10/02/2010 9:51PM

Oak Tree: Zenyatta flies home


To extend her unbeaten streak to 19 races, Zenyatta flew from last to first in the final 3 1-2 furlongs of Saturday's Grade 1 Lady's Secret Stakes. She trailed Switch by three lengths at the eighth pole, and by about two lengths at the sixteenth pole before beating that talented 3-year-old filly by a half-length.

Switch ran the first mile in 1:36.86 and Zenyatta was timed in 1:42.97. It appears as if Zenyatta ran the final sixteenth in about 5.70 seconds, considering that she trailed Switch by approximately two lengths with a sixteenth of a mile remaining.

What makes that even more remarkable is that Zenyatta is arguably much better over distances of 1 1-8 miles and farther. This year, she has won twice at 1 1-16 miles - the Lady's Secret and Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar - and three times at 1 1-8 miles - the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita, the Apple Blossom Invitational at Oaklawn Park and the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park in June.

Saturday's Lady's Secret produced an electrifying finish before an adoring crowd of 25,837 at Hollywood Park. She goes to Churchill Downs for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 6 in outstanding form, and on the verge of even more history.

As a colleague from England said in the press box a few minutes ago, "How does she make it so bloody dramatic every time."