INGLEWOOD, Calif. (June 6, 2010)-Trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday that Zenyatta, undefeated in 16 races, will start under top weight of 129 pounds in the $250,000 Vanity Handicap on June 13 at Hollywood Park.
On a day when Zenyatta will attempt to make history under jockey Mike Smith, Hollywood Park will honor the champion older female of both 2008 and 2009, with a giveaway of her bobblehead likeness. The collectible will be available per paid admission while supplies last.
If the 6-year-old daughter of Street Cry and the Kris S. mare Vertigineux wins the Vanity, a Grade 1 at 1 1/8 miles, for an unprecedented third time, she will own the record for longest win streak by a modern day thoroughbred in races not restricted to state breds.
A 17th consecutive victory would enable Zenyatta to surpass Cigar, Citation and Mister Frisky, all winners of 16 in a row.
Cigar’s win streak came to an end in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar when he was beaten by Dare And Go on Aug. 10, 1996.
Citation’s roll was stopped by Miche in the La Sorpresa Handicap on Jan. 26, 1950 at Santa Anita.
Mister Frisky was undefeated – 13 wins in Puerto Rico and three at Santa Anita – before he finished eighth as the 19-10 favorite in the Kentucky Derby won by Unbridled on May 5, 1990 at Churchill Downs.
Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta is one of five females with two victories in the Vanity, along with Annie-Lu-San (1957-58), Convenience (1972-73), It’s In The Air (1979-1980) and Azeri (2002-03).
“The weight was pretty much what we were expecting,’’ said Shirreffs, who is seeking his record fifth win in the Vanity. “We’re just trying to focus on the Vanity and not on all of her accomplishments.
“Mike Smith is the good guy in all of this. We were really happy celebrating his victory in the Belmont Stakes (with 13-1 longshot Drosselmeyer). Mike is a rider and a horseman, so he is invaluable.’’
Besides the two wins with Zenyatta, Shirreffs also has Vanity victories with Hollywood Story (2006) and Manistique (1999). He is one of four trainers with four wins in the race, joining Hall of Famers Neil Drysdale, Ron McAnally and Charlie Whittingham.
Zenaytta also carried 129 pounds when winning last year’s Vanity, defeating Briecat and four others. The 2 ½ length victory was her sixth at her home track. She debuted at Hollywood Park on Nov. 22, 2007. She defeated maidens by three lengths going 6 ½ furlongs, the only time she raced less than 1 1/16 miles.
With two wins in 2010, Zenyatta has pushed her earnings to $5,924,580. She began her campaign capturing the Santa Margarita Handicap on March 13 at Santa Anita. She then made another successful trip to Arkansas, winning the Apple Blossom on April 9 at Oaklawn Park. The win was her second in the event, the first coming two years ago.
Another Vanity win would be the seventh consecutive success in a Grade 1 for Zenyatta. Ten of her victories have been in Grade 1’s.
Following are the other nominees for the 69th Vanity along with their weight assignments: St Trinians (120); Zardana (118); Made For Magic (116); Third Dawn (116); Wynning Ride (115); Dance To My Tune (114); Will O Way (114); Cherryblossommiss (112); Miss Pleasant (112) and Miss Silver Brook (112).
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