Undefeated Mare Zenyatta Entered in Breeders' Cup Classic

Trainer John Shirreffs said on a national teleconference that the first preference for Zenyatta is the $5-million Breeders’ Cup Classic as long as she works well Oct. 31 at Hollywood Park and appears to be peaking for the race.

“If she works well Saturday and continues to train well the following week, we’ll definitely lean toward the Classic,” Shirreffs said during the Oct. 28 call. “Mike Smith has had a large input in the discussions and has indicated several times he believes the Classic distance would not be a problem for her.

“If that’s the direction the Mosses (owners Jerry and Ann Moss) want to go, the only factor would be Zenyatta herself. We all know the Classic is going to be tough no matter who is in there. It’s obviously going to be a big challenge, but if she is doing well and is peaking there’s no reason not to run.

“She has a great shot to win the Ladies Classic, which has a very large purse. But the Classic is an opportunity to try to garner Horse of the Year honors, and to not run her when she’s doing so well would be a mistake. Mr. Moss said it’s not about Horse of the Year as much as it is to see her compete at the highest level.”

Shirreffs said it’s been a wonderful ride with Zenyatta, and he still finds it remarkable what she’s been able to accomplish in winning the first 13 starts of her career.

“It’s been a great 15 months,” he said. “I’m always amazed how well she performs. She’s like a stopper on a baseball team. When things aren’t going so well you know you can always bring in Zenyatta. She lifts the whole barn and everyone around her.”

Shirreffs also is confident Life is Sweet will run big in the $2-million Ladies Classic.

“Life is Sweet is a wonderful filly, and it’s unfortunate she’s always had Zenyatta in front of her, but there was nothing we could do about that,” Shirreffs said. “Zenyatta is such a special horse. But we’re really looking forward to running Life is Sweet in the Ladies Classic.”

(Originally published at BloodHorse.com.)

About the Author

Steve Haskin

Steve Haskin is Senior Contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine, sister publication to The Horse.

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