Penultimate win for Zenyatta

Street Cry mare Zenyatta employed her patented late charge to maintain an unbeaten record in the G1 Lady’s Secret Stakes at Hollywood Park on Saturday.  She scored a half-length victory over Switch to take her perfect record to 19 from 19.

Next month, Zenyatta will head to Churchill Downs where she will bow out of racing while defending her Breeders’ Cup Classic crown.

Racing closer to the lead than usual for jockey Mike Smith on Saturday, Zenyatta made up nearly three lengths in the straight to gain control in the final strides.  “She seems to know just where the wire is at and likes to make it a little dramatic,” Smith said. “She’s just incredible.”

The 2010 Lady’s Secret was a three-peat for Zenyatta.  She is also three for three in the G1 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park and the G1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar.

Switch, ridden superbly Alonso Quinonez, made the champion fight for every inch of the 1700m trip.  “I thought I was home free,” Quinonez said. ` “I couldn’t see Zenyatta coming because I was so into riding my horse.”

Switch’s trainer John Sadler was happy even in defeat.  “I knew we were going to give them a scare,” he said.  “To run second to one of the all-time greats is huge.”

Zenyatta earned a free pass to the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic on November 5, however, owner Jerry Moss said the mare would run in the BC Classic a day later.

Zenyatta was bred in Kentucky by Maverick Productions and is by Darley sire Street Cry out of the Kris S. mare Vertigineux.  The Lady’s Secret victory was worth $150,000 and boosted her earnings to $6.40 million.  That broke the record held by Ouija Board (Cape Cross) for mares that have raced in North America.