With her victory this afternoon in the Vanity Handicap Zenyatta has now won an impressive 17 races in a row. With this win she set a new record for undefeated races — passing the great runners Cigar, Citation and Mister Friskey who had each won 16 consecutive races.
In fact, she’s won this particular race three times, winning it also in 2008 and 2009. The Vanity Handicap is a Grade I, nine-furlong (1 1/18-mile) $250,000 race for Thoroughbred mares (age three and up), held annually on the cushion track at Hollywood Park race course in Inglewood, California.
But this one was a nail biter with Zenyatta fighting down to the wire with St Trinians. Both horses have a come from behind style and Mike Smith may have waited a bit too long to make his move. As a result, he had to come quite wide around the final turn, coming outside of St Trinians who was already four wide. That gave Zenyatta more ground to make up (perhaps Smith should have a talk with Calvin Borel about the shortest way around a track!). Perhaps it showed how competitive the mare truly is: around the 16th pole her normally floppy ears went back and she dug in and accelerated to the finish. Fun to watch the different racing styles of the top two. Both effective but what a stride Zenyatta has! Zenyatta carried 9 more pounds than St Trinians so the handicappers definitely got that one right, providing a more exciting finish than many expected.
Here’s the race: