04/08/2010 11:00PM

Shirreffs' goal is to keep Zenyatta relaxed


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The Apple Blossom is not scheduled to be run until 6:30 p.m. local time on Friday, so in order to keep Zenyatta from getting too wound up waiting for the late post, she was taken to the track at Oaklawn Park shortly before 8:30 a.m. Friday in order to take a one-lap jog around the track.

"Just wanted to get her out, let her think she's done something," said Zenyatta's trainer, John Shirreffs.

With regular exercise rider Steve Willard aboard, Zenyatta went once around the one-mile track, going the wrong way, while accompanied by a pony. As on Thursday, a large crowd of horsemen lined the bridle path leading to the track to get a glimpse of the undefeated champion mare.

Zenyatta will be seeking her 16th straight victory in the Apple Blossom.

Shirreffs said that Zenyatta would walk for about 45 minutes after her morning jog, then would get a meal at 11:30 a.m., and another light snack around 1:30 p.m.