Monday, May 25, 2009

Shirreffs busts the big balloon

Barring if it should be announced Zenyatta was to be retired this minute for no reason other than "there's nothing else she needs to prove," or "it's too hot to race her in California, after all," I don't think any newsbit could've made me more angry than the story released by today, where Zenyatta's trainer, the audacious John Shirreffs, said the following things:
"I would think [the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic] would be [her final career start]," Shirreffs said. "You're anxious to get a foal out of her because they do breed."

"With the Breeders' Cup out here, what's the need [to travel]?" he said. "When it gets closer to [Breeders' Cup] time, you don't want to ship around too much.
Saratoga is a long way."

"The [$700,000 Hollywood] Gold Cup is a mile and a quarter," he said. "She's never run that far. It would be an ambitious spot and against the boys? Let's make it even harder."
Good job, Mr. Shirreffs. Way to make yourself a hypocrite.

So basically, he has no faith in this unbeaten mare of 10-for-10 lifetime races who has done absolutely nothing wrong and given every indication she could be the best horse (not mare, HORSE) in racing right now. Nice confidence, Shirreffs -- I hope you're not expecting people to root for Zenyatta to win the Eclipse for HOTY, because I can already tell you, she's already beaten. And she's going to be beaten by a 3-year-old filly who's already done more than Zenyatta in a half year's time, one Rachel Alexandra.

Talk about a shame, wasting the talent of a race horse like Zenyatta in a campaign that takes her down the exact same path as her schedule last year, with the exception of the Apple Blossom. If her schedule sticks to what it seems to be pointing towards, she will see the same California faces over and over again, will never face males, and will retire without ever showing what she can really accomplish. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Zenyatta deserves better than this.

And another thing: one look at her doing her little Spanish walk tells me she isn't ready to retire. This is a horse that has the desire to run, and to pull her out of racing prematurely would be a mistake. She didn't begin racing until the end of November 2007, when she was 3 years old. Technically, she hasn't even raced for two full years. She's never had an injury, never lost a race, and the Mosses would continue to make more money with her racing than by risking her life as a broodmare.

Why not try to break Peppers Pride's win streak? If Zenyatta's to be entered in races with no better competition than what she's faced so far, she's a shoe-in to set a new American record.

She starts doing her famous walk in the post parade of this video. The presence of this mare just takes my breath away...

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