Decisions to be made after a night of celebration
ARCADIA, Calif. -- Zenyatta, whose winning performance in the $2 million Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita on Friday stole the show on the first of two days of the 25th Breeders' Cup championships, was back home at Hollywood Park and feeling her usual chipper self on Saturday.
"All is well," said John Shirreffs, who trains Zenyatta for owners Jerry and Ann Moss. "I could run her again today if I wanted to."
If and when Zenyatta will run next is the big question after the undefeated filly sewed up a division title with her ninth consecutive victory in the Ladies Classic.
Shirreffs said no decision regarding Zenyatta's future have been made yet.
"We went out and celebrated her victory last night after the race but never really discussed what's next," said Shirreffs on Saturday. "I'll probably give her a week off, see how she is, and keep her in light training for a while. Right now, any decisions as to whether she'll run again this year or next will be up to the Mosses."
Jerry Moss left the door open regarding the possibility of Zenyatta's competing again in 2009 when speaking at Friday's post-race press conference.
"Obviously she deserves a rest, but she's too good not to run again," he said.
Shirreffs downplayed any possibility that Zenyatta, who is 9 for 9, might compete against males if kept in training in 2009.
"Obviously that decision would be up to the Mosses as well, but it really goes against my nature to run fillies against males," said Shirreffs. "I've never done it during my career. The boys play a lot rougher than the fillies do and I wouldn't want to put her through that. To me, the risk would not be worth the potential reward."
Shirreffs praised jockey Mike Smith for his ride aboard Zenyatta in the Ladies Classic. Smith allowed Zenyatta to drop back to last and relax well behind the leaders before easing her outside and unleashing her potent surge entering the far turn.
"Mike was exceptionally patient today," said Shirreffs. "But that's no surprise. He's just a great rider who has so much experience to draw upon."
Plans for Stardom Bound undecided
Zenyatta was the second of two Breeders' Cup winners on Friday's card for Smith, who earlier in the day guided Stardom Bound to a come-from-behind triumph in the Juvenile Fillies. Plans for Stardom Bound were also put on hold.
Trainer Christopher Paasch said he and owner Charlie Cono will have a meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the future of Stardom Bound.
She is expected to be sold at next Sunday's Fasig-Tipton selected sale, but Paasch said he and Cono would meet Tuesday to see if that is still the plan or if they would possibly want to campaign her next year as a 3-year-old.
Paasch declined to say what he would suggest to Cono at that meeting.
"I'd rather keep that personal between me and Charlie," Paasch said.
Paasch and Cono have both said they were planning to divest their racing interests after the Breeders' Cup, a process that was to start with several horses being sold at auction.
Paasch said Stardom Bound is not expected to ship to Kentucky until Thursday or Friday, and also said that a horse could be pulled out of that sale at any time.
Meanwhile, Paasch said Stardom Bound, who was shipped back to Hollywood Park by 5 p.m. Saturday, came out of her victory in good order.
"You would have thought she would have her head down, but she had her head up and was at the webbing watching everybody go by," he said.
Business is good Friday
Breeders' Cup officials were all smiles following Friday's program, which drew a crowd reported to be 31,257. Total ontrack handle was $6,852,096 on a 10-race program that included five Breeders' Cup races. Total all-sources handle for the day was $47,863,774. Those numbers were well up compared to the attendance of 27,803, ontrack handle of $5,074,469 and overall handle of $31,499,007 recorded for the first of the two Breeders' Cup programs held at Monmouth Park in 2007.
The Friday card last year consisted of only three Breeders' Cup races and was conducted, for the most part, during heavy showers.
"The horse racing fans of Southern California and sports fans around the world responded enthusiastically to the new format for Championship Friday," said Breeders' Cup president and CEO Greg Avioli.
- additional reporting by David Grening
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BREEDERS' CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
World Championships Schedule
|Filly & Mare Sprint||Ventura|
|Juvenile Fillies Turf||Maram|
|Juvenile Fillies (Gr.I)||Stardom Bound|
|Filly & Mare Turf (Gr.I)||Forever Together|
|Ladies' Classic (Gr.I)||Zenyatta|
|Turf Sprint||Desert Code|
|Dirt Mile||Albertus Maximus|
|Sprint (Gr.I)||Midnight Lute|
|Classic (Gr.I)||Raven's Pass|
|*Race order subject to change|