Zenyatta, the unbeaten 5yr old mare is back racing this weekend in the Clement Hirsh Stakes. This will be the champion older female's third start this year. She will be going for her 12th consecutive victory, only one win away from the great Personal Ensign's record of 13 for 13. This race does not figure to be an easy victory for the defending champ. Life is Sweet who was third against older males last out figures to be her biggest road block in getting this win. Zenyatta has already beaten Life is Sweet once, though, in a much smaller field, in the Milady. Life is Sweet was second that day.
This race is considerably larger with a total of ten horses, which could pose a problem for late running Zenyatta, especially at a the distance of 8.5 fulongs which is probably not the champion's favorite. Zenyatta could face some serious traffic problems, being forced wide, being boxed in, and many other troubles. She will start fromt the far outside post, but that will not hinder her too much seeing as how she doesn't make her run until the later stages of the race.
Last out Zenyatta had to carry 129lbs, giving the competition 10-15lbs. She had some trouble passing the leading pair, but the classy mare showed her grit putting on a fresh burst of speed pulling ahead to win by around 2 lengths. This time she will be carrying 6lbs less, which would add up to 123lbs. Some say though that Zenyatta is not as good as she was last year, when she racked up a total of 7 wins in as many starts, ending with a dominating win in the Breeders Cup Ladies Classic. Most feel her last races are nothing to write home about. If there were any time to pull an upset it would be now, and Life is Sweet looks to be the horse to do it. In her last work she ran a bullet five furlongs in just a few ticks over 57 seconds.
I will be one of those people who thinks now would be the optimal time for Life is Sweet to upset Zenyatta, especially if she performs anywhere near how she did on Santa Anita's Pro Ride. Either way it should be one heck of a race. Sow what do all of you think will happen?