01/16/2010 12:00AM

Zenyatta to race in 2010

Barbara D. Livingston
Zenyatta will race again at 6, owner Jerry Moss said.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The undefeated mare Zenyatta will run as a 6-year-old in 2010.

Owners Jerry and Ann Moss made the decision Saturday after watching Zenyatta train at Hollywood Park and after consulting with trainer John Shirreffs.

"She looked radiant, she looked fantastic," Jerry Moss said Saturday at Santa Anita, adding that he and Ann "are in the business to have fun."

It was widely believed that Zenyatta was retired from racing after winning the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 7, her 14th consecutive win.

"I got very emotional after she won the Breeders' Cup and thought what better way to retire," Moss said. "In my mind, she was retired. It was the perfect retirement scenario . . . she could sail off into the sunset."

But after winning the Breeders' Cup Classic, Zenyatta stayed in training at Hollywood. She continued to gallop and thrived physically, according to Shirreffs.

"She came out of the [Breeders' Cup] really well," Shirreffs said. "She was like, hey, I want to do more."

Fueling speculation that Zenyatta might continue to race were three recent workouts. Shirreffs explained "after so many weeks of galloping, you have to work her." Her most recent half-mile workout was Jan. 6; Shirreffs said Saturday that Zenyatta would have her next workout on Sunday or Monday, pending weather and track conditions at Hollywood Park.

The announcement to run Zenyatta next year was made two days before the Eclipse Awards ceremony, in which Zenyatta and the 3-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra are finalists for 2009 Horse of the Year. The winner is to be announced Monday evening at the Eclipse Awards dinner in Beverly Hills. Zenyatta went 5 for 5 in 2009, capping her campaign by becoming the only female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Moss wanted to announce plans to race Zenyatta prior to the Eclipse ceremony, to dispel thoughts that the decision was influenced by the award.

"We're not reacting to anything," Moss said. "It had nothing to do with whether she is Horse of the Year or not. If she's Horse of the Year, she'll run as Horse of the Year, and if she's not, she'll run as not Horse of the Year."

Zenyatta is, however, undefeated, and racing will look forward to a potential showdown with Rachel Alexandra on the racetrack.

Neither the Mosses, nor Shirreffs, committed to a specific comeback race. It is likely, however, that Zenyatta will race outside California at some point in 2010.

"I would say we're probably going to travel a bit," Moss said. "I'd like to see her run in some dirt races."

Shirreffs has maintained that Zenyatta is more effective on dirt than she is on synthetic. Her 14 starts included 13 wins on synthetic and one on dirt - the 2008 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park.

Moss said a comeback race for Zenyatta remains undetermined.

"That is up to John, we are just going to get her in shape," Moss said. "There is no specific [comeback] race. We are going to pick the races we think are best for us. We'll run against anybody."

Zenyatta has earned $5,474,580 winning all 14 starts, with her last 12 wins coming in graded stakes. Under Mike Smith, Zenyatta drew away from Gio Ponti to win the Breeders' Cup Classic by a length.

Her other 2009 wins came in the Grade 1 Lady's Secret at Santa Anita, Grade 1 Clement Hirsch at Del Mar, Grade 1 Vanity at Hollywood Park, and Grade 2 Milady Handicap at Hollywood.

In 2008, Zenyatta won the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic on her way to an Eclipse Award as champion older female.