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This week in Zenyatta news


October 29, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

(photo by Robert Cooke, Jr., courtesy of Breeders' Cup)
Zenyatta notes by Jim Gluckson, courtesy of Breeders' Cup (Thursday, October 28)

The undefeated Zenyatta, looking to win a historic 20th straight race with a repeat in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 6, is getting more and more aggressive in her training each day, indicating to her connections that she’s ready for her toughest test yet. On Thursday, it took all of exercise rider Steve Willard’s strength to contain her during her 1 ½ mile gallop over the main Hollywood Park track.

“She’s pretty solid,” said trainer John Shirreffs, as he watched her gallop.

“She’s pretty aggressive today,” added Willard as he dismounted. “She’s really wanting to do some more. She’s ready for a work.

Jerry and Ann Moss’ two-time champion will continue to gallop one more day, Friday, and her final timed workout will be Saturday, October 30. She is scheduled to leave California for Kentucky on Tuesday, November 2.

Zenyatta wants more from morning training (Tuesday, October 26)

Two-time champion Zenyatta, preparing to defend her Breeders’ Cup Classic title and perfect 19-0 record, didn’t make life easy on regular exercise rider Steve Willard on Tuesday morning as he had to use all his strength to pull her up after a 1½-mile gallop over the Hollywood Park main track.

“That was a good gallop,” said trainer John Shirreffs. “No concerns at this point. Although, I do want to get her on the (dirt) training track again this week and off the synthetics.”

“She did great,” added Willard. “Just terrific. She didn’t want to pull up and said, ‘hey, let’s do some more.’”

Zenyatta gallops one mile (Monday, October 25)

Two-time champion Zenyatta, preparing to defend her Breeders’ Cup Classic title and perfect 19-0 record, went to the main Hollywood Park track on Monday and jogged a half-mile before galloping a full mile under regular exercise rider Steve Willard. Normally, she would have gone to the training track, but overnight rain left the dirt track too wet. The main racetrack surface is Cushion Track.

“That’s the good thing about synthetic,” said Willard. “We haven’t had to stop at all. She’s doing really, really good. She’s in a terrific place mentally.”

Zenyatta jogs with pony (Sunday, October 24)

Two-time champion Zenyatta showed no signs of being tired from Friday’s workout and, in fact, was quite a handful for exercise rider Steve Willard on Sunday morning. To ensure that she didn’t do too much, trainer John Shirreffs sent Willard and Zenyatta to the Hollywood Park training track with pony Winston and his rider, Fred Wilson, to jog one mile. It was her first trip to the track since Friday.

“On the first day back to the track, I just look to see that the rider stays on,” said Shirreffs. “She looks really good right now.”

Zenyatta’s final workout before she leaves California to defend her title in the Breeders’ Cup Classic will be Saturday, October 30. The Street Cry (IRE) mare will leave California on a Tex Sutton chartered flight on Tuesday, November 2.

Zenyatta has quiet Saturday (Saturday, October 23)

Two-time champion Zenyatta enjoyed a leisurely Saturday morning, just walking around the shedrow of trainer John Shirreffs’ barn. The rest was well deserved after working seven furlongs in 1:271 over the Hollywood Park main track on Friday.