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Hmmm G1 Lady's Secret to be renamed 'The Zenyatta'

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  • Hmmm G1 Lady's Secret to be renamed 'The Zenyatta'

    I'm not a big fan of tossing out the old with the new but cest la vie fr those in charge in California. I certainly do hope for their sakes that Z wins HOTY like Lady's Secret did

    11-24-09 "Oak Tree Honors Zenyatta"

    In the wake of what many consider to be the most dramatic performance in Breeders’ Cup history, the Oak Tree Racing Association has announced that the undefeated superstar mare Zenyatta, a devastating last-to-first winner of the Grade I, $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Oak Tree on Nov. 7, will be honored by having the name of the race she won in both 2008 and 2009, the Grade I Lady’s Secret, renamed The Zenyatta, effective next year.
    Oak Tree Director and Executive Vice President Sherwood Chillingworth:

    “Lady’s Secret was a great mare herself. She won the (Breeders’ Cup) Distaff here in 1986 and went on to be named Horse of the Year, but what Zenyatta did here against the best horses in the world is something none of us who witnessed it will ever forget.

    “It is particularly appropriate, in that she won the Lady’s Secret two years in-a-row and like Lady’s Secret, we feel strongly that Zenyatta should be Horse of the Year. Her brilliance is undeniable and we are proud to rename this prestigious race in her honor.”

    Lady’s Secret was owned by the late Eugene Klein and his wife Joyce, and she was trained by D. Wayne Lukas. Zenyatta, who has been retired, is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and was trained by John Shirreffs.

    “At first, Jerry was reluctant to accept our offer of renaming the race, because he was a personal friend of Gene Klein,” said Chillingworth. “But after he and Ann thought about it for a couple of days, he called back and said they thought Zenyatta would be flattered by the comparison and to know that she was held in such high esteem.”

  • #2
    Why can't they double name it? Or at least find a race to name that is named for a horse in the dim, very dim past?

    Not a good thing, IMO.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire


    • #3
      I ama little sad, too. Lady's Secret was a GREAT filly/mare too.


      • #4
        Why does Lady's Secret have to lose her G1 race? I mean, I love me some Zenyatta, but ... Not that Lady's Secret would probably care in the least, but as a fan of both, I care & I really hate renaming of races.
        Delicious strawberry flavored death!


        • #5
          I'm not a fan either.

          Leave it alone for heaven's sake.
          Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


          • #6
            I agree - not a fan either. Why can't they just create another race?


            • #7
              lame. lady's secret earned that G1 race named after her...why do they need to strip her of that?


              • #8
                This is stupid. Lady's Secret was awesome, can't they find antoher stake instead of this one? They should put her in place of a person rather than a legend like Lady's Secret.


                • #9
                  No sir, I don't like it.

                  Find some other race to honor Ms. Z.


                  • #10
                    oak tree's only option to rename a f/m grade 1 race was the lady's secret (their meet is barely over a month long). since hollywood park has been her home all these years it would have been nice to do something there but their future is year-to-year. i don't know if del mar was contemplating any name changes, if so, oak tree just beat them to the punch.

                    i'm a big zen homer but even i am having a hard time with this. if i get the guts i'll ask mr. moss about it on sunday....doubtful they'd add a new f/m grade 1 race to the card....


                    • #11
                      Well, they can't just add a grade 1. It has to earn that status over a period of years. So if they named a new race for her, it might or might not earn grade 1 status.


                      • #12
                        I am a huge, huge, HUGE Zenyatta fan and even I looked at that and thought it just doesn't seem right that Lady's Secret sort of gets shoved aside. Nope, I just can't be happy about this somehow. I'd be happier if they gave her one of those nice big statues instead.


                        • Original Poster

                          The decision is certainly rubbing a lot of folks the wrong way.

                          Steve Crist, Daily Racing Form, 11/28/09: Lady's Secret deserves better:


                          The Oak Tree Racing Association's announcement last week that it is renaming the Lady's Secret Stakes the Zenyatta was not only a premature and disrespectful decision but also an improper attempt to influence the Horse of the Year voting.

                          Public reaction to the announcement has been overwhelmingly negative. Steve Haskin of The Blood-Horse magazine sharply criticized the decision the day it was announced, writing that "Zenyatta is one of the great fillies of all time and should have a race named after her, but not two and a half weeks after the Breeders' Cup and not at the expense of Lady's Secret." Over 90 percent of the more than 100 Internet commenters who responded agreed, many of them citing their admiration and support for Zenyatta but their dismay at such a hasty and political gesture.
                          Lady's Secret, who died in 2002, deserves better than being abandoned just so Oak Tree can try to tilt an election by saying it considers Zenyatta more important than a horse who actually won the Horse of the Year title. Oak Tree could have either created a new race named the Zenyatta or proposed renaming any of a number of existing events at Santa Anita, including the Grade 1 Santa Maria or Santa Margarita. It certainly could have waited six weeks, until this year's Eclipse balloting was over, to address the issue at all.
                          Bill Christine, former LA Times racing writer, 11/29/09:

                          Not-for-profit Oak Tree's middle name is charity, but there was nothing charitable about the announcement that it was dropping Lady's Secret's name from one of its Grade 1 races and renaming it in honor of Zenyatta, the flavor of the month.


                          If Oak Tree could rethink what it did with the Lady's Secret Stakes, I would imagine they'd renege on their decision. Be my guest. Somehow, some way, there should be room for both a Lady's Secret and a Zenyatta race in California. Getting everything right the second time around is perfectly acceptable.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                            I'm not a big fan of tossing out the old with the new but cest la vie fr those in charge in California. I certainly do hope for their sakes that Z wins HOTY like Lady's Secret did

                            11-24-09 "Oak Tree Honors Zenyatta"

                            Oak Tree Director and Executive Vice President Sherwood Chillingworth:
                            Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

                            "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."


                            • Original Poster

                              Doubtful its lost on most folks here but as Steve Crist gently reminds people:

                              For those who have forgotten, and will no longer be reminded of it, Lady's Secret was one of the greatest racemares of the 20th century, known then and now as the Iron Lady of the sport for both her gray coat and her remarkable durability.

                              At a time when champions made more than five starts a year, the Oklahoma-bred daughter of Secretariat won 25 of 45 starts at 10 tracks over four seasons, winning 11 Grade 1 races, including the 1986 Whitney. She raced 21 times in New York and 15 times in California, winning every major race for older females on both coasts and facing males seven times.

                              Lady's Secret, who died in 2002, deserves better than being abandoned ...


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Glimmerglass
                                Doubtful its lost on most folks here but as Steve Crist gently reminds people:

                                I so agree with Steve Crist.
                                Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                                • #17
                                  When I first saw the news on this I felt as if Lady's Secret were being kicked to the curb. Her accomplishments were at least as impressive as Zenyatta's.