Zenyatta attempts 20th straight victory


Zenyatta won last year's Breeders' Cup, beating the boys, and now the 6-year-old is back for this year's Breeders' Cup -- her last race. She is looking for her 20th straight win, but it is the way she does it that intrigues us.

She can be dead last in a race, taking her time, until that final turn. Then she shows power that is simply extraordinary and electrifying.

"You're in a Ferrari on the freeway and everyone else just isn't. And anytime you want to pass something, you just ask it to pass and she just passes with tremendous ease," says Zenyatta's trainer, John Shireffs.

"You don't have to reinvent the wheel training her. Just don't make a mistake because she's going to take us there," says another trainer.

He says around the barn she is gentle and quite the ham.

Jerry Hollendorfer is a Northern California trainer who has two horses in the Breeders' Cup and he's lost to Zenyatta. He says she's about the best he's seen.

"In my heart and in hearts of a lot of people we have to been rooting her for to go undefeated," says Hollendorfer.

Zenyatta's owner is A&M records founder Jerry Moss. He says interest in her started slowly.

"She is a miracle. Fortunately the people have started to recognize her and the public is into her," says Moss.

Oprah named her one the nation's most powerful females.

"She's a diva, man. She should be entertainer of the year every year," says Shireffs.

Zenyatta hasn't received the legendary status of Seabiscuit, the symbol of hope during the Great Depression who was immortalized on the site of the old Tanforan Race Track. But Zenyatta is one race short of perhaps becoming the greatest racehorse of all time.

The Breeders' Cup coverage begins on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on ABC Channel 7. The race itself is at 3:15 p.m. PT on ESPN.

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