Champion mare Zenyatta has been cooling her heels in California while Rachel Alexandra has been hitting the headlines on the east coast of the United States.
Zenyatta (Street Cry) has not started since winning the Vanity Hcp (G1) last month but she is primed to peak in this Sunday’s G1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar. She won the 2008 edition of the Hirsch and set a track record for 1700m in the process.
Zenyatta is a perfect 11-from-11 but her owner Jerry Moss said the chances of his mare meeting Rachel Alexandra remained very much in doubt.
“I thought it would happen at the Breeders’ Cup, where these kinds of situations are usually resolved,” Moss said. “The Breeders’ Cup was created for this kind of a circumstance. I believe that’s the spot where champions are made.”
Jess Jackson, the majority owner of Rachel Alexandra, does not consider her a candidate for the Breeders’ Cup this year. He is adamant against running her on the synthetic track at Santa Anita Park.
Moss said Rachel Alexandra deserves all the attention she has received. “She has accomplished a tremendous amount and beat the boys again in the Haskell. She’s getting a lot of press and deservingly so.”
Moss will not rule anything out, but he and trainer John Shirreffs are not fans of the New York Racing Association’s detention barn policy, which could be a deal-breaker for Zenyatta ever racing at Belmont Park or Saratoga.
Moss said Zenyatta’s schedule has not been mapped out beyond Sunday’s race. The possibilities from there would include the Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) on September 6 at Del Mar, or she could continue on the same path as last year, when she won the Lady’s Secret Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita before her triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (G1).