11/13/2008 12:00AM

Zenyatta to take it easy this winter


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Zenyatta, the unbeaten winner of the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic last month and a top contender for the Horse of the Year title, will have her exercise limited to walking until the end of the year, trainer John Shirreffs said on Thursday.

Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta has been walking up to two hours a day at Shirreffs's barn at Hollywood Park since her win in the Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita on Oct. 24. Shirreffs said that routine is unlikely to change until the first of January. She is not expected to make her 2009 debut until the spring.

"She hasn't had a break since this time last year," Shirreffs said. "For her not to have a cough or a pimple for that long, it's amazing."

Shirreffs said after the Ladies' Classic that Zenyatta would have a vacation, but two months of walking is a longer plan of relative inactivity than he had previously discussed. As a result, she may not start during the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting that runs until late April.

"It depends on how she is when she starts back," Shirreffs said. "It's hard to put a number on how long it will take to get ready. This is the time to give her time off. I don't want to pencil in anything."

Zenyatta, 4, has won nine starts and $2,144,500. In 2008, she was unbeaten in seven starts, all stakes. Last year, she won a maiden race and an allowance race at the Hollywood Park fall meeting.

Owner pulls out of McAnally barn

After years of having horses with only one trainer, prominent owner Arnold Zetcher has changed his approach this fall.

Zetcher recently moved 18 horses from trainer Ron McAnally to Bob Baffert and has sent others to Shirreffs and Steve Specht. With McAnally, Zetcher has only one horse remaining, Charming Legacy, a filly co-owned by McAnally's wife, Debbie.

With Baffert, Zetcher primarily has 2-year-olds, including Wynning Ride, who starts in Sunday's $100,000 Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood Park. Wynning Ride, a filly by Candy Ride, won her debut in a maiden race going 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on Oct. 10.

Zetcher said earlier this week that he approached McAnally about the move during the summer. They had been a team since Zetcher first became involved in the sport in the fall of 2000.

"I told Ron at Del Mar that we would make the move," he said. "He asked if we could hold off and do it after" Santa Anita's fall meeting.

"We wanted to make a change," Zetcher said. "I think it was the right move."

Zetcher, the retired chairman of Talbot's clothing store, said he has 18 horses with Baffert and a few based in Northern California with Steve Specht "that we didn't feel belonged" in Southern California.

"These days you don't find many owners that are exclusive" to one trainer, Zetcher said. "I've followed [Baffert] for a long time and I think he has a great track record."

From Zetcher, Baffert picked up Tizzy's Tune, who finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 24. Tizzy's Tune won the Pine Tree Lane Stakes in a 20-1 upset at Santa Anita on Sept. 28. She will make her first start for Baffert in the $65,000 Playa Del Rey Stakes at six furlongs for fillies and mares on Nov. 27.

"I was planning on retiring her, but I'm not sure," Zetcher said of Tizzy's Tune.

Street Hero getting a break

Street Hero, third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, will not start at the current Hollywood Park meeting and will be pointed for a spring campaign, according to Rafael Martinez, who assists owner-trainer Myung Kwon Cho.

Street Hero may only have one or two starts before the Kentucky Derby on May 2.

"We're going to rest him for a month or two," Martinez said, adding that Cho's plan "is to run him one or two times in the spring. He's looking forward to the Kentucky Derby.

"He wants to tune him up in an allowance race and run him in a big race," he said. "Then we'll go straight to Kentucky. He wants to train the horse to Kentucky with enough time to get the feeling of the track."

Street Hero finished 1 3/4 lengths behind Midshipman in the BC Juvenile. A colt by Street Cry, Street Hero has one victory in six starts and has earned $419,360. His only win came in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28. In late summer, Street Hero was third to Midshipman in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.

Cut the Check returning

Six months after he lost his debut by a head, Cut the Check can live up to the expectations of trainer Walther Solis when he starts in a maiden race for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park on Saturday.

Cut the Check was beaten a head by Azul Leon in a maiden race at 4 1/2 furlongs last May. Shortly after that race, a fractured tibia was diagnosed in Cut the Check. While Cut the Check was sidelined, Azul Leon excelled, winning the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship and placing first, after a rival was disqualified, in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar. Azul Leon was later ninth as an outsider in the BC Juvenile at Santa Anita.

Cut the Check returned to training by late summer and has worked well for his return on Saturday.

"He's doing even better than when he ran the first time," Solis said. "I think the time off was a benefit. He came back really mature."

Cut the Check is part of a 10-horse field, which includes four four-time starters. Of the horses with experience, Cut the Check has the best form, even if it was back on May 8.

"I'm hoping he's really tight," Solis said. "He seems ready to run. If he runs his race, he should win the race."