04/25/2009 11:00PM

Zenyatta to make return in Louisville Distaff


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Zenyatta, the champion filly or mare of 2008, will make her 5-year-old debut Friday in the $350,000 Louisville Distaff at Churchill Downs, trainer John Shirreffs confirmed Sunday.

Shirreffs said the timing of the Grade 2 Louisville Distaff, which goes at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, surfaced as a suitable comeback spot for Zenyatta, a 5-year-old mare owned by Jerry and Ann Moss. Zenyatta was scheduled to be flown Monday from Southern California to Louisville.

"She looks like she's getting ready right now, and I didn't want to particularly train her for a couple more weeks," said Shirreffs.

Undefeated in nine career starts, Zenyatta last raced in the Oct. 24 Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita, which she won by 1 1/2 lengths. Her final workout before the Louisville Distaff came at Sunday morning at Hollywood Park, where she breezed five furlongs in 59 seconds.

One other unbeaten horse, Our Caroline, also is expected for the Louisville Distaff. Other probables for the Louisville Distaff include Bear Now, Dawn After Dawn, Miss Isella, and Modification.