INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Zenyatta was breathing easily when she walked off the Hollywood Park main track after breezing five furlongs in 1:02.60 on Thursday.
Jockey Mike Smith, sitting atop the undefeated winner of 19 races, beamed as he assessed the 6-year-old mare's first workout since a win in the Grade Lady's Secret Stakes on Oct. 2.
"I wanted to see her energy level and her action," Smith said. "She was full of it. She did all the work in the last eighth. It was very handy."
Thursday's workout was the first of three scheduled works for Zenyatta before she is sent to Churchill Downs for the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 6. Zenyatta won the 2009 BC Classic at Santa Anita. This year's BC Classic will be Zenyatta's first start in Kentucky.
Thursday, Zenyatta had a familiar partner for a workmate in El Vino, who is also owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs. Typical of recent works for the pair, El Vino started out two lengths in front, Zenyatta cruised alongside in the final furlong and finished ahead. El Vino was timed in 1:03.20.
According to Hollywood Park clocker Russ Hudak, Zenyatta breezed the first three furlongs in 38.40 seconds and ran the last quarter-mile in 24.20 seconds, galloping out six furlongs in 1:16.40.
"She went really good," Smith said. "It's amazing. No matter how slow they work or run in front of her, she always runs them down."
Shirreffs said the only difference in the buildup to this year's BC Classic compared with 2009 is the number of works for Zenyatta between starts. He was not concerned that Zenyatta did not have a quicker time on Thursday.
"Last year, we only had two works and this year, we'll have three," Shirreffs said. "I don't really care about time."