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Nov 25, 2009

Zenyatta to be honored with race


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Zenyatta, winner of this year's Breeders' Cup Classic, will be honored by the Oak Tree Racing Association with the renaming of the Lady's Secret Stakes to The Zenyatta. The change in name will take effect beginning in 2010.

Undefeated in 14 career races, Zenyatta won the Lady's Secret in both 2008 and 2009. The $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park was the final start for the five-year-old mare who earned $3.3 million in 2009.

"When the history books are written, we feel that what Zenyatta accomplished here on November 7 will go down as one of the all-time great achievements in American racing," said Oak Tree Director and Executive Vice President Sherwood Chillingworth.

"It is particularly appropriate, in that she won the Lady's Secret two years in-a-row," Chillingworth continued, "and like Lady's Secret, we feel strongly that Zenyatta should be Horse of the Year. Her brilliance is undeniable and we are proud to rename this prestigious race in her honor."

The 1 1/16-mile Lady's Secret was inaugurated in 1993 for fillies and mares. It was named in honor of the filly who won the Breeders' Cup Distaff in 1986 as a 1-2 favorite. Lady's Secret was owned by the late Eugene Klein and his wife Joyce, and she was trained by D. Wayne Lukas. When she retired Lady's Secret had earned more than $3 million with 25 wins in 45 starts.

"Lady's Secret was a great mare herself," noted Chillingworth. "She won the (Breeders' Cup) Distaff here in 1986 and went on to be named Horse of the Year, but what Zenyatta did here against the best horses in the world is something none of us who witnessed it will ever forget."

Zenyatta is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and was trained by John Shirreffs. Following her win of the 2008 Lady's Secret, Zenyatta went on to capture the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic, and voted the 2008 Eclipse Award as Champion Older Female.

"At first, Jerry was reluctant to accept our offer of renaming the race, because he was a personal friend of Gene Klein," said Chillingworth. "But after he and Ann thought about it for a couple of days, he called back and said they thought Zenyatta would be flattered by the comparison and to know that she was held in such high esteem."

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