Zenyatta on comeback trail

Unbeaten mare Zenyatta travelled 1000m in 61.40s over Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track on Sunday in preparation for her comeback to racing.  Owners Jerry and Ann Moss announced on Saturday the Street Cry mare would not go to stud this year as was previously planned.

Zenyatta was originally retired following her record-breaking triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in November.  It extended her record to 14-for-14.

“It was very emotional when I retired her, because I thought she absolutely did as much as any horse could do in their career,” Moss explained.  “But I love racing and also I believe racing needs stars, and we’ve got one.  I love to see her run.  She’s healthy and well and I think she’s going to carry on very well.”

Zenyatta has earned US$5.74 million making her the richest ever North American-based mare.  She remains in a pitched battle with the brilliant filly Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d’Oro) for Horse of the Year, which will be announced tonight at the Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills, California.

Moss and trainer John Shirreffs said her comeback race has yet to be decided.  But it does open up the possibility of a match race with Rachel Alexandra.  Prior to Saturday’s announcement, Zenyatta had posted three half-mile workouts at Hollywood Park reeling off 50.40s on December 7, 49.40s on December 21 and 48s on January 6.

Regular rider Mike Smith is thrilled with the prospect of teaming up with Zenyatta again.  “Her comeback is definitely great for racing.  She’s a star, and people love to watch her run.  She’s doing great and she’s happy and healthy.  Hopefully, she’ll stay that way and keep on winning.”