Zenyatta pulls a Brett Favre!

Jan 19, 2010 5:07 PM

Golden Edge by Ed Golden | 

Top mare not retired, will race in 2010

Despite earlier announcements, Zenyatta will race in 2010.

The first female to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic and a finalist for 2009 Horse of the Year, Zenyatta’s retirement had been announced following her dramatic last-to-first victory against a stellar field in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 7.

But on Saturday at Santa Anita, Jerry Moss, who owns the undefeated 6-year-old daughter of Street Cry with his wife, Ann, announced that the stretch-running mare, unbeaten in 14 career starts, will run this year.

"We saw her gallop today (at her Hollywood Park headquarters) and I talked to Ann, and then I talked to John (trainer John Shirreffs), and she looks too good," Moss said. "It’s what she likes to do and that’s what we decided to do, so we’re going to run her."

A day after the announcement, Zenyatta worked five furlongs for Shirreffs in 1:01 2/5 at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

Zenyatta remains in a pitched battle with the brilliant 4-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra for Horse of the Year, which will be announced Monday at the Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills.

"It had nothing to do on whether she is Horse of the Year or not," Moss said. "If she’s Horse of the Year, she’ll run as Horse of the Year and if she’s not, she’ll run as not Horse of the Year."

Prior to Sunday, Zenyatta had three recorded half-mile workouts at Hollywood since her announced retirement.

"We’re going to take our time (when asked about a possible comeback race)," Moss said. "We’ll pick a spot. It was very emotional when I retired her, because I thought she absolutely did as much as any horse could do in their career.

"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."

Sherriffs told the Daily Racing Form that no decision has been finalized on where or when Zenyatta would next run, but indicated they would like to return to Oaklawn Park for the April 3 Apple Blossom Handicap.

Zenyatta won that race in 2008, the only time she started outside of California in 14 lifetime starts.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Ed Golden