Pretty impressive comeback, huh? I mean, Mike Smith was as cool as a cucumber and didn’t even have to get into Zenyatta in the stretch while she easily defeated Life Is Sweet, a very nice filly in her own right who was coming off three consecutive graded stakes victories, including the Grade I Santa Margarita at Santa Anita.
So what’s next for the unbeaten queen of racing? The $300,000 Grade I Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 27? The $700,000 Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup against the males on July 11?
Whatever Team Zenyatta decides on, it’s becoming quite apparent that she’s going to need to take on the boys and beat them at some point this year in order to be considered for Horse of the Year. If Rachel Alexandra hadn’t taken on the boys and beaten them in the Preakness, Einstein would be the early favorite for Horse of the Year. But since Rachel tackled the males, stepped out of her comfort zone and beat them, she’s the frontrunner for Horse of the Year today.
I think with the way the handicap division appears to be down in Southern California right now, the Hollywood Gold Cup would appear to be a perfect spot for Zenyatta to try the boys. She loves the Cushion Track, where she’s 5-0, and Einstein is going to run in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 13. I think that probably eliminates him from the Gold Cup, and Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed is being pointed for a return at Del Mar and Tiago seems a ways out from returning.
What do you think? Time for Zenyatta to give it a whirl against the males?