Zenyatta Heads 10 Horses Seeking to Double BC Wins
by Greg Melikov - 10/30/2009
The star of the 26th Breeders' Cup will be undefeated Zenyatta, hoping to surpass Personal Ensign's streak of 13 consecutive victories from 1986 through '88.
But the daughter of Street Cry aims to do it against males in the $5 million Classic. Personal Ensign became the first undefeated champion in American racing in more than 80 years when she nosed out Kentucky Derby champ Winning Colors in the '88 BC Distaff, now called the Ladies' Classic.
A surprising number horses pre-entered in this year's Breeders' Cup 14 races are looking to defend their titles or register their second victory in the 26th renewal of the World Championships.
Six of the 166 horses are defending their 2008 BC titles, three are gunning for repeat victories in a different race, including Zenyatta, and one hopes to triumph again after a three-year interval during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park meeting.
Thirty-seven thoroughbreds were pre-entered in two races during the two-day event, but a final choice must be made Tuesday when post positions are drawn.
Zenyatta, one of nine BC winners from last year, is pre-entered in the $2 million Ladies' Classic on Friday, Nov. 6, and the Classic on Saturday, Nov. 7. But her camp's first choice is the Classic, which means the boys better look out.
The Ladies' Classic has nine pre-entered horses, with only seven listed as first preference, including last year's runner-up Cocoa Beach and third-place finisher Music Note.
There are 16 pre-entries in the Classic with 13 first choices, The field of 14 will include Kentucky Derby champ Mine That Bird, Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird, turf standout Gio Ponti, Quality Road and Rip Van Winkle.
There have been only eight double winners in 194 BC races, including three in the mile: Miesque, '87-88; Lure, '92-93; and Da Hoss, '96-98. Goldikova aims to make it a quartet. The daughter of Anabaa triumphed by 1 ¼ lengths as a three-year-old over 10 others last year. This year's field has 14.
Defending Turf champ Conduit hopes to join two-time winner High Chaparral, '02-03, although he dead-heated for first in his second score. Red Rocks, the '06 winner, is also in the field of nine that has the fewest nine pre-entries along with the Turf.
Forever Together defends her Filly & Mare Turf title with a chance to join Ouija Board, the '04 and '06 winner. Maram, who took the '08 Juvenile Fillies Turf, also is in the field of 10.
Several others thoroughbreds that could visit the winner's circle again are:
Desert Code, last year's Turf Sprint winner.
Ventura, '08 Filly & Mare Sprint victor.
Muhannak, last year's Marathon champ.
Midshipman, the Juvenile winner that's entered in the Dirt Mile.
Other past double winners are Bayakoa, '89-90 Ladies Classic when it was known as the Distaff, and Tiznow, '00-01 Classic.
Six races are oversubscribed, with the $1 million Turf Sprint attracting the most pre-entries, 22. The Dirt Mile was next with 21, but is one of the three contests limited to a dozen runners.
A maximum of 14 starters are allowed in 11 of the 14 races except for three contests, including the Juvenile Fillies Turf, over subscribed by five, and with eight more than can get in.
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