Setback for Zenyatta – Rachel Alexandra showdown

Champion US fillies Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are unlikely to go head-to-head this year.  In fact, the much anticipated showdown may never happen.

Zenyatta kept her undefeated record intact after 11 starts in the G1 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park last Saturday while Rachel Alexandra took the G1 Mother Goose Stakes by 19 lengths on the same day at Belmont Park.

Zenyatta (Street Cry) is being set for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita in November.  She is trained by John Shirreffs at nearby Hollywood Park.

Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d’Oro) is based on the East Coast and managing part-owner Jess Jackson has indicated she will not be nominated for the Breeders’ Cup because it will be run on a synthetic surface at Santa Anita.

“We’d love to meet Rachel Alexandra, and I’m sorry she apparently isn’t coming to the Breeders’ Cup,” Zenyatta’s owner Jerry Moss said.  “I’d like to give Zenyatta every chance to remove any doubts about her place in history, and Rachel Alexandra would be a challenge.  We’d like to meet her, but the Breeders’ Cup is foremost in our sights.”

Moss dispelled any thoughts of sending Zenyatta east to Saratoga for the G1 Go For Wand Stakes or G1 Personal Ensign Stakes in August.   He also said it was unlikely that Zenyatta would remain in training for a campaign as a six year-old in 2010.