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Zenyatta to Show Up the Boys at Breeders' Cup Classic

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Zenyatta, the 5-2 favorite, will look to be the first filly or mare to win the Breeders' Cup Classic tomorrow at Santa Anita. Photo courtesy Benoit Photo.


Zenyatta, the 5-2 favorite, will look to be the first filly or mare to win the Breeders' Cup Classic tomorrow at Santa Anita. Photo courtesy Benoit Photo.
The world of horse racing is still a bit sexist. The girls don’t really have a place with the boys, or so they say. Hopefully five-year old Zenyatta will prove them all wrong in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic tomorrow at Santa Anita Park to become the first filly or mare to win the Classic since its inception in 1984.

Winner of the last two Lady’s Secret Stakes and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, she has won all 13 races with a total purse of over $2.7 million.

Those 13 victories have already given her a legendary status alongside Winning Colors, the last filly to win the Kentucky Derby in 1988, and Personal Ensign who also went undefeated in 13 races before retiring in 1988.

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“We think she deserved a shot,” Zenyatta owner Jerry Moss said of Zenyatta competing with the boys. “She’s coming to this race really well and has done everything right and she deserves to be here.”

Riding Zenyatta is hall of fame jockey Mike Smith who rode the 50-1 longshot Giacomo to a Kentucky Derby victory in 2005. He says the extra 1/8 mile of the 1 ¼ mile race shouldn’t be a problem for the mare.

“The extra 1/8 mile certainly should benefit her,” Smith said. “She runs 1 1/8 miles all the time, and she’s always galloping out with plenty left.”

Racing against Zenyatta is Mine That Bird, the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner ridden by Calvin Borel, and 2009 Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird ridden by Kent Desormeaux.

While the field will definitely be a challenge for the mare, at 5-2 she is the odds on favorite to win the race in the fourth position.

With her reputation of coming from the back of the pack in the final stretch to pull off a victory, it should prove to be an exciting race down to the final gait.

As Smith said, “She should be ready to go.”

All Breeders' Cup Races tomorrow can be seen on ABC at 11:30 am and ESPN at 12:30 pm. The Breeders' Cup Classic will begin at 3:45 pm.