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Location: Stockton, California, United States

Some call me OlRailbird.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Zenyatta Saturday

I have nothing to say about the Derby except the winner shocked me. The cowboys pulled a fast one. The cat was out of the bag in the Preakness, but the filly still beat him.She didn't look like she wanted another quarter mile, though. Could have 3 different winners in 3 races.

Nice filly though, huh? Like the males, she's probably more valuable in the shed than on the track.

Speaking of fillies, may we present the Milady Handicap at Hollywood Park. A mile and a sixteenth on whatever track this is – cushion track? It's remarkably better for bettors than the Santa Anita crap. Fillies and Mares, 3 and up.

An ungraded $150K purse seems like peanuts to Zenyatta, who is looking to tune up after a seven month layoff. Her average money per start is $238K and a win here is only worth $90K. She appears head and shoulders better than what usually competes in such races, but will she turn in a good effort off the long layoff?

While Zenyatta rested, Life Is Sweet assumed the mantle of most feared female by reeling off two Grade 2 wins and a Grade 1. Both are trained by John Shirreffs but are not a betting entry. Strange how often the longest shot of an uncoupled entry wins. I think that's why they used to be coupled.

The rest of the horses appear to be a fairly humble group of turf horses, several trying this artificial surface for the first time. I think turf horses react favorably to artificial surfaces. Look for some of these guys to step up their game.

They are up against the best female in the world, as measured by the Breeder's Cup. Is anything these horses can do going to be enough? It's doubtful, but they're offering long odds.

There's little room for error playing 2 to 5 five shots. I can make excuses for practically any of these horses winning, as shocking as that might seem at first. A loss here risks Zenyatta's undefeated stature, but if you run her long enough she'll get beat. Is it today? Today's the best excuse she'll get for losing.

It's tempting to bet everyone except the top two, that's six win tickets because I'm sure Hot N Dusty is scratched. One of them might turn the trick for a tidy profit. I don't think of trying stuff like this very often, because its usually a bad idea to back more than one horse to win. You need long odds and live horses along with the hope that something goes wrong for the favorites.

Zenyatta is using this race as a workout. Shirreffs has the next best thing if the big horse somehow falters. On paper, they are 1-2 by a city block. They don't run on paper, so there's a chance to upset.


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