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Jun 18, 2010

Zenyatta makes history with Vanity win



Inglewood, CA (Sports Network) - Two-time champion mare Zenyatta remained undefeated with a third straight win in Sunday's $250,000 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park. The undefeated mare ran her career record to 17 straight wins.

Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta breaks the tie she had with legendary horses Citation and Cigar. Her 17 lifetime victories gives her $6,074,580 in career earnings, including the $150,000 from Sunday's win.

Zenyatta, trained by John Shirreffs, faced five challengers in the 1 1/8-mile race. She settled into her usual last place position.

Setting the pace was Miss Silver Brook along with Cherryblossommiss. Running in third was Zardana followed by Will O'Way and 2-1 second choice St Trinians.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Zenyatta was about a dozen lengths off the lead as the field went up the backstretch. The 1-2 favorite, carrying 129 pounds, began to advance as the field entered the far turn.

Gaining ground on the outside around the turn was St Trinians and jockey Martin Garcia. On the final turn Zardana, also trained by Shirreffs, had a short lead as St Trinians moved into second and Zenyatta was quickly third in the six horse field.

Entering the stretch, St Trinians had the lead with the favorite second. In mid-stretch it appeared that the win streak was coming to an end. St Trinians still had the lead inside the furlong pole as Zenyatta continued her rally.

It was not until just before the wire that Zenyatta caught St Trinians and was able to get in front to win the by a half-length. Zardana finished third followed by Will O'Way, Miss Silver Brook and Cherryblossommiss.

The champion stopped the timer at 1:49.01 on Hollywood Park's synthetic. Last year she won the race in 1:48.15 and in 2008 covered the distance in 1:49.51.

"That mare ran her eyeballs out," Smith exclaimed. "She hit her real good stride about 100 yards out and I knew she had it."

"It's always a horse race, you never know what's going to happen," said the winning trainer.

Shirreffs notched his fifth win in the Vanity. Along with the three wins by Zenyatta, he also won with Hollywood Story (2006) and Manistique (1999).

Zenyatta began her 2010 campaign by winning the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita Park and followed with a 4 1/4-length win as the 1-20 favorite in Oaklawn Park's Apple Blossom Handicap.

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.

Zenyatta returned $3.00 and $2.10, and St Trinians paid $2.20. There was no show wagering.

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