Perfection doesn’t lose.
Sent off as an odds-on favorite for the 13th time in her last 14 starts, Zenyatta was able to overcome many factors working against her to run her record to a perfect 18-for-18, winning the Grade 1 $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar by a long neck over Midwest shipper Rinterval.
There was speculation throughout the day that trainer John Shirreffs may not run Zenyatta due to poor track conditions.
Although the Polytrack at Del Mar is not Zenyatta’s favorite surface, she was able to overcome a slow pace and the shorter than she prefers mile and a sixteenth distance to give the 32,536 fans in attendance what they came for.
It is probable that the six-year-old mare has two starts left in her career. She will either venture to the East Coast for a race on dirt or run at Santa Anita in the race named after her before looking for a repeat victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November that would give her 20 straight victories, surpassing the record of 19 held by Pepper’s Pride.
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