zenyatta with mike smith aboard finish the breeders cup classic
zenyatta with mike smith aboard finish the breeders cup classic

Zenyatta with Mike Smith aboard comes across the finish line in the Breeders’ Cup Classic

(Photo : Matthew Stockman/Getty)

“It’s unfortunate that she drops so far back…”

There had been speculation that Zenyatta (Street Cry) might be kept in training for another season, but trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday that was not the plan.

The six-year-old will return to California, but only for a brief stay. “She’ll be there for about a month,” Shirreffs said, adding, “That’s the thing about racing. As a trainer, you have to learn to let go. Heck, she’s been a champion for three years, and she’s going to a great place.” But the conditioner is unlikely to be watching the replay of the mare’s spectacular G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic effort any time soon. “It was her last race,” he said. “It’s all over. Why watch it again?”

Analyzing Zenyatta’s effort in the Classic, Shirreffs commented, “It’s unfortunate that she drops so far back. It left her too much to do.” But, he continued, “You always have that hope that she’ll get there when you see her lower her head and start stretching out.”

The trainer had no criticism for jockey Mike Smith after the race. “What could I say?” Shirreffs remarked. “I just patted him on the shoulder. He was devastated. The rest of her connections were as well. It’s been a fairy tale, and you want all fairy tales to come true,” Shirreffs concluded.

Zenyatta was scheduled to fly west Sunday night. Breeding plans have not been finalized.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News