ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2009)—Thoroughbred racing will return for its 41st season on Wednesday, Sept. 30, as the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting will get underway with all fans receiving a free Oak Tree collector’s stein featuring the likenesses of 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Raven’s Pass and Ladies’ Classic winner Zenyatta, as well the racing colors of all 14 World Championship winners from last year.
Zenyatta, who is scheduled to defend her title in the Gr. I Lady’s Secret Stakes on Oct. 10, won last year’s Ladies Day Classic, keeping her unbeaten record intact and cementing her claim to Champion Filly or Mare honors in the nation’s annual Eclipse Award balloting. Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta is ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and trained by John Shirreffs.
Zenyatta has remained undefeated this year, with her most recent triumph coming in the Gr. I Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 9. Her record now stands at 12 wins from as many starts. Her lifetime earnings have now reached $2,594,580.
While her plans remain tentative, it is believed that if Zenyatta is again victorious in the Lady’s Secret, she may step up and take on males for the first time in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 7.
Commissioned by the Oak Tree Racing Association, this classic commemorative stein is the 23rd in a series and will be limited to one per paid admission, while supplies last.
First post time opening day is set for 1 p.m. and the Gr. III Morvich Handicap, a “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup prep race for 3-year-olds and up at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, figures to highlight a nine race card.