteenth in 5.94 seconds.
Princess Taylor was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third, with
Spring Style almost four lengths farther back.
With no show wagering, Zenyatta returned $2.20 to win and
$2.10 to place. Because of heavy action on the winner, there was a minus place
pool of $94,675.39.
First money of
$180,000 increased the John Shirreffs-trained star's career earnings to
$6,254,580 as she jumped from 23rd to 16th on the
all-time list of money-winners with at least a single start in North America.