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Zenyatta and the Breeders' Cup
she's beautiful! 75

After crossing the finish line, Zenyatta knows only one place to go - straight to the winner's circle. She's visited it 19 times in her career. Al Stall Jr. isn't sure she'll get there a 20th time after the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"She is beatable," the trainer of Blame said.

Zenyatta puts her perfect record on the line against the boys as the defending champion in the $5 million race Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Along with the superstar mare and Blame, the 1 1/4-mile race includes other top Horse of the Year contenders Haynesfield, Lookin At Lucky and Quality Road in the field of 12. Only Zenyatta and Haynesfield have won at the distance.

"There's tremendous talent with a lot of experience," Stall said about the field. "With her in there, it takes it to the moon."

Zenyatta is clearly the sentimental favorite as well as the 8-5 favorite on the morning line, with Blame as the 9-2 second choice.

Blame came on strong in August, chasing down Quality Road to win the Whitney at Saratoga. Since then, Blame was second to Haynesfield in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Blame will be retired after the race Saturday.

Stall believes the Classic is the strongest field Zenyatta has faced in her career. He points out that Blame is 3 for 4 on the dirt at Churchill, where Zenyatta has never raced.

The Classic goes off under the lights and Blame has won at night on the track.

"We've ticked every box as far as being comfortable in our surroundings," Stall said. "I think we can get first run on her and hopefully hold her off."

One question facing Zenyatta is how she will handle the so-called kickback created by the dirt and sand flying from the hooves of the horses in front of her. She typically drops well behind the field before gearing up for a big closing run under jockey Mike Smith.

"From where she runs, there's not a lot of kickback. By the time she gets into the race, it won't be an issue," her trainer John Shirreffs said. "Actually Zenyatta enjoys the dirt surface. The surface will have no affect on how she runs the race."

Her two victories on dirt came at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, while her other 17 were on synthetic surfaces in California, where kickback isn't as big a factor.

Smith has no plans to change Zenyatta's late running style, though falling too far behind early could add pressure against such a strong field.

"I certainly don't want her up close," he said. "It's worked 19 times one way. We don't want to change it. You just need to follow who's running well."

Shirreffs doesn't believe Zenyatta needs to win Saturday to secure her place in racing's pantheon of greats.

"She's already made history," he said. "She's already beaten the boys, she's already become the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic and that's history in itself."

Bob Baffert sees it differently. The trainer of Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky believes Zenyatta has to repeat in the Classic to win Horse of the Year honors. She lost out to Rachel Alexandra last year.

"She has to win only because he (Shirreffs) sort of stayed in California with her and didn't venture around," Baffert said.

Like Baffert and Todd Pletcher, who oversees Quality Road, Stall is a fan of Zenyatta.

"I'd be happy for racing and I'd be happy for her (if she wins)," he said.

Zenyatta galloped 1 12 miles Thursday, her second day on the track since arriving Tuesday.

"You might think she'd be a little flat, but she was full of energy" Shirreffs said. "As the trainer, that's what you look for - the enthusiasm and good energy."

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Hahaha. I know someone named Zenyatta. I'm going to give her holy hell next time I see her.
(03-15-2013, 07:12 PM)aussiefriend Wrote: You see Duchess, I have set up a thread to discuss something and this troll is behaving just like Riotgear did.

This will be her toughest race to date & probably her final start. If she wins, chances are, she'll be Horse Of The Year.

The Breeders Cup is the richest two day sport, paying 26 million dollars in purses over the course of those two days. Big bucks! :B
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The Breeders' Cup began with fists flying in the winner's circle.

The mayhem was just starting.

Jockeys brawled and long shots dominated on a wild opening day, capped by Unrivaled Belle's victory in the $2 million Ladies' Classic under the lights Friday at Churchill Downs.

Unrivaled Belle ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:50.04, winning by 1¾ lengths over 3-2 favorite Blind Luck in front of 41,614.

Jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano traded punches after the first Breeders' Cup race, with an enraged Borel needing to be restrained. He was furious about a move in tight quarters by Castellano. Strangle

Shared Account scored the second-biggest upset in the event's 27-year history, winning the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf at 46-1 odds on a gray and chilly day.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay earned his first Breeders' Cup victory as owner of More Than Real in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf.

American horses won all of the six races. No jockey or trainer won more than one race on a day where horses and riders got around safely.

Off the track, though, was a stunningly different story.

The genteel atmosphere of the Breeders' Cup -- well-dressed fans, wealthy owners and gorgeous horses worth millions -- was jolted when Borel and the lesser known Castellano tangled in the winner's circle after the opening race.

Borel charged Castellano shortly after the $500,000 Marathon, angry over a mid-race move in traffic that endangered Borel and fellow rider Martin Garcia.

Borel, the usually smiling three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby, turned livid during the fight that went on for several minutes in front of startled onlookers. His eyes bulged and the veins in his forehead stood out as he resisted being held back. Catfight

Eventually, his wife and brother each took one of his arms and marched Borel back to the jockeys' room, where further scuffling broke out between the two riders. He later apologized and rode in two other races, but didn't win.

The races went off without Zenyatta, who was back in her barn waiting to defend her title Saturday in the $5 million Classic against the boys. She will put her 19-0 winning streak on the line in the 1¼-mile race, the richest in North America.

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113 Lil' scrappers.
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earlier Rough Sailing fell in juvenile turf, and is being euthanized. Signs_173

Nov 6 ABC 3:15 PM Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint II Turf Sprint $1,000,000 5 Furlongs (T)
Nov 6 ESPN 3:55 PM Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile I Juvenile $2,000,000 1 116 Miles
Nov 6 ESPN 4:40 PM TVG Breeders' Cup Mile I Mile $2,000,000 1 Mile (T)
Nov 6 ESPN 5:20 PM Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile I Dirt Mile $1,000,000 1 Mile
Nov 6 ESPN 6:00 PM Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf I Turf $3,000,000 1 12 Miles (T)
Nov 6 ESPN 6:45 PM Breeders' Cup Classic I Classic $5,000,000 1 14 Miles

the beautiful Zenyatta is walking before the crowd right now, she dances. the crowd is cheering, they adore her~~the entrance of a star!
now she's being saddled up.

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OMG what a heart-pounder!! she ran dead last until the last seconds when she forged up to come in second by a nose to Blame. she's all heart!


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(11-06-2010, 06:54 PM)Lady Cop Wrote: OMG what a heart-pounder!!

Just imagine had you been associated with her. The anxiety of watching your own horse race is nerve-wracking.

I thought her jockey was going to pull her up before they even reached the first turn, it looked like there was a problem. She ran great, too bad it wasn't good enough. I look at second as being the first to lose. Smiley_emoticons_slash

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(11-06-2010, 02:34 PM)Lady Cop Wrote: earlier Rough Sailing fell in juvenile turf, and is being euthanized.

That's always sad to see, always. He was only two yrs. old.

Were you aware that all racehorses share the same birthday? It's January 1 regardless of the date the horse was actually born.

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i did read that somewhere once, but had forgotten. Smiley_emoticons_slash


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — So close, yet so far.

In the most heart-stopping and heartbreaking finish in Breeders’ Cup history, the mighty Zenyatta came flying through the stretch in yesterday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, but fell short by a head to Blame in her quest for a “Perfect 20” in front of a crowd of 72,739.

It’s a timeworn racing axiom: “They all get beat.” And the “Queen Z” finally joined that club after winning her first 19 starts with relentless late runs. Off slowly in the mile-and-a-quarter Classic, the 6-year-old super mare dropped far back in the pack again, advanced into contention down the backside, weaved through horses on the turn for home, then punched it in down the stretch.

But the 4-year-old colt Blame, a horse for the course (now 4-for-5) at Churchill, had rallied to a clear lead inside the final furlong and hung on desperately to win under Garrett Gomez.

“It’s my fault, she should have won,” said a teary-eyed Mike Smith, Zenyatta’s longtime jockey. “She’s my everything. I truly believe I was on the best horse today. If there’s anyone to blame, it’s me.

“My hat’s off to Blame. I needed him to fold, but he didn’t. He hung in tough. I just wished I would have been in the race a little earlier. The result would have been different.”

Blame is bred and owned by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm, the legendary stud farm in the heart of Kentucky bluegrass country that is celebrating its 100-year anniversary.

The son of Arch came into the Classic off a four-length loss to Haynesfield (11th of 12 in the Classic) as the 4-5 favorite in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but before that rattled off five straight stakes wins dating to Oct. 2009. He’ll now be retired to stand at Claiborne with a record of nine wins, two seconds and two thirds from 13 starts, with $4,368,214 in earnings.

Said trainer Al Stall Jr., “It’s one of those rare things where everything comes together once, but that’s what it takes to win a race of this magnitude.”

And how did it feel to beat Zenyatta, one of the most popular racehorses of our time?

“It’s mixed emotions because she’s been a wonderful ambassador of the game,” Gomez said. “People that didn’t know anything about horse racing became fans because of her.

“She’s an amazing racehorse, to plainly put it. She’s awesome. I wish she would have went 20 for 20 at the expense of someone else and not us. I’m very proud to say we beat her.”

“I take no pride in beating Zenyatta,” said Seth Hancock of Claiborne Farm. “She’s been great for racing. I’m sorry we had to beat her because she is something special.”

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Every year there is an outstanding horse, last year we talked about Rachel Alexandra {in the race for the crown}, this year Zenyatta & next year there will be a newcomer. I feel for her rider, it sucks to lose. I'm a sore loser & an even worse winner.
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