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Oct 16, 2009

Zenyatta narrows lead of Rachel Alexandra


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Rachel Alexandra's lead in the weekly NTRA Thoroughbred Poll over champion mare Zenyatta has been cut to five points. Coming off a repeat victory in Santa Anita Park's Lady's Secret Stakes, Zenyatta trails the three-year-old filly 184 points to 189.

'Rachel', who has been shut down for the rest of the year, received 18 of a possible 20 first-place votes. Zenyatta got one first-place vote and three- year-old colt Summer Bird remains in third with one first-place vote and 168 points.

In last week's voting, Zenyatta had 153 points to the filly's 189. Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta equaled Personal Ensign's record of 13 straight wins to begin a career.

Arlington Million champ Gio Ponti remains in fourth with veteran thoroughbred Einstein holding on to the fifth spot. Alabama winner Careless Jewel moved from 10th to sixth followed by Zensational, Ventura, Forever Together and Quality Road.

Rachel Alexandra's co-owner Jess Jackson announced on Friday that the filly has finished racing for the year and will be prepared for a 2010 campaign.

"We have seen an amazing 2009 campaign from Rachel Alexandra our three-year- old filly," Jackson said in a press release. "She not only beat the fillies by 20-lengths in the Kentucky Oaks and 19-lengths in the Mother Goose Stakes, she beat the boys in the Preakness and the Haskell, and older males in the Woodward. She beat the winners of the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont. 'Rachel' raced on eight different tracks.

"She prevailed in all eight of her races in '09 -- five of them Grade One contests. Hers was a campaign for the ages beyond what any filly has ever accomplished and she is only three-years-old. Our family and racing fans will always remember and enjoy her historic 2009 campaign.

"We are all looking forward to an exciting 2010 season. In the interim, I want to sincerely thank the fans, the track officials and the media for all their heartfelt support of this wonderful filly."

Zenyatta won last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. Her owners and trainer John Shirreffs are considering entering her in the Breeders' Cup Classic versus males.

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