10/20/2009 11:00PM

Zensational still looms large


Zensational may be out of sight, but he's certainly not out of the minds of the connections of any other horse with designs on this year's Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Zensational, who is expected to be the odds-on favorite to win the Sprint, has not started since capturing Del Mar's Grade 1 Pat O'Brien on Sept. 6, The victory was the fourth in a row for Zensational, who has not been defeated at distances of seven furlongs or shorter over artificial surfaces in five starts, including his maiden win over the Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita earlier this winter.

Baffert opted to train Zensational up to the Breeders' Cup following the Pat O'Brien rather than give him the traditional West Coast prep for the Sprint in the Ancient Title Handicap. Baffert used a similar modus operandi to get Midnight Lute to defend his Sprint title successfully at Santa Anita last year.

"One thing about these horses is that if they don't run, everybody forgets them," said Baffert. "Just like they did Midnight Lute last year."

Baffert explained his reasoning for training Zensational into the Sprint.

"He ran four times right in a row, including twice at Del Mar," said Baffert who will be looking to win the Sprint for an unprecedented third year in a row. "He needed a little break, and he's the kind of horse who's so fast I just wanted to have him fresh, because he's going to have to really get to the bottom of himself and run like he's never run before in the Breeders' Cup."

Zensational has worked four times since his last start including five furlongs in 57.80 seconds at Santa Anita on Wednesday. The time was the fastest at the distance by nearly a full three seconds on that morning's tab.

"He looks fantastic and is doing great," said Baffert. "He's two works away from being super!"