A match race between Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra will not happen. No chance, according to owner Jerry Moss. But the Zenyatta camp is not adverse to heading east and taking on Rachel Alexandra sometime before the Breeders’ Cup, according to trainer John Shirreffs.
Zenyatta didn’t win by 19 1/4 lengths like Rachel Alexandra in the Mother Goose today, but the 5-year-old daughter of Street Cry beat far stronger opposition in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park by 2 1/2 lengths eased up in the final eighth. Mike Smith never had to get into her. Rachel went a stakes record 1:46.33 for the 1 1/8 miles at Belmont Park and Zenyatta traveled the same distance in 1:48.15 over the Cushion Track.
Afterward, Moss told the media they want to follow a different path with Zenyatta this year, meaning it just won’t be the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar, the Lady’s Secret at Oak Tree and the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic to wind up Zenyatta’s career. Moss mentioned the Pacific Classic against the boys as a possibility. Both Moss and trainer John Shirreffs seemed more eager to consider other options besides the safe ones now that she’s got two races under her belt in 2009.
Shirreffs said there is a chance they might send Zenyatta back east for a battle with Rachel at some point, but he said there is no chance it will be the $1 million Delaware Handicap at 1 1/4 miles for fillies and mares. One thing is certain — Moss values Shirreffs’ judgement greatly and won’t do anything against his trainer’s wishes. And of course, Zenyatta’s well being is first and foremost on their minds. Likewise Rachel Alexandra and her camp.
Whatever, things got a lot more interesting today. Zenyatta is now 11-0 in her career and 2-0 in 2009, and Rachel is 6-0 this year, including victories by 20 1/4 and 19 1/4 lengths and a win against the boys in the Preakness. Overall, Rachel has won 9 of 12 starts with two seconds and a sixth-place finish in her career bow on May 22, 2008 at Churchill Downs. She’s won seven consecutive races.
Let’s get these two together, guys.