Race of the Week 2017

Zenyatta Seeks History in Vanity

Zenyatta will have five challengers when she attempts to race into history in the $250,000 Vanity Handicap Sunday at Hollywood Park.


A Grade 1 at 1 1/8 miles, the Vanity is the eighth of 10 races on Sunday. Post time is 1 p.m. Approximate post for the Vanity is 4:37 p.m.


Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs, the 6-year-old daughter of Street Cry and the Kris S. mare Vertigineux as she tries to remain undefeated and win her 17th in a row.


A victory would enable her to surpass Cigar, Citation and Mister Frisky, all winners of 16 in succession, and own the record for most consecutive wins by a modern day thoroughbred in non restricted races.


Zenyatta, who has earned $5,924,580 while winning 14 graded stakes, will also be attempting to become the first three time winner of the Vanity.


She is one of four to have won the race twice. The others are Annie-Lu-San (1957-58), Convenience (1972-73), It’s In The Air (1979-80) and Azeri (2002-03).


In the first of her Vanity victories, Zenyatta won by a half-length over Tough Tiz’s Sis as the 3-10 favorite.


At the time, it was her smallest margin of victory. Her first five wins had come by a combined 15 ¼ lengths.


In 2009, Zenyatta was a 2 ½ length winner of the Vanity, defeating Briecat and four others. It was win No. 11 and her second of 2009, a year she capped with an unforgettable victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last Nov. 7 at Santa Anita.


Sunday’s race will be Zenyatta’s seventh at Hollywood Park, meaning she will have started at the track where she is based more than any other. She has run six times at Santa Anita and twice at both Del Mar and Oaklawn Park.


Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who has been aboard for her last 13 wins, will be in his usual perch. Zenyatta will carry 129 pounds, the same impost she had for last year’s Vanity. She will be spotting her opponents from 9-17 pounds.


A win would be her seventh Grade 1 in a row. Zenyatta will break from post five.


St Trinians, who will carry 120, will be making her first start since finishing sixth as the 3-1 favorite in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 6.

The loss was the first in five starts in the United States for the 5-year-old daughter of Piccolo and the Classic Cliche mare Cherrycombe-Row. Owned by Dan Capen and Laura Chavers and trained by Mike Mitchell, St Trinians has seven wins in 12 starts. She has banked $268,587.


Her biggest victory came in the Santa Maria Handicap, a Grade II, on Feb. 13. Her primary victim that day was the Shirreffs-trained Life Is Sweet, who was making her first start since capturing the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic last Nov. 6.


Martin Garcia, who was aboard Switch for the first time when she surprised Blind Luck in the Hollywood Oaks last Sunday, is the new rider for the English-bred St Trinians.


Shirreffs, who is seeking a record fifth Vanity win, will also be represented by Zardana. Besides the two wins with Zenyatta, Shirreffs has also won with Hollywood Story (2006) and Manistique (1999).


Owned by Arnold Zetcher, Zardana, a 6-year-old Crimson Tide mare and the Southern Halo mare Dear Filly, was originally supposed to run in the Ogden Phipps on Saturday at Belmont Park.


However, those plans changed earlier in the week, so she will take on her stablemate.


A Brazilian bred, Zardana has already played giant slayer once this year. She defeated Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Horse of the Year, in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes on March 13 at the Fair Grounds.


Fifth in the subsequent La Troienne, a Grade II, on April 30 at Churchill Downs, Zardana has won eight of 20 while earning $438,276.


In her most recent race at Hollywood Park, Zardana won the Bayakoa Handicap, a Grade II, last Dec. 5. Victor Espinoza will ride. Zardana will carry 118 pounds.


The other three Vanity participants are without a graded stakes win.


Trained by Vladimir Cerin for owners David and Holly Wilson and Ron Waranch, Will O Way, a 4-year-old daughter of Broken Vow and the Woodman mare Willow Woodman, has won three of 13.


An earner of $177,500, Will O Way scored her most significant victory in the California Oaks on Jan. 31 at Golden Gate. It was her lone win in eight races since the beginning of 2009.


Miss Silver Brook, a 4-year-old daughter of Cozzene and the Turkoman mare Brookdale, has won twice in 14 starts for trainer Julio Canani and owners Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino. She has earned $94,560.

Her best finish in four graded stakes races was a pair of fourths – in the 2009 La Habra and last month’s Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park. Miss Silver Brook finished two lengths behind winner Made For Magic in the Grade II on May 16.

Cherryblossommiss, a 5-year-old Langfuhr mare and the Pass The Tab mare Bodhavista has also won two of 14. She has banked $132,792 for owner Alex Venneri and trainer John Sadler. She has been sidelined since finishing third in the Harry Henson Handicap on March 28 at Sunland Park.


From the inside out, the field for the 69th Vanity: Miss Silver Brook, Joe Talamo rides, 112 pounds; St Trinians, Martin Garcia, 120; Zardana, Victor Espinoza, 118; Will O Way, Tyler Baze, 114; Zenyatta, Mike Smith, 129 and Cherryblossommiss, Rafael Bejarano, 112.


Television Games Network (TVG) will have a one hour special (4-5 p.m. PDT ) showcasing the Vanity.


The coverage, featuring Ron Ellis, Frank Lyons, Ken Rudulph and Todd Schrupp, will also be on FSN West, Sun Sports (tape delayed), Altitude and SportSouth, meaning the Vanity broadcast will be available in more than 60 million homes.







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