Monday, November 1, 2010

5 days, 3 hours, and 50 minutes.


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – By dawn Sunday, Zenyatta had already been out of her stall at trainer John Shirreffs’s stable at Hollywood Park for a 45-minute walk. It was to be the theme of her Sunday, a day after she worked six furlongs in 1:11.80 for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

Zenyatta was scheduled to have three walking sessions Sunday. She was back out for another walk in the 9 o’clock hour on Sunday morning and was to be walked and grazed in the afternoon. The only unknown was how long Shirreffs and his team could delay the start of the afternoon session.

“In the afternoon, she’ll walk for another 45 minutes, but that depends on how she behaves all day,” Shirreffs said. “Around 2:30 or 3, if anyone walks down the shedrow that she knows could walk her, she starts pawing the ground. If we can keep it quiet, we can stretch it to 5 after 3. Otherwise, you’ll be out there for an hour and 20 minutes.”

In the afternoons, Zenyatta is walked both in the shedrow and in an outdoor walking ring that encircles a patch of grass about the size of a tennis court. That grass is an afternoon snack for Zenyatta.

“She’ll graze and walk down to the other end and graze and then drag you down to the other end again,” Shirreffs said.

The unbeaten winner of 19 races for owners Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta, 6, is scheduled to be flown to Churchill Downs early Tuesday for Saturday’s race. She is scheduled to have a light exercise on Hollywood Park’s training track Monday.

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