68th Running of the $300,000 Vanity Handicap Grade I 1 1/8 Miles

Jockey and Trainer Quotes
Posted 06.27.09 at 2:01

Jockey Quotes

MIKE SMITH, ZENYATTA, Winner: “It’s just amazing. I’m so blessed to be part of the Moss’s and Shirreffs and along comes a horse sent from God. She’s just incredible. It was a short field and she had a lot of weight on her and I didn’t want her to have so much to do, so I stayed a little closer than normal. Dawn After Dawn ran a great race, she kind of skipped away from me. I was trying not to hit the front too soon and she got away from me a good three-quarters to a length. But when I asked her she lengthened her stride and it was pretty much over then. I watched Rachel Alexandra’s race in the (jockeys’) room before I went to the paddock. I thought she ran dynamite. Maybe down the road we can have a little race together. It would be nice and it would be great for racing, I believe.”

MARTIN GARCIA, BRIECAT, Second: “Wooo, she ran super. I wasn’t worried about anybody, just my own horse. She’s a really good filly and she has nothing to be ashamed of.

Trainer Quotes

JOHN SHIRREFFS, ZENYATTA, Winner: “She’s a big strong horse and obviously we weren’t afraid of the extra three pounds. She’s a champion and that’s what champions do. You can’t run from it. Embrace it. She was very steady throughout the race. Mike (Smith) said he timed his ride. He didn’t want to move too soon. He didn’t want to try to open up. I thought that she responded to everything he asked of her. As we all know, when they step into the starting gate anything can happen. Confidence is kind of a funny expression to use in horse racing. She has one of the best closing kicks in any horse I’ve been around. If she’s close, then she has a chance. Now it’s on to the next race which will probably be at Del Mar. The logical choice will probably be the Clement Hirsch. I can’t really tell you because we haven’t discussed it yet.”

(When asked about potentially shipping East to meet Rachel Alexandra. )”It’s hard to say right now. We will have to look at each race individually. I thought obviously that is an option and I’m sure it’s something Mr. Moss and I will discuss later on. Rachel Alexandra is in her 3-year-old campaign right now so there is no discussion until she doesn’t run in 3-year-old races.”

Owner Quotes

JERRY MOSS, ZENYATTA, Winner: (On Personal Ensign’s streak of 13 wins.) “Well, we can certainly shoot for that. She was a fantastic filly, Personal Ensign. The greatest horse race I think I’ve ever seen was that race (Breeders’ Cup Distaff) against Winning Colors. It actually brought me to tears, we were at Churchill Downs.

“Now she’s had two good races under her belt. She is strong, she is fit. We’ll see where we go from here. That will be a decision John makes after he looks her over. (Will it be the same schedule as last year?) I think we want to do something a little bit more challenging. We think she is capable. She’s stronger this year, she’s a 5-year-old. She’s just amazing.

(Did Jess Jackson’s quotes bother you?) “No, quite honestly, he can say whatever he likes. He owns a great filly. She won very easily today. I’m not too crazy about the synthetic tracks either. I don’t mind him talking up about that, maybe it will serve a purpose. And hopefully we will meet somewhere. If not the Breeders’ Cup, maybe it will be somewhere else. I think time will tell on something like that and we will go from there.”

NOTES: Zenyatta became the first Vanity winner to carry 129 pounds since Cascapedia in 1977. Gamely carried a record 131 in 1968 and Silver Spoon carried 130 in 1960 . . . The win was a record-tying fourth for trainer John Shirreffs in the Vanity. It was also the fourth for jockey Mike Smith. Zenyatta became the fifth repeat Vanity winner.

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