03/25/2010 11:00PM

Zenyatta back to work for Apple Blossom


Zenyatta cruised six furlongs Thursday at Hollywood, her first workout since extending her win streak to 15 races in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Handicap. Mike Smith was aboard for the 1:14.60 drill that clockers dubbed breezing.

"She worked great," Smith said, adding "really, really good."

Trainer John Shirreffs said Zenyatta "came out of her last race very well" and said her Thursday breeze was a "nice, easy work." Shirreffs said Zenyatta will work again Friday, April 2, and confirmed that the Apple Blossom on April 9 at Oaklawn will be her next start.

The Apple Blossom field will not include Zardana or Rachel Alexandra, one-two finishers in the New Orleans Ladies at Fair Grounds on March 13. Shirreffs and owner Arnold Zetcher said Friday that Zardana will skip the Apple Blossom on April 9 and point instead for the Grade 2 La Troienne Stakes on April 30 at Churchill Downs. Zardana "could use a little time off," Zetcher said. He and Shirreffs also believe the 1 1/16-mile distance of the La Troienne suits Zardana more than the 1 1/8-mile Apple Blossom. Zardana, who earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 101 last out, has won 8 of 19.

The La Troienne could feature a rematch between Zardana and Rachel Alexandra.

Misremembered to skip Oaklawn Handicap

Santa Anita Handicap winner Misremembered will skip the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on April 3.

"He hasn't really snapped back like he was before" the Big Cap, Baffert said. "I'm waiting for him to show crispy-ness."

Baffert said Misremembered will target a race after "we get him right."

Shirreffs-trained Neko Bay, runner-up in the Big Cap, was still under consideration for the Oaklawn Handicap as of Friday morning. Shirreffs said that Big Cap pacesetter Mast Track, who tired and finished last, will be freshened for the Hollywood Park spring meet.

Witty to Keeneland for Vinery Madison

Unbeaten 4-year-old filly Witty, nominated to the Grade 3 Las Flores on Santa Anita Derby Day, will be redirected to a more prestigious race. Trainer Richard Mandella said Witty will target the Grade 1 Vinery Madison on April 8 at Keeneland.

"She's unbelievably good," Mandella said, referring to her condition.

Witty returned from a layoff Feb. 18 with an impressive allowance win that earned a 94 Beyer. A daughter of Distorted Humor and a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Well Armed, Witty won the Grade 3 Railbird last summer at Hollywood Park before she was sidelined with a chip in an ankle.

Balch named executive director of CTT

Alan Balch, former senior vice president of marketing for Los Angeles Turf Club (Santa Anita) has been appointed executive director of the California Thoroughbred Trainers; Carlo Fisco has been named CTT general counsel.

"The CTT is fortunate to have engaged the services of these extraordinarily qualified individuals to provide management and counsel to ensure the efficient and effective operation of our association," CTT president John Sadler said in a prepared statement. "We felt that Alan and Carlo form an impressive team of professionals who can articulate and promote the interests not only of the CTT but the entire California racing industry."

Balch and Fisco will assume their CTT duties in April.

* Longtime Santa Anita fan Dave Solan, whose nickname at FrontRunner Restaurant is "Dynamic Dave," hit two pick sixes March 24 on small tickets - a $2 play and a $4 play. The pick six returned $2,731.

"I've been coming to Santa Anita for 40 years," Solan told track officials. "I've hit a couple pick sixes over the years, but never on a $2 ticket."