Zenyatta relative She's Not Here snares the Yellow Ribbon

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

September 7th, 2015

With Rachel Alexandra dominating the Saratoga headlines these days with her two foals -- Spinaway (G1) heroine Rachel's Valentina and sophomore debut winner Jess's Dream -- it was a quasi-Newtonian law of horse racing publicity that Zenyatta should work her way into the limelight again too. To that end, enter Zenyatta's three-quarter sister, She's Not Here, who jumped up to earn her first stakes victory in Sunday's $201,250 Yellow Ribbon H. (G2) at Zenyatta's old summer stomping ground, Del Mar.

By Zenyatta's sire Street Cry, She's Not Here was produced by Where's Bailey, a stakes-winning half-sister to the mighty Zenyatta as well as to multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Balance. A further connection was provided by winning rider Mike Smith, the Hall of Famer who famously guided Zenyatta. Although Smith admitted that She's Not Here doesn't look like her great relative, he did comment that she did a Zenyatta-style dance going out onto the track.

Trained by Vicki Oliver, She's Not Here has spent her career in Kentucky and on the East Coast, with her best prior stakes result a close third in last summer's Boiling Springs (G3) at Monmouth. The four-year-old filly made a winning Del Mar debut in an optional claimer August 6, and stayed perfect over the Jimmy Durante turf course here.

As expected, Istanford sped into her customary role as the pacesetter and reeled off fractions of :22.92, :46.47 and 1:11.03. She's Not Here was anchored well off the pace in seventh. As sophomore Prize Exhibit, the slight 3-1 favorite, commenced her move, Smith gave his mount her cue to go in tandem. Prize Exhibit was the first of the pair to strike the front at the top of the stretch.

She's Not Here was covering extra ground compared to her younger rival. Indeed, she had the widest trip in the entire field, according to Trakus. But when they straightened down the lane, She's Not Here proved too strong for Prize Exhibit, besting her by a half-length. The final time was 1:41.66 for 1 1/16 miles on the firm course.

Prize Exhibit ran a fine race in her first try versus elders, while carrying the same weight as the winner (117 pounds), and enduring the second-widest trip overall herself. Her turn of foot might be a touch keener at a flat mile, making the Matriarch (G1) back here during the Bing Crosby meet on November 29 a natural target.

The coveted Grade 2 win is a boon to the broodmare value of She's Not Here, who is now worth a fair amount more than the $190,000 she fetched as a Keeneland September yearling. She races for G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and St George Farm Racing.

She's Not Here (left) prevails over Prize Exhibit; photo courtesy of Benoit.