If you can’t be at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5-6, you might want to glue yourself to the TV screen.
For one thing, this year’s Breeder’s Cup Classic will feature Zenyatta…that’s the 19-0 Zenyatta taking on the boys again.
You know who the world will be rooting for, right?
Now, some news about the Cup itself.
A record total of 184 horses, including 26 from overseas, were pre–entered for the $26 million, 14–race Breeders’ Cup world championships. That tops last year’s total of 166 and betters the old mark of 180 two years ago.
Todd Pletcher leads all trainers with 11 pre–entered horses.”We’re coming in holding a strong hand,” he told the Associated Press.
Zenyatta was pre–entered in the Classic, along with 13 others, including Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky and runner–up First Dude, Whitney winner Blame and Woodward and Metropolitan Mile winner Quality Road, a Pletcher–trained horse who was scratched at the gate before last year’s Classic.
“It’s the first Classic ever that everybody is going to be rooting for one horse,” said Bob Baffert, who trains Lookin At Lucky but counts himself a Zenyatta fan.
“That mare has done so much for racing. We all want to win, but we don’t mind getting beat by her.”
Final entries and the post–position draw will be Tuesday.
Zenyatta has won all five of her starts this year and will be looking to end her spectacular career with a victory in the Classic.
It will be her second start on dirt this year. She won the Apple Blossom for the second straight year at Arkansas’ Oaklawn Park in April.
“She just looks terrific. The races really haven’t taken anything out of her,” trainer John Shirreffs said. “She’s handling everything very well.”
The 6–year–old mare has run most of her career on Southern California’s synthetic surfaces.
She beat the boys in last year’s Classic at Santa Anita, coming from last after a poor start to win by a length and become the first female to win the race in its 26–year history.