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Apr 23, 2010

Vanity thy name is Zenyatta


Inglewood, CA (Sports Network) - Undefeated champion Zenyatta is back at her home base of Hollywood Park where she might make her next start. The six-year- old mare extended her career winning streak to a record-tying 16 races on April 9 when she took the $500,000 Apple Blossom Invitational at Oaklawn Park.

The two-time champion mare had a gallop Wednesday morning at Hollywood's training track under the watchful eye of trainer John Shirreffs. Exercise rider Steve Willard was in the saddle.

"She's the bestest in the westest," exclaimed Willard.

Her 16 straight victories equal the record held by legendary horses Citation and Cigar.

Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta put on one of her classic late-running performances in capturing the Apple Blossom for the second time. The mare won the Apple Blossom two years ago in her only previous start outside of California.

Zenyatta won the 1 1/8-mile Apple Blossom by 4 1/4-lengths over Taptam as the 1-20 favorite.

Shirreffs and the Mosses are undecided on the champion's next start, but the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park is a distinct possibility.

"We'll see what the weights are," said Shirreffs. "We're thinking about the Vanity right now."

With $5.9 million in her bankroll, Zenyatta has won the last two editions of the 1 1/8-mile Vanity. The $250,000 race is scheduled for Sunday, June 13. She would become the first horse to win the handicap race three times.

Zenyatta began her 2010 campaign by winning last month's $250,000 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita.

The last two years Zenyatta has been voted champion older female and for 2009 finished second for Horse of the Year to Rachel Alexandra. She won the 2008 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic and last year became the first female to capture the Breeders' Cup Classic.

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