Hollywood Park is holding a retirement party for the sensational Zenyatta on Sunday, giving out DVDs that include all 14 of her victories and posters to fans in attendance. The question of the day is this — how many will show up at a track that has trouble drawing 10,000 for its signature race, the Hollywood Gold Cup, each summer?
One Hollywood Park official says they’re hoping for 12,000, but will be happy with 10,000. Actually, I think they’ll be doing well if they draw 8,000, which would be about double what they draw on a normal Sunday.
Whatever they draw, it will definitely be because of Zenyatta, who became the first female to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, defeating 11 males in what was definitely the most memorable moment in Breeders’ Cup history.
The big feature on the final day of the Turf Festival, the $300,000 Grade 1 Hollywood Derby, is a fine race that includes some nice 3-year-olds, but let’s face it — if the popular Lava Man couldn’t attract 10,000 to any of his Gold Cups, it’s going to take more than Take the Points and Sal the Barber.
If Zenyatta can draw 10,000-12,000 Sunday, heck, that might be more impressive than the 58,000-plus who showed up to watch her steal the show in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.