Zenyatta Horse Of Meet In Media Poll

Racing News
Posted 10.31.10 at 6:11

Zenyatta and Mike Smith after victory in the Lady's Secret on October 2. © Benoit Photo

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (October 31, 2010) — Zenyatta, who extended her unbeaten streak to 19 with a thrilling victory in the Lady’s Secret Stakes Oct. 2, was voted Horse of the Meet in the annual media poll as the inaugural Oak Tree/Hollywood Park meet wrapped Sunday.

This was the third consecutive year Zenyatta, who is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, trained by John Shirreffs and ridden by Mike Smith, has been voted the honor for her Oak Tree accomplishments.

The 6-year-old Street Cry mare, who has spent her entire career stabled at Hollywood Park, will attempt to finish her career 20-for-20 when she competes in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs. A victory would make her only the second two time winner of the Classic, joining Tiznow.

Zenyatta, who has earned eight of her victories at her home track, was also chosen older female.

Before a vocal and very enthusiastic on track crowd of 25,837, Zenyatta was able to overtake Switch in the final yards to capture the Lady’s Secret for an unprecedented third time in succession.

Besides Zenyatta, other unanimous choices were Norfolk Stakes hero Jaycito as 2-year-old and 2-year-old male, Oak Leaf Stakes upsetter Rigoletta as 2-year-old filly, Yellow Ribbon Stakes heroine Hibaayeb as female turf horse and Goodwood Stakes winner Richard’s Kid as older male.

In addition to female turf horse, Hibaayeb was also voted 3-year-old filly, Champ Pegaus, who won the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship, was turf horse and Smiling Tiger, who earned the biggest victory of his career in the Ancient Title Stakes Oct. 9, was selected sprinter as well as 3-year-old and 3-year-old male.

Joe Carl, a two-time winner at the meet for owners Norma and Maurel Bell and George Carter and trainer Dan Hendricks, was given the claiming horse honor.

The human winners were Bob Baffert (trainer), Rafael Bejarano, who edged Joel Rosario 35-34 for the top spot in the standings, as jockey and Alex Gonzalez (apprentice jockey).

Baffert, who won the training title in the last race of the meet when Tweebster prevailed as the 6-5 favorite, finished the season with 11 victories, one more than Doug O’Neill and John Sadler. The title was Baffert’s second in a row at Oak Tree and fifth since 1997.

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