zenyatta

Breeders' Cup 2010: Zenyatta's Run For Immortality Thwarted By Blame

On Saturday, Zenyatta has the chance to end her career with a perfect 20-0 record. We'll have all the latest news, odds, results, and scratches right here.

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Blame Tops Zenyatta, And Other Breeders' Cup Results

Blame's big win over Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic may have been the highest-profile Breeders' Cup victory on Saturday, but it was just one of many.

In fact, European mare Goldikova may have been a bigger story than Zenyatta at Churchill Downs. She won her third straight Breeders' Cup Mile, becoming the first-ever horse to win three Breeders' Cup races, and prompted this quote from Christophe Clement, trainer of second-place finisher Gio Ponti.

"She's a freak," Clement said. "She's the best miler we've seen in a long, long time."

In the smaller-stakes races, Uncle Mo took the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, beating Boys At Tosconova by four lengths; in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, Dakota Phone caught Morning Line by a head; and Dangerous Midge claimed the Breeders' Cup Turf, catching Champ Pegasus down the back stretch.

The most significant of the lesser-known races for the casual horse racing fan is probably Uncle Mo's triumph. He should win awards as the best two-year-old this season, and should be the favorite to win the 2011 Kentucky Derby.

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What Does Zenyatta's Breeders' Cup Loss Do To Her Legacy?

Zenyatta likely finished her career today by losing by a nose to Blame in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic. The discussion about where she ranks among the all-time great racehorses may have just begun.

Among once-beaten horses, only Native Dancer and Man o' War have more wins. Fewer than 15 horses have ever run off 19 straight wins like Zenyatta, and many of them raced in less competitive races in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic. And Zenyatta, despite never racing in a Triple Crown race and starting her career late in her three-year-old year, racked up 13 grade one wins, tied for fourth all-time.

There's little doubt that Zenyatta should rank as the greatest mare to ever race, but today's loss probably knocks her out of many discussions about the greatest thoroughbred ever. The way Zenyatta was finally felled, though — after one last magnificent attempt to pull of a dramatic come-from-behind triumph — might have seared her class in American minds.

Esquire writer Chris Jones, musing on the loss, thinks it might even have been a good thing for her story:

There's something better about Zenyatta, as a story, now that she's lost a race. Now she requires imagination.

At the very least, Zenyatta's legacy got one last breathtaking moment today. It's not the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic purse, but the memory of today's race will be invaluable and unforgettable for any horse racing fans who saw it.

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Blame Wins 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic, Zenyatta Finishes Career With Valiant Defeat

Zenyatta did not win in her 20th start. But the way she lost may have secured her legend forever.

The dark bay six-year-old placed in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, unable to run down Blame, the horse anointed by SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down the Stretch They Come as her greatest competitor, despite a thrilling surge to the wire.

After an anxious route to the starting gate and a very slow start that found her dead last, jockey Mike Smith executed a fairly smooth trip from the eighth chute, but Zenyatta fell behind by as many as 30 lengths early. And though Zenyatta, who will likely retire after this race with a sparkling 19-1 record, made a stirring dash through the pack to the wire, Blame won by a nose.

This isn't the finish Hollywood would have written for one of the greatest thoroughbreds of the modern era. In defeat, however, Zenyatta found a way to show her class one last time, and losing just one final race to a game competitor doesn't diminish her legacy.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates on Saturday's Breeders' Cup action. And for more, be sure to check out our horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Zenyatta's Breeders' Cup 2010 Hopes Threatened By Blame

As we near the 6:45 post time of the Breeders' Cup Classic, Zenyatta's line is holding steady at better than 2-to-1. But there's always a favorite at the Breeders' Cup, you may say. Why is everyone talking about Zenyatta, you may ask.

The simple answer is that Zenyatta is in a position to become what many would consider the greatest race horse of all time. The Breeders' Cup Classic will be the final race of her career. And no other filly has ever won this race.

Zenyatta is a bona fide freak of nature. After being purchased for a mere $60,000, she has posted in 20 races... and won all 20 of them. It's a record unprecedented in the world of horse racing. Even Secretariat -- the Triple Crown winner who won the Kentucky Derby by an unbelievable 31 lengths -- didn't win every race.

So is Zenyatta unbeatable? Our horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come, isn't so sure. This was written after Blame, a horse posting alongside Zenyatta in today's race, ran a race in August.

If I had to put money on the horse that I think has the best chance to beat Zenyatta in the Classic it would absolutely be blame and not Rachel Alexandra or Quality Road.  Closing into an unpressured early leader that ran through a light pace, Blame got a beautifully timed ride by Garrett Gomez to nip.  A solid, solid win for Blame.

Within two hours, we will know the winner. The race will be broadcast on ESPN. Stay tuned, because this may go down as one of the most historic days in the history of horse racing.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates on Saturday's Breeders' Cup action. And for more, be sure to check out our horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Breeders' Cup 2010 Update: Rough Sailing Euthanized After Suffering Injury

Sad news to report from the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs: Rough Sailing, who was competing in the Juvenile Turf race, slipped and fell while rounding a turn. There are differing reports; one says that Rough Sailing broke his humerous, while another reports that he broke his shoulder.

In either case, it was determined that the horse could not be saved, and it was decided that the best option was to euthanize the horse. Rosie Napravnik, the jockey, managed to avoid injury.

Incidents such as these are an unfortunate reality of horse racing. The horses are bred for speed rather than durability, and an injury such as a fractured leg or shoulder can permanently damage the horse's quality of life. Euthanization is the unfortunate, but necessary, last resort if it's determine that the horse will not be able to live comfortably.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates on Saturday's Breeders' Cup action. And for more, be sure to check out our horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Breeders' Cup 2010 Favorites: Picks From Our Horse Racing Expert

As of 2 P.M. Eastern on Saturday, the majority of Breeders' Cup races have yet to be run. One of these, of course, is the Classic (6:45), which will feature the final race of Zenyatta's historic career.

Thankfully, SB Nation has our very own horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come, which has outlined some personal picks. Here they are:

Juvenile: I like Rouge Romance at a price.

Mile: It's Goldikova's world, we all just live in it.  However, I've been impressed enough with Gio Ponti (provided his odds drift a bit) that I'm going to make a small play to try and upset the heavy favorite.  It's probably a loss but I'm gonna try anyway.  

Dirt Mile: I like three in this race: Here Comes Ben, Theskyhasnolimit and Tizway.  I just need to figure out how to play them all.

Turf: With what happened to Midday yesterday I'm less bullish on the Euros this year.  Al Khali will probably be my value play in this spot, with some action going towards Dangerous Midge, as well.

Classic: Still think the race sets up best for Blame and Zenyatta but will have to wait for the will-pays to figure out how I'm going to ultimately attack this race.

Conditions look good at Churchill Downs in Louisville -- it's somewhat chilly, but sunny, with a very small chance of precipitation throughout the day. The sun will set at 6:38, just a few minutes before the race, so it's a good thing that lights were recently installed at the Downs.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates on Saturday's Breeders' Cup action. And for more, be sure to check out our horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Breeders' Cup Classic 2010 Odds Update: Zenyatta's Morning Line Remains Strong

The main event of Saturday's Breeders' Cup action is certainly the 11th and final race, the Classic, which is set to post at 6:45 P.M. Eastern. Unsurprisingly, Zenyatta remains the favorite, with odds better than 2:1. Here are the morning lines for each horse, as listed by Bodog.com:

1. Quality Road (J.R. Velazquez) - 5/1
2. Paddy O'Prado (K. Desormeaux) - 15/1
3. Haynesfield (R. Dominguez) - 12/1
4. First Dude (R. Albarado) - 15/1
5. Blame (G. Gomez) - 9/2
6. Fly Down (J. Leparoux) - 15/1
7. Musket Man (R. Maragh) - 20/1
8. Zenyatta (M. Smith) - 8/5
9. Pleasant Prince (J. Rosario) - 30/1
10. Etched (A. Garcia) - 30/1
11. Espoir City (T. Sato) - 20/1
12. Lookin At Lucky (M. Garcia) - 6/1

In summary: Zenyatta, the overwhelming favorite, is trailed by Blame, Quality Road, and Lookin At Lucky. There are quite a few horses from this year's Kentucky Derby, including the Derby's show horse, Paddy O'Prado.

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates on Saturday's Breeders' Cup action. And for more, be sure to check out our horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Breeders' Cup 2010 Schedule And Scratches

As of noon Eastern time, a few program changes have been made to some of the 11 Breeders' Cup races. Most importantly, no changes have been made to the Classic, but you'll want to give this a look if you're putting money on some of the other upcoming races.

Race 2 - 12:35
Scratched: No. 5 Wildcat Heiress, No. 11 Magnificent Mia
Equipment change: No. 6 Aegean will run with blinkers on
Overweight: No. 7 Tidal Pool +2, No. 10 Fuzzy Britches +1

Race 3 - 1:15
Scratched: No. 12 Alpha Kitten

Race 4 - 1:50

Scratched: No. 1 Typhoon Slew

Race 5 - 2:30
No changes

Race 6 - 3:15
Scratched: No. 15 Yield Bogey

Race 7 - 3:55
No changes

Race 8 - 4:40
No changes

Race 9 - 5:20
Scratched: No. 8 Crown of Thorns
Racing with adjunct: No. 13 Cool Coal Man

Race 10 - 6:00
Scratched: No. 6 Workforce

Race 11 (Classic) - 6:45
No changes

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for updates on Saturday's Breeders' Cup action. And for more, be sure to check out our horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Breeders' Cup 2010: Race Odds, Entries, Scratches, Favorites, And All Things Zenyatta

The 2010 Breeders' Cup begins its second and final day of races at Churchill Downs in Louisville. 11 races will be run today. The last of these, known as the Classic, is scheduled to post at 6:45 and, and all eyes will be on Zenyatta.

Today's Classic will be the final race of Zenyatta's historic career. She's a filly, and a filly has never won the Classic since its inception in 1984. She's the heavy favorite at 2 to 1, however, as she has won all 19 of her career starts. If she and jockey Mike Smith can pull off a 20th and final win, some will regard Zenyatta as the best racing horse of all time, above the likes of Secretariat and Seattle Slew.

As such, we may bear witness to horse racing history on Saturday. Stay tuned to this StoryStream, which we'll be updating throughout the day with race odds, scratches, results, and other news from Churchill Downs. You'll also want to check in with our expert at our horse racing blog, And Down The Stretch They Come.

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