Zenyatta breezes before trip

Updated: April 3, 2010, 2:27 AM ET
By Steve Andersen | Daily Racing Form



INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Zenyatta is ready for her first road trip outside of California in two years for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park next Friday, but her final workout at Hollywood Park on Friday was not without drama.

Zenyatta breezed six furlongs in 1:13.40 under regular rider Mike Smith, but the workout was delayed approximately 40 minutes after a horse from another stable suffered a severe injury after a workout, leading to the brief closure of the racetrack.

Zenyatta was nearing the racetrack, along with stablemate and workmate El Vino, when trainer John Shirreffs noticed the commotion. Instead of having Zenyatta wait near the racetrack, Shirreffs had her taken back to his stable, where the tack was taken off and she was placed back in her stall.

About 30 minutes later, the tack was back on and Zenyatta was sent to the track. The workout itself went off with incident.

Zenyatta and El Vino, a maiden, have been regular workmates in recent weeks. The workout started at the 5 1/2-furlong pole and went a sixteenth of a mile past the finish.

Typical of their works together, El Vino began about four lengths in front and held that advantage around the turn, with Zenyatta racing two wide and a few lengths behind. Entering the stretch, Smith got a quick response from Zenyatta and she moved to the front, finishing about three lengths in front of El Vino. Shirreffs timed Zenyatta through a final quarter-mile in 23.80 seconds. She had the second fastest of 11 recorded works at the distance.

"It was a routine work," Shirreffs said. "All we want to do is maintain. You don't want to get her all excited going to the plane."

Zenyatta will train at Hollywood Park through Monday and be shipped to Arkansas on Tuesday, Shirreffs said.

The trip to Oaklawn Park will be Zenyatta's first start outside of California since she won the 2008 Apple Blossom, the first Grade 1 win of her career. Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta has earned $5,624,580, and has made 14 of her 15 starts in California.

The champion older female of 2008 and 2009, Zenyatta has made one start this year, winning the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita.

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