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Jul 23, 2010

Wrong year for Life At Ten to be so good

By: By Don Agriss, Horse Racing Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - When the two leading thoroughbreds in training are also the top female racehorses in the country, it becomes difficult for any other filly or mare to get recognized.

This is the situation that confronts five-year-old mare Life At Ten. Almost any other year the Todd Pletcher-trained horse would be mentioned as a serious contender for the Eclipse Award as champion older female and even Horse of the Year.

This year, as most people know, has been graced with the continued racing of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Zenyatta. Their respective connections have aided thoroughbred racing by keeping the two ladies in training.

However, the two champion females take away the spotlight from the other top thoroughbreds this year.

Life At Ten, owned by Candy DeBartolo, easily captured this past Saturday's running of the $750,000 Delaware Handicap. As the odds-on favorite, she set a slow pace on Delaware Park's main track in the 1 1/4-mile race and was able to open up down the stretch to defeat her five rivals by three-lengths.

"She was fortunate to get an easy first quarter and half," noted Pletcher, "and she really had a lot left in the stretch. We will probably look at the Personal Ensign (August 29) at Saratoga next and go from there. It is just special to win the Delaware Handicap because it is such an important race for fillies and mares. We have always looked at the Del 'Cap as a great opportunity. It has a great tradition and great purse and we have been fortunate enough to win the race four times."

Life At Ten is undefeated in four starts this year, including wins in the Ogden Phipps and Sixty Sails Handicaps. The five-year-old has had five different jockeys in her last six starts, something neither Rachel nor Zenyatta need to concern themselves about.

The question is whether Life At Ten will face either of the top two females in a race this year. Rachel, who is based at Saratoga, will start in this Saturday's $400,000 Lady's Secret at Monmouth Park at 1 1/8-miles.

The Personal Ensign would have set up perfectly for the defending Horse of the Year. However, majority owner Jess Jackson is an unconventional personality who doesn't follow the 'rule book' when it comes to selecting races for his four- year-old filly.

Zenyatta is most likely to make her next start at Del Mar on August 7 in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at 1 1/16-miles, a race she has won the last two years.

Don't expect Zenyatta to venture outside of California until the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs in November.

Life At Ten has started at four different tracks in her last four races, a trend that allows more race fans the opportunity to view this highly talented mare.

Now within $11,000 of becoming a millionaire, Life At Ten is not to be overlooked the remainder of the 2010 racing season. If you get the chance to see her run, don't pass up the opportunity.

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