Zenyatta and Mike Smith: ‘Unbelievable’ 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic


Champion jockeys ‘Big Money’ Mike Smith and Ramon Domínguez have claimed some of the biggest prizes in thoroughbred horse racing. Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith boasts the record for Breeders’ Cup wins, and is synonymous with races such as the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup, partnering with trainer Bob Baffert to shape the careers of superstar racehorses such as Arrogate and Triple Crown winner Justify. Fellow Hall of Famer Domínguez announced his retirement after sustaining a head injury in 2013. Union Rags, Little Mike, Better Talk Now, Invasor, and Hansen are all among his extensive list of Grade 1 winners.

The ‘unbelievable’ Breeders’ Cup Classic run at Santa Anita Park in 2009 saw Mike Smith finish first, with wonder-mare Zenyatta taking on the males for the first time. She swept past the field in the stretch to record a historic victory ahead of Ramon Dominguez aboard Gio Ponti. Smith and Dominguez reflect with Geoffrey Riddle of World Horse Racing on the build up and aftermath of the race, their careers as well as America’s greatest mare and horse racing’s dancing queen, Zenyatta.    

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