06/27/2010 11:00PM

Zenyatta breezes half-mile at Hollywood


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Zenyatta, the two-time champion and undefeated winner of 17 races, breezed a half-mile in 49.60 seconds at Hollywood Park on Sunday, her first workout since the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap here June 13.

But trainer John Shirreffs is still not ready to commit the popular 6-year-old mare to her next race. On Sunday, Shirreffs stopped short of committing Zenyatta to the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar on Aug. 7, a race that could feature a rematch between Zenyatta and St Trinians who were separated by a half-length in the Vanity.

"We haven't really discussed it yet," he said. "We've got lots of time."

In recent weeks, Shirreffs has expressed concern about the condition of Del Mar's racing surface and wants to see how it performs in the early weeks of the meeting, which begins July 21, before committing Zenyatta to the Grade 1 Hirsch.

Since it was installed before the 2007 meeting, Del Mar's Polytrack synthetic surface has been criticized for changing on some days, with tighter conditions during the cool, and often overcast, hours of morning training and looser conditions in the afternoon after exposure to a strong summer sun.

As of Sunday, it does not appear Shirreffs or owners Jerry and Ann Moss are thinking seriously about sending Zenyatta to another circuit for a major stakes. When asked if he had looked into shipping, Shirreffs said, "Not really."

On Sunday, Zenyatta worked alone and was the only horse among the 65 with recorded works over a half-mile to be given a "breezing" designation, which in California indicates a horse working without being urged.

"It's been two weeks, and it's time to let her stretch her legs," Shirreffs said. "We don't want to give her too much time off."

Zenyatta's winning streak exceeds the 16-race streaks of Cigar, Citation, Hallowed Dreams, and Mister Frisky. She has equaled the winning streak of Silent Witness, who raced in Hong Kong earlier in this century, and is two shy of a mark held by New Mexico superstar Peppers Pride, who raced from 2005 to 2008.

Zenyatta has earned $6,074,580. Her long-term goal this year is a defense of her title in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6, a race she won at Santa Anita last year.