04/24/2010 11:00PM

Zenyatta headed to Vanity Handicap


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Zenyatta will make her next start in the Grade 1, $250,000 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 13, trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday.

The Vanity is run over 1 1/8 miles on the synthetic main track and is considered the championship race of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting.

"It's a logical choice," Shirreffs said.

Undefeated in 16 starts and the champion older female of 2008 and 2009 for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta, 6, has won twice this year: the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita on March 13 and the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 9.

If she starts in the Vanity, Zenyatta will be after an unprecedented third consecutive win in the race. The 2008 Vanity was Zenyatta's sixth career win and the 2009 running was her 11th win.

Shirreffs said Sunday that he prefers the Vanity over the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap against males at Churchill Downs on June 12. Zenyatta has faced males once in her career, becoming the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita last November.

The Breeders' Cup win gave Zenyatta support for the 2009 Horse of the Year title, which she lost to 3-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra. At the end of 2009, Jerry Moss said Zenyatta would be retired and bred but he reversed that decision in January, deciding to keep her in training.

Shireffs said Zenyatta may not be sent to a race in the East for several months, preferring to campaign her in California for her next start.

"For us to ship, it's so much different," Shirreffs said. "We have to ship across the Rockies. It's so much different out here than going up and down the East Coast.

"Why put her on the plane to run in another handicap?" Shirreffs said.

Zenyatta has earned $5,924,580. A win in the Vanity would be worth $150,000 and would put her past $6 million in career earnings. The Vanity is run on a day when Hollywood Park already plans a Zenyatta-related promotion. A bobblehead doll of the mare will be given to fans.