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Lady's Secret, Zenyatta, Lady's Secret, Zenyatta

In the race briefly known as the Zenyatta Stakes, Zenyatta herself used her patented late move to claim her 19th victory Saturday at Hollywood Park. Odds are that the 2011 renewal of the Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I) will be renamed once again for the unbeaten Street Cry (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO) mare.

But let's not forget 1986 Horse of the Year Lady's Secret quite yet. This great Secretariat mare won 25 times in 45 starts, earning over $3 million. Her grade I wins include the Breeders' Cup Distaff (she was 2nd in another), Beldame (twice), Ruffian H. (twice), Maskette (now Go For Wand, twice), Hempstead H. (now Ogden Phipps), Whitney H. (defeating males), Shuvee, Santa Margarita H., and La Canada. Lady's Secret could sprint, too–she won the Test and Ballerina Stakes, both seven-furlong grade II events that are now grade I.

During her 1986 Horse of the Year campaign, Lady's Secret ran three times in the month of August–she won the Whitney (gr. I) on Aug. 2; was 3rd in the Iselin (gr. I) Aug. 16; and ran 2nd in the Woodward (gr. I) Aug. 30. She faced males in all three races.

For as successful as she was on the track, Lady's Secret was a disappointing broodmare. Visiting some of the top U.S. stallions, she produced 12 foals, for ten starters, five winners, and no stakes performers. In retrospect, and using TrueNicks for perspective, it appears that Lady's Secret was not ideally suited to her mates. Only one stallion, Mr. Prospector, nicked as well as A (both Mr. Prospector foals were winners).

Name Foaled Sire TrueNicks Best Race
Machikane Aida
1989
Alydar
B+
Unplaced
Secrets Told
1990
Alydar
B+
Unplaced
Good Looks
1992
Mr. Prospector
A
Winner
Lady Danzig
1993
Danzig
D
Unraced
Excellent Secret
1994
Mr. Prospector
A
Winner
Sleepinginseattle
1995
Seattle Slew
B
Unraced
Agnes Liner
1996
Seattle Slew
B
Winner
Famous Again
1997
Thunder Gulch
B
Winner
Vigor
1999
Seattle Slew
B
Placed
Bear Witness
2000
Skip Away
D
Unplaced
Secret Stranger
2002
Skip Away
D
Winner
Cool Valley Cowboy
2003
General Meeting
B+
Unplaced

While we can't go back in time and use a TrueNicks Broodmare Analysis Report for Lady's Secret, fortunately this research tool is available for Zenyatta. The report helps breeders find stallions that are the best statistical matches, nicking a mare with up to 50 stallions. Looking ahead to Zenyatta's career as a broodmare, here's hoping that her stallions are well suited to her, and that she can transmit her tremendous ability into her foals.

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