by: Jack Shinar http://www.bloodhorse.com/
After conferring with owners Jerry and Ann Moss, a decision has been made to run the champion mare Zenyatta in 2010 rather than breed her, trainer John Shirreffs said Jan. 16.
The undefeated Zenyatta, a finalist for 2009 Horse of the Year, had been working weekly at her Hollywood Park base since becoming the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic in electrifying style Nov. 7. She has posted three half-mile workouts at Hollywood recently.
"She's just been training so well since the Breeders' Cup. You know Mr. Moss is such a great sportsman and he really wanted to see her run again," an overjoyed Shirreffs said while confirming Zenyatta's un-retirement, first reported by Daily Racing Form.
Of a possible meeting with the other 2009 Horse of the Year finalist, Rachel Alexandra, Shirreffs responded, "Obviously, that's something everyone would like to see."
He said a plan for the 6-year-old Zenyatta, who has won all 14 of her lifetime starts and was the Eclipse Award-winning champion older mare of 2009, "has not been discussed." He said the schedule would likely be quite different than the one the strapping mare experienced during the prior two years, when she mostly stayed in California.
"Like last year, we would want to take it one race a time," Shirreffs said. "But she's a lot farther along right now than she was at this time last year. A lot of options are open to us."
The Mosses said Zenyatta was only keeping busy at Hollywood while they waited for the weather in Kentucky to improve before transferring her to be bred. But the temptation to bring her back to the track was apparently too much.
Jerry Moss told HRTV, "That's just it. Annie and I just watched her jog on the track this morning. She's so radiant. She seems to still be growing, if that's possible.
"She's a real star. We love to watch her run. So we said, What are we doing? Listen, let's run her."
Moss said Shirreffs was fully supportive of the decision.
The Dubai World Cup, worth $10 million, will be run on a synthetic track for the first time March 27. But Moss said he was unsure if that would be Zenyatta's next major goal.
"We're open to all sorts of races," he said. "She needs to get into a little bit better shape and John will let us know when she's ready to run."