No chance for match race between Zenyatta, Rachel

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.

14 thoughts on “No chance for match race between Zenyatta, Rachel

  1. While both gals won today, both beat nothing. ‘Alexandra won a total set-up race after suicidal fractions vs. two rivals were set-up and Zenyatta beat up her backyard pals over the plastic surface.

    Kind of reminds me of a WWF match. If these girls are going to take any step forward now, they are going to have to meet either the boys or perhaps run against each other. The connections of both these classy ladies would truly do the industry a service if a match race was pulled off.

  2. Ing, the days of the classic “match race” are history. Ruffian’s tragic breakdown in the ill-fated match race against Foolish Pleasure in 1975 at Belmont Park put an end to those. There’s a better chance that Jess Jackson will transfer his whole string of horses to Del Mar for a campaign at the seaside oval this summer than Rachel and Zenyatta hooking up in a match race. And we all know Jess won’t be vacationing in San Diego this year.

  3. im fine with them meetnig in a race . but i dont see why they have too there the 2 top female horses in north amercia maybe the best racehorses in N.A. there healthy sound and race amazing. if they do meet in a race there can only be 1 winner if rachel wins zenyatta loses and puts 1 bad strik on her record goin into retirement and if zenyatta wins rachel loses her winning strik….but if they do good for them and may the best horse win and they come out sound if theres a match race well …remember the cole black filly ruffian?

  4. Shea,
    When two top race horses like Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra hook up, I don’t think there are any losers because the fans are the big winners, and it’s the fans who make this sport go. Like any sport, no fans equals no sport. At this point, a Zenyatta-Rachel Alexandra matchup would be the biggest event to hit horse racing in years, sans the attempts by horses like Big Brown, Smarty Jones and Funny Cide to win a Triple Crown.

  5. Most discussions about these two super champions are human emotion founded which in itself could and often is disastrous. These two marvelous steeds don’t care a hoot what we humans want. They were both bred to do what thay do and they have risen above most that have the same purpose. What would it prove if they did go head to head? Answer, nothing to them and we stupid humans either half right and half wrong. Why do we need another Ali/Frazier blood bath, because we all watch the 30 car pile up at the Indy.
    Do you give a damn about these beauties and what that have accomplished for our pleasure thus far? Why not just leave it at that ’cause we love and admire them both.

  6. Monte, horse racing is a sport that needs publicity, a ton of positive publicity. A Zenyatta-Rachel Alexandra race would generate a ton of that positive publicity. Sports are for the fans, and racing fans want to see these two great distaffers meet on the race track. The NFL, NBA and MBL hold playoffs at the end of the season. Would you propose those playoffs be canceled because the teams have already supplied the fans with a lot of great pleasure during the regular season?

  7. I agree with Art in many many ways. If this match race were to happen before Zenyatta retires at the end of this year then it would be a big match race since Seabiscuit vs War Admiral.
    In my opinion Zenyatta earned her name with Ruffian and Rachel Alexandra is getting there. So what if Zenyatta didn’t beat the boys. She stays at the end then bolts forward around the last run onto the stretch. Rachel Alexandra is more of a leader or mid pack she doesn’t rest in the back, she doesn’t stalk. Though she can beat the boys, so what. Both these horses are great and if Zenyatta had a chance she could probably beat the boys aswell. I just don’t see her beefing the boys such a big thing. What about Summer Bird? Corey Nakatani and Summer Bird won the Belmont and you don’t hear anything about her beating the boys. Yes, they are the 2 top fillies racing right now. But, the boys may be stronger but fillies have much more statmania. They are considered equal in my opinion because neither one are worse than the other. Colt’s have more speed while fillies have more energy to carry them there. Hey, still, Summer Bird beat the guys aswell and she may not be racing much but she beat the boys and why is that no one talks about her? They did the same thing. Rachel Alexandra beat the boys aswell did Summer Bird.

  8. Zenyatta beat a far stronger field in the Vanity than Rachel faced in the Mother Goose? You’ve got to be joking! Rachel faced two horses that won a combined 9 of 18 starts, while Zenyatta faced five horses that won a combined 9 of 48 starts. The Vanity field failed to win a G1 or graded stakes all year, compared to the Mother Goose competition where Flashing won two G1s and both horses have graded stakes wins. The Mother Goose field has more graded stakes placings and more non-graded stakes wins than the Vanity field, not to mention the field in the Mother Goose combined to win more money than the field in the Vanity. The comparison is not even close.

    So much for non-biased reporting Art.

  9. The Mother Goose is a race restricted to 3-year-old fillies, whereas the Vanity is an open stakes race that attracts older fillies and mares. Much different ballgame. You can debate all you want about the plusses and minuses of horses, who they beat, etc., but I think, save Rachel, there wasn’t much out there in the 3-year-old filly division. Plus, that blog post was written in June immediately after the two races. At the time, there was no doubt in my mind the Vanity was a tougher race. It’s always easy to play Monday morning quarterback six months later.

  10. 2010 at age 6 Zenyatta beat 99% of the boys in the Classic, and in 1 more stride would have beaten 100%…what is Rachel doing in 2010 at age 4, well she is washed up and retired!

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