Six-year-old mare Zenyatta has conquered horse racing fans with her fine racing style and her entertaining ways. Now, besides adding one win after the other, she has added a pre-race performance, which is a real treat for fans: prancing in the saddling paddock and shaking a front leg in the post parade. According to jockey Mike Smith, she loves entertaining.
Now, Zenyatta will try to add a new victory to her career and reach her 18th win in the Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar, near San Diego. She won this race twice before and if she wins for a third time she’ll be one win shy of the record set by thoroughbred Peppers Pride, who won 19 consecutive races, although all of them were in New Mexico.
“Whenever you see her whole record on paper, it's just amazing," jockey Smith commented. "The way she runs makes it even more impressive. She's had to pass almost every single horse in every race.” The mare has won a total of 11 Grade I events and four Grade II races and in November last year she became the first female to win the Breeder’s Cup Classic.
Although some have criticized trainer John Shirreffs and owners Jerome and Ann Moss for entering Zenyatta in races that are not very ambitious, none can deny she is the best that has happened to horse racing in many years. “It used to bother me, but she is who she is,” Smith said. “What she has done is incredible”.