09/01/2010 3:30PM

Zenyatta Stakes reverting back to Lady's Secret this year


DEL MAR, Calif. – The Zenyatta Stakes is back to being the Lady’s Secret Stakes for the forthcoming Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting.

Oak Tree executive vice president Sherwood Chillingworth said Wednesday that the $250,000 Zenyatta Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Oct. 2 will be called by its original name, the Lady’s Secret Stakes. The race was known as the Lady’s Secret Stakes until last fall when Oak Tree officials announced it would be called the Zenyatta Stakes in 2010 in honor of the 6-year-old mare’s popular win in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic against males at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting last November.

In January, owners Jerry and Ann Moss announced that Zenyatta would stay in training this year and not be bred. Until Oak Tree officials returned the race to its original name, it was possible that Zenyatta was being pointed to the Zenyatta Stakes.

“The Mosses and [trainer] John Shirreffs would rather we run the race in another name,” Chillingworth said. “When we renamed the race, she had been retired.”

Shirreffs said the Zenyatta team was honored by the name change, but “we feel a lot more comfortable that she’s running in the Lady’s Secret.”

Chillingworth said Oak Tree plans extensive promotions in conjunction with Zenyatta’s appearance on Oct. 2, which is scheduled to be her final start before a trip to Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 6. Zenyatta won the Lady’s Secret Stakes in 2008 and 2009.

The Oak Tree meeting will begin with a Thursday evening program on Sept. 30, Chillingworth said. The full stakes schedule for the fall meeting is expected to be published this week.

This fall’s meeting will be the first time that the Oak Tree Racing Association has conducted its meeting at Hollywood Park. Oak Tree raced at Santa Anita from its inception in 1969 until last year, but the Thoroughbred Owners of California and California Thoroughbred Trainers opposed running the meeting there this year after expressing concern to the California Horse Racing Board last month about the condition of Santa Anita’s synthetic track. Santa Anita is scheduled to install a conventional dirt track this fall.

The Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting will feature 22 days of racing through Oct. 31, Chillingworth said.

Oak Tree could run its 2011 meeting at Del Mar. Chillingworth was scheduled to meet with Del Mar officials Wednesday to discuss the 2011 meeting, including ways of accommodating trainers and stables whose barns are based at Los Angeles tracks.