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Milady Handicap - Champ Zenyatta faces Life Is Sweet

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 10:14:13 AM

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zenyatta is undfeated

2008 Champion Older Mare Zenyatta will make her long-awaited 2009 debut Saturday in Hollywood Park’s Milady Handicap. She’ll face a stern test from stablemate Life Is Sweet, who made short work of the competition in her first three starts of the year at Santa Anita.

Zenyatta brings an undefeated record into the race, so clearly horse racing fans' eyes will be focused mostly in her direction.

Racebook odds: Zenyatta looks to keep her perfect record intact

  • WHO: Zenyatta, Life Is Sweet
  • WHAT: The Milady Handicap
  • WHERE: Hollywood Park
  • WHEN: Saturday, May 23

Zenyatta, a perfect 9-for-9 in her career with earnings in excess of $2 million, was originally scheduled to begin her 5YO campaign in the Louisville Distaff (Grade 2) at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. Those plans were scrapped, however, due to the threat of rain. Zenyatta has been training “lights out” at her Hollywood Park base and has demonstrated on more than one occasion that she can fire her best shot off the bench. The fact that she was ready to go on May 1 should only improve her chances. She’s likely to be sent postward at odds of 3-5 or less.

Life Is Sweet, also trained by John Shirreffs, has blossomed into a top filly as a 4YO. She rattled off a pair of Grade 2 victories at Santa Anita before capturing her first Grade 1 affair last out in the Santa Margarita Handicap. Like Zenyatta she’s a deep closer, but may have a quicker turn of foot. Zenyatta simply lengthens her stride and wears down her competition in the home stretch.

Life Is Sweet has been training exceptionally well at Hollywood, but has yet to race there. Although it is a poly-track surface, it plays differently than Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride. Most race track observers feel Hollywood more closely resembles a dirt track, while Santa Anita tends to favor horses that run well on grass. Life Is Sweet will be a solid second choice, in the neighborhood of 7-5.

Zenyatta will be spotting her stablemate four pounds (126 vs. 122). While she has yet to win with that impost, she’s a huge filly and appears quite capable of carrying the extra weight. She’s also 4-for-4 on the Hollywood main oval.

I’ll bet on the champ to keep her perfect streak intact and use her stablemate underneath in the exacta. It’s not very imaginative, but sometimes in horse racing handicapping you just have to take what they give you.

Happy gambling!

Pete Mitchell has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to betonline.com’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?

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