Hangin' With Haskin: Farewell to a Queen

 It is finally time to say goodbye. Mighty Mare Zenyatta has been retired; and this time it is official, as she departs for Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky. in early December.

Despite having her remarkable 19-race winning streak ended in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), by only a short head, Zenyatta not only added to her legacy, she acquired even more fans and admirers than she had before.

It was just prior to the Classic, in which she came from almost 20 lengths back to be beaten a head by Blame, that Zenyatta’s fame actually reached mainstream America thanks to a segment on “60 minutes,” a feature in Sports Illustrated, and a full-page spread in W Magazine.

Just like that, Zenyatta’s legions of fans multiplied many times over. A large number of those new fans admitted they knew little or nothing about her beforehand. Now, here they were, screaming at their TV screens, pleading for Zenyatta to get up in those final agonizing strides.

I have written numerous stories and blogs about the phenomenon that is Zenyatta, from her unprecedented winning streak, coming from dead-last in almost every race, to her endearing pre-race and post-race antics, and finally to the extraordinary impact she had on people emotionally, and the many tales of inspiration she provided.

For this particular space at this particular time, it’s all about looking ahead, as Zenyatta’s career and her accomplishments have been well recorded for posterity.

And looking ahead is something that Zenyatta’s connections dread in many ways, as they try to come to terms with life without their great mare. This is not about letting go of a racehorse. It is about letting go of a kindred spirit that has encompassed their lives for so many years.

“It is tough to deal with this,” said Dottie Shirreffs, wife of trainer John Shirreffs and racing manager for Jerry and Ann Moss. “John has had her in the barn for 4 1/2 years.  Each day, they have been together...along with Mario (Espinoza), Steve (Willard), and the rest of the crew. We are trying to do our best here, but...it is tough.

“John made the comment he could not put anyone in that stall for a long time. The one thing that is so fabulous, though, is that she is healthy, happy, and doing great. What a way to retire as an athlete. I am so happy for her.”

Zenyatta’s departure also will be an emotional experience for her devoted fans, many of whom have been touched on a deeply personal level by their heroine’s courage, consistency, and unique ability to connect with people on a much higher plane than any other Thoroughbred in memory.

Dottie Shirreffs assures that Zenyatta will always have her “family” around her.

“We do want family around and to have that connection and bond with her after she leaves John's barn,” she said. “We want someone there who can take photos, videos, etc. and send them to us....from our family. This is why I am also doing the Daily Diary on the website, Zenyatta.com -- to keep all of her fans aware of what is going on with her. We feel a responsibility to the fans, public, and industry to do so, and, it goes without saying, to Zenyatta.
 
“She will be in a place where family and friends can see her, hug her, kiss her, and visit her. We are trying to do our best to be sure these details are all honored in relation to Zenyatta and her future. There will be trees for her to stand under, and lots of grass for her to graze on each day.”

That’s not a lot to ask for from a Queen.

327 Comments

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Fuzzy Corgi

Now the big question is... Who do you think will be her first date?

17 Nov 2010 3:27 PM
Darla Burton

It will definitely be hard to let go of such a great horse. I truly admire all of Zenyatta's connections. They are No. 1 in my book! I will always look for the Moss' silks in a race just like I root for Barbaro's colors always. God bless all you great people!! I'm looking forward to visiting your great mare this coming year...Thanks so much for sharing her with all her fans!!!

17 Nov 2010 3:33 PM
catsvx

Well put Steve. As always, you write what we feel. Zenny will be happy with lots of grass, trees and soon little "Z's" to care for. Short of having a castle, its a fitting retirement for a "Queen".

17 Nov 2010 3:34 PM
Cleone

It's going to be hard for all of us to let her go!  But I'm looking forward to watching her babies on the track, and maybe someday getting to visit her on the farm.  She's going to have a great life.  

17 Nov 2010 3:35 PM
Zenyatta101

Farewell to the Queen, may they love and cheerish her and breed her with Royalty.... but wait there is no royalty but Her. Goodbye Zenyatta and thanks for giving racing to sink into the hearts of people, racing is back on its feet, how will racing go on, somehow it slowly will.

17 Nov 2010 3:36 PM
Virgil Fox

I can just imagine A.P. Indy rehearsing is “pick-up” lines.

“So, you from around here?”

(although, I heard good things about a cross with Afleet Alex)

Cheers (Guinness, of course) to Zenyatta and Team Zenyatta.

- Peace

17 Nov 2010 3:36 PM
Billy's Empire

Thanks for the memories! You took the horseracing world on the ride of a lifetime!

17 Nov 2010 3:38 PM
realquiet

I'm happy that she is retiring to the great Lane's End Farm, but I only wish that they were more accessible for tours like the other farms.  You know that a lot of people are going to want to go visit her at the farm.  

17 Nov 2010 3:39 PM
josh

I have said this many times and I will say it one last time. Cigar brought me into horse racing, the damn bureaucrats that screwed up horse racing made me leave. Zenyatta brought me back into horse racing. I will always remember what Zenyatta did what few horses could do, hit you at the personal level. Every time she raced it was always a storybook ending. Now she has another a different deed to deal with, who is the lucky fellow?

17 Nov 2010 3:40 PM
Diane J

It's too bad the Mosses didn't buy a farm/ranch in CA for Zenyatta.  That way she could still be close enough for the Mosses and Shirreffs to visit.  Hopefully Lane's End will let fans visit Zenyatta.  The question now is, which Lane's End stallion will she be bred to?  I kind of like the idea of Candy Ride and Zenyatta...

17 Nov 2010 3:43 PM
Virgil Fox

… and again, Thank YOU, Steve,

for offering this platform to share our stories and express our gratitude.

- All the Best

17 Nov 2010 3:45 PM
WinnahPickah

The best I ever saw. Thanks Team Z.

Only question remains, Who's the lucky fella?

I guess my candidate Sea the Stars is out.

17 Nov 2010 3:46 PM
Lindsey S

She will be so dearly missed!  I'm glad she is retiring healthy and sound.  It seems so weird to even think of her as a mom!  I hope the horse racing industry can take what she's done for the sport, and build on it.  Her charismatic energy and sweet personality may not ever come along again!  I hope that fans will be able to come visit her, at least until she is bred.  I'm also a huge Curlin fan, so maybe I could visit 2 of my all-time favorites at the same time!  Thanks, as always, for your poignant words!  :)

17 Nov 2010 3:49 PM
LaLa

We love you Zenyatta!! You have changed so many peoples lives and helped remind everyone that all things are possible. I look forward to seeing your offspring in action! =)

“There was no telling what was to be The day they sold hip number 703. Not too bad looking, a little bit furry. She’ll do for someone who’s not in a hurry. Destiny smiled on that Street Cry daughter

She grew up and became Zenyatta.

Everybody watched when she spread her wings And now she’s the Queen of the Sport of Kings.”

“Zenyatta arrives you feel the crowd swell. Zenyatta! Zenyatta! you hear the crowd yell. Zenyatta! Zenyatta! Hear everyone say. We Love You Zenyatta, and Good Luck Today.”

-Liza G. Fly

May you be free in the field of greens!

17 Nov 2010 3:49 PM
Barbara W

Thank you so much, Steve. I know that mares are really sequestered on the farms to keep them peaceful and quiet. Is there any chance that arrangements could or would be made at any time of the year for her fans to visit her?

17 Nov 2010 3:50 PM
Karen in Indiana

Oh, how wonderful! Brings tears to my eyes. Can't wait to go see her!

17 Nov 2010 3:50 PM
Fisher

Bravo to them all for running her when she had matured, not before her time, and letting her retire sound and ready for her next adventures, be they in the breeding shed or elsewhere.

17 Nov 2010 3:51 PM
Vic S

The greatest horse possilbly of all-time,farwell Zenyatta - you are simply the best.  See you soon.

A fan since day 1, and forever in your debt - Vic S.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN

17 Nov 2010 3:51 PM
cher

Thanks for the memories!  A huge thank you to the Zenyatta connections for always putting the horse first.  LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

17 Nov 2010 3:52 PM
The Bid

Thanks for the ride, go Zenyatta go

17 Nov 2010 3:53 PM
New Racing Fan

I know nothing of racing & have never been to a race track nor placed a bet. I became interested with news of Rachel Alexandra & Zenyatta. So this question may seem really stupid. Why are these horses sent away from their "families" when retired? Why can't they stay where they are located & be bred there? This seems to me to be better for the horses & for those who cared for them & loved them.

17 Nov 2010 3:54 PM
Julie

I knew it had to end some day. I'm just glad she's healthy and happy. I'm also glad her website will be updated with pictures of how she's doing in Kentucky. I'm going to miss those heart attack come from behind races of hers, plus her dancing and prancing. She was truly one of a kind and we're not likely to see another mare like her in my lifetime.

17 Nov 2010 3:56 PM
CV

I can honestly say I felt like crying when I read about Zenyatta's retirement. I understand the feeling of loss for the Mosses, Shirreffs and all of Z's connections. For me, her retirement is a loss for horse racing and following it will seem a little less special after she is gone.  

I'm delighted her connections are going the extra mile to accommodate the many fans of this great mare. To them, I offer a heartfelt "Thank You" for your sportsmanship and graciousness in sharing this treasure with us.

And to Zenyatta herself, thanks for three years of great performances and memories, Big Girl. You rock!

17 Nov 2010 3:58 PM
mita

I for one will miss zenyatta's heart throbbing stretch runs. That put my heart in my throat. That wonderful dance she did that put a smile on my face.I will always be thankful to our daughter stefanie and our son in law for taking us to this years breeders cup. Thanks to all of Zenyatta's connections for sharing her with all of us,even the little people.

17 Nov 2010 4:08 PM
Donna

OHhhh my heart breaks... I don't want it to end.  I had hopes she would race just one more year.  This is hard to get over..

17 Nov 2010 4:10 PM
Samantha

I'm going to miss her so much.

17 Nov 2010 4:10 PM
Sharon M

Zenyatta has given so many of us thrills to remember for a lifetime, but now it's time for the next phase of her life.  For her connections, I'm sure this will be like a beloved child leaving home and striking out on their own.  But they will all adjust as we will adjust to not watching her antics and seeing that thrilling come from behind stretch run.  Life is about constant change and I wish only the best for the big girl and all her connections.  Thanks for the memories and I wish her a safe and happy life!

17 Nov 2010 4:11 PM
MAT

I will miss her.  It was a thrill to look forward to each of her races and to watch her amazing performances.  She never disappointed me!  I wish her a long and happy life in retirement.

17 Nov 2010 4:13 PM
David

Ok. Expected this. Gonna miss watching her. Wish her well and appreciate her connections retiring her the right way, even if it is again. Steve, y'all make sure the people at Disney know she didn't win, (hard for me to say she lost) her last race.

17 Nov 2010 4:13 PM
poormansracehorse

maybe they should just 'retire her stall". Turn it into a quiet little shrine/sanctuary.

17 Nov 2010 4:13 PM
Afleet Treet

Steve,

THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this blog with all of us fans. As a transformed fan of a good 203 years now I can say I have NEVER been captivated by a horse more than I am with Zen. Her racing career aside, she is perhaps the most charismatic and lovable racehorse I have ever seen. Having met her once I was AMAZED at how gentle and sweet she is and how adoring of people she is. I TRULY hope her "family" will allow her "extended family" the chance to still come see her as almot as much as they will, we will assuredly miss her so much! PLEASE keep us posted and A BAZILLION THANKS TO TEAM ZENYATTA for sharing this wonderful mare with the world for so long. Thanks to them fo rkeeping her happy, healthy and sound and for bringing her legions of fans close to her anytmie. I truly hoep I can scrape up enough pennies to get there top CA one last time to see her. If not, Lane's End in the sprintime for sure...even if it across a field I will be thrilled to see this magnificient beauty again!

17 Nov 2010 4:13 PM
PATTI

FARWELL, DEAR ZENYATTA.  YOU WILL BE FOREVER IN HEARTS.  I AM THRILLED TO SEE THAT YOUR NEW LIFE WILL BE CHRONICLED BY DOTTIE SHIRREFFS ON THE ZENYATTA.COM WEBSITE... DAILY POSTS.  I HAVE BEEN ENJOYING READING ABOUT YOUR LATEST ESCAPEDS.  ENJOY YOUR WELL DESERVED RETIREMENT.  YOU WILL BE A FANTATIC MOM.  WE LOVE YOU.  LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

17 Nov 2010 4:16 PM
Dusty

Thank you for writing this!

Zenyatta has done so much for this sport... she connects with fans, she loves the cameras, and she has so many little things about her that fans notice- the way she always eats carrots skinny end first, the way she loves hugs and kisses.

Though I never got to see her race in person, I was glued to the T.V. throughout every race. I look forward to meeting her in Kentucky next year... and I'll bring carrots. :)

17 Nov 2010 4:19 PM
GoldenBroom

Yeah! I live in Ohio and can't wait to go see her! Happy, healthy, retired and safe.

Congratulations...all hail the Queen!

17 Nov 2010 4:21 PM
Melissa G.

The official announcement of her retirement has made me feel more emotional than her stirring loss to Blame.  What horse can fill the void she leaves?

17 Nov 2010 4:21 PM
shuttleworth

Oh, man, I knew this day was coming soon... Zenyatta: you are the Greatest!! Enjoy your retirement!! Long live the Queen!!!

17 Nov 2010 4:21 PM
Jim

Have a great post racing life.....ZENYATTA.

You stand up there with John Henry & Secretariat.

17 Nov 2010 4:22 PM
Heidi

I write this with tears in my eyes--thanks for the memories Zenyatta; you will always hold a very special place in my heart. I am thankful a thousand times over that I got to see you in person for the first time at the Classic a couple weeks ago...and I hope it isn't the last time. Enjoy the green hills of Kentucky--you deserve it! Long live the Queen!

17 Nov 2010 4:25 PM
mbenes

What an adventure this has been with her!  What a privilege to have seen her in this lifetime. They're setting up a farewell for her at Hollywood Park on Dec. 5th.  I'll be there.

17 Nov 2010 4:26 PM
Dani

"Long live the Queen."

17 Nov 2010 4:29 PM
zfan

Thank you for the wonderful article and thank you to her owners and trainer and all concerned for deciding to retire her.  Like Dottie said, "she is healthy and happy and doing great". What memories!!!!

17 Nov 2010 4:29 PM
LindaM

Great choice in having her stay at Lanes End.  After all that is where the Queen of England comes to visit when she is in America.  Now the Queen of racing will stay there too.  Good luck to all and thanks for the memories.

17 Nov 2010 4:30 PM
CHoffman

It is not unusual for a queen to have a beautiful park with trees, grass and beautiful scenery.  Ask Liz in Britain.  (And she would love the comparison.  Queen Elizabeth is an avid horsewoman.)

17 Nov 2010 4:32 PM
Zen's Auntie

Thank you Once again Steve Haskin,  for bringing me to tears - I really haven’t been this sad or this happy all at once at the retirement to breeding career of a horse ever.  

I hope Lanes End will allow visitation with the Great Mare.

Following Zenyatta is a proven therapy better than many medical interventions so easily prescribed today. She is a drug her fans should not have to go without cold turkey.

I know it’s not being done yet, but we are entering 2011, and the absence of Zenyatta from many peoples lives is going to be hard to take so... I strongly suggest daily live web feeds at specific times once she is settled in to help her fans stay close and follow her progress as a broodmare.

I would look at her every day - response would be viral...it’s a though ,TB racing powers that be,  it's a thought - perhaps sell subscriptions with all proceeds going to Ex racehorse rehab and retirement programs.   You could buy a year sub to ZTV for your favorite Z fan for Christmas.  Now that would really be a swell gift. That’s it, I’m calling Lanes End right now….

17 Nov 2010 4:32 PM
Householder

I followed Zenyatta to Hollywood Park, Santa Anita, and Del Mar.  Now I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself. She sure went out like the champ she was...fighting!  

17 Nov 2010 4:34 PM
Ava

I am heartbroken that she will not race again- I was hoping for one last time- I hope the Moss's at least have a Zenyatta day at Hollywood Park, so we can see her on the track, one last time----- sob

17 Nov 2010 4:35 PM
Criminal Type

Steve, Once again you write a story that catches the emotions of Zenyatta's connections. I can only imagine how much they will miss her. It must be a little like grief. The lose of her on a daily basis. My husband & I lost our only child last Thanksgiving, he was 23. This last week and the one coming up have been and are going to be tough for me. I want to thank you for your wonderful stories that have helped me smile, laugh & even cry a little over the past year. Your work inspires me to keep getting up and breathing so I can read the next story.

17 Nov 2010 4:35 PM
Soldier Course

I doubt that we fans will be able to visit Zenyatta. Lane's End does not offer farm visits to the general public. Even the farms who do, such as Three Chimneys, Ashford, Claiborne, do not allow visitors to see the broodmares.

17 Nov 2010 4:37 PM
alphaecho

The detractors will never fully understand or appreciate what a rare and magnificent animal this horse is. Many have been labeled emotional and less than objective when describing and supporting Zenyatta. This horse is certainly more than an athelete as evidenced by her ineffable spirit, and thus the love and emotion. But those trainers who are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining a horse's fitness and health at the highest level and those handicappers that understand pace and running style KNOW what an amazing and GREAT horse SHE IS! Forget the BOGUS numbers that are modified on a whim trying to measure ability, and recognize the heart and class that have defined her determined coruscating stretch runs. "I'll let you run slow and have a big head start and still run you down 19 and almost 20 times over three years from 6 1/2f to 1 1/4m." NO HORSE CAN DO THAT you say? You want to bet? I know one that did. Her name is ZENYATTA and you're not likely to see another like her again.

Thanks Mr. Haskin for such great stories following her exploits.

Congrats' to all those that took the optimistic happy route and enjoyed her for the great horse she is, instead of trying to find fault.

And the rest, maybe at some point you'll have a satori, but then again some just like to be negative and unhappy.

Happy retirement to a guiding star and one of a kind! "ZENYATTA"  

17 Nov 2010 4:39 PM
clarinetmama

I am glad she is going to get her well deserved break now.  She truly is the greatest horse alive and she will always be loved! My dream is to one day take a trip to go visit the "Queen!"

17 Nov 2010 4:39 PM
derbyfan

I am so sad  Zenyatta is being retired for I have watched  her run since race 9.  On the other hand, I'm so glad she retiring happy and sound.  Thank you, you big, beautiful mare for allowing me to share in your glorious career.

17 Nov 2010 4:45 PM
anna

because new york racing fan. a racetrack isn't a breeding facuilty and besides it's a very complicated process where the mare has to be under heat lamps for a couple of months in the mare's barn before being bred and it's a very less stressful place for a maiden mare which about 25-50% of them does abort their foals or miscarry.

17 Nov 2010 4:45 PM
Gary Tasich

What can be said that hasn't already been said about a great warrior queen that has transcended the sport. God speed Zenyatta....

17 Nov 2010 4:47 PM
Criminal Type

Just because Zenyatta is being boarded at Lanes End does not make it a forgone conclusion that she will be bred to a Lanes End Staliion. She will be surrounded by the best stallions in this country and I am sure the Moss's have a bloodstock advisor working on her mating as we speak.

17 Nov 2010 4:47 PM
Mike Relva

BILLY'S EMPIRE

So you're"doing a DRAYNAY" acting as if you admire her,while trashing her on every other blog? Nice.

17 Nov 2010 4:50 PM
Johnny

Queen Z; I discovered you after your allowance race how you toyed with the field.

Over the past three years I had the pleasure of watching you grow and perfoman like none other. Never throwing in a bad race always giving your fans what they came for.

Now today it is official your racing career has come to an end. As sad and as selfish as I am not wanting you to retire, it is the right thing, with nothing left to prove.

You are the HORSE OF A LIFETIME.

GOD BLESS TO ALL THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORIES..

17 Nov 2010 5:01 PM
Ange

I too have had to say goodbye to horses we've had in our care, and it's hard. I have to figure for a horse as amazing as her it would be at least 150 times harder than ours!

I too wish she'd stay in California, it would be easier for me to go see her, much nicer weather for her babies to grow up in. I so can't wait for her babies to arrive, they will be big strapping boys & girls.

I wonder who the lucky guy will be...

17 Nov 2010 5:11 PM
Ragsy

   "ZENYATTA THE GREAT"

All of Zenyatta's people are super great folks....

Mere words cannot describe the beauty,elegance and determination that you are!!!

What I have seen from American bred horse farms etc, is not  horse frindly to people called the "fan". "Adena Springs" is the "Greatest" for people that love the horse in America... they give horse information and send pictures to folks...

The European horse people love to send pictures and inform one about their horses, WHY IS THAT? When American farms won't?

17 Nov 2010 5:11 PM
slee

Thanks for the memory

Of Vertigineux’ little girl, of Street Cry’s little pearl,

The Clement Hirsch and drives that all but made our toenails curl,

How lovely it was!

Thanks for the memory

Of rainy afternoons, of sprints in morning glooms,

And Apple Bloss’ms, Milady’s and then Classics all by 2’s

How lovely it was!

Many's the time that we feasted

And once was the time we fasted

Oh, well, it was swell while it lasted

We did have fun and no harm done


And thanks for the memory

Of workouts at the shore, and dawns with Mario,

You never were a headache and you never were a bore

So thank you so much.

Thanks for the memory

Of sentimental verse, extra coinage in my purse

And chuckles when announcers said "she’s too far back" and cursed.

How lovely it was

Thanks for the memory

Of white along the face, of Guinness by the case

And how we cheered the day you shoved Gio Ponti off the pace

How lovely it was!

You said goodbye with one last charge

Then I got as high as a steeple

But we are still loving people

All tears and fuss, hooray for us!

So, thanks for the memory

And strictly extraneous, Queen Z how are you?

And how are all the famous dreams that almost all came true?

Aw'flly glad we met you, cheerio, and toodle-oo

And thank you so much.

(with apologies to Leo Robin & Ralph Rainger, www.squidoo.com/bob-hope-thanks-for-the-memory-lyrics)

17 Nov 2010 5:12 PM
robin from michigan

So long Zenyatta. We will miss you so much. Have fun being a mother.

17 Nov 2010 5:13 PM
Barbara W

Criminal Type,

I too have an only child, and my heart breaks for you. Will be keeping you in my prayers over the holiday season.

That barn will seem not only mighty empty but just plain vacant with big Z gone. I hope the Mosses keep the baby.

Soldier Course--

I agree with you that it would be unheard of if Lane's End would let us visit. What they told us when we wanted to go in the spring is that they allow visitors (to the stallions) but not during breeding season. I keep hoping, though.

17 Nov 2010 5:13 PM
Rhonda from Saskatchewan

It is a relief to see Zenyatta retired safe and sound and can only hope she stays that way as she begins to run the race of her life as a broodmare.

She will be immortalised by all of her fans and people will know about her long after her fans are dust.

Thank you for the memories, beautiful girl!

If only all equines had a future that involved a home with good food and water, shelter and some green to graze.

A rescue farm named TBFriends run by Joe and Cathy Shelton in California is about to put up a new website as a non-profit organisation. It will include a PayPal button. These people and their friends are responsible for thousands of rescues of all breeds of horses and other living things and do not qualify for the usual funding. Check out their website and see what a committment they have. You could make this Holiday Season extra special by sending a donation to TBFriends, Old Friends or any other organisation that helps animals. Do it in Zenyatta's name to thank her for all she has given us.

May everyone have a peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year.

17 Nov 2010 5:16 PM
Mike S.

I would really like to hear from her groom,this guy actually lived with her took care of her.He deserves alot of credit maybe even GROOM OF THE YEAR.When you see him leading her to the paddock for every race what do you think was going through his head.I think he will really miss her,i bet she was just as important to him as he was to her.I can hardly wait for the movie.

17 Nov 2010 5:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

I'm happy to see The Queen go to her new castle, and new adventures safe and sound. She'll have some new servants, and still have millions of fans in her heart. The Queen exists on a higher plane of awareness so she knows we are here and love her. May she enjoy her new stomping grounds, and motherhood, and continue to live a joyous life. No one has been more thrilling to watch. There was nothing like seeing Zenyatta thunder down the stretch to snare victory time, and time again. There were brief moments of sadness when we were sure couldn't get there in time this time that turned to elation when she somehow did it again. Few have bridged the gap between horse and human as Zenyatta has, or provided as much joy. Long Live The Queen, The Dancing Queen, The Amazing Zenyatta, The Queen That Never Lost Our Hearts. Be happy in your new home, sweet one.

17 Nov 2010 5:28 PM
WinngColrz

Sadly, Lane's End is not one to offer the typical fan-based tours of the farm. I'm sure you'd have to know someone to get in there to visit with Queenie. As long as I get an occasional photo and updates I will be a very happy fan!

17 Nov 2010 5:28 PM
maryann727

Thank you Mr. Haskin for writing with such eloquence about the emotion Zenyatta's presence evoked.  And thank you for allowing her fans a forum to express their feelings of love and admiration for this singular race mare.  Your appreciation of her and understanding of her fans is evident in sentences such as, "This is not about letting go of a racehorse. It is about letting go of a kindred spirit that has encompassed their lives for so many years."

With many thanks to the humans who cared for her, treasured her and shared her with generosity of heart and purpose.  They raised racing to a higher plane with their class and Zenyatta showed her class in every race with her unprecedented way of winning so many races.  I feel fortunate to have felt and seen something beyond spectacular.

Godspeed to all who love her. Thank you and take good care Zenyatta!  

17 Nov 2010 5:35 PM
redwoodsforever

Mr. Haskins, thanks for a great summation of what Zenyatta has meant to her loving family and all the fans who feel a part of it.  I have enjoyed horse racing off and on since the 1970's but have never felt so strongly about a single horse as I do about Zenyatta.  I've tried to figure out why this is and the only explanation I can arrive at is that Zenyatta encompasses it all - athleticism that compares with Secretariat, spirit, intelligence and a loving soul.  Everytime I watch her run I get chills and am sad that her racing career is now behind her. Not that Zenyatta has anything to prove.  If anything, she showed her true colors and enlarged her legacy in her final race.  Zenyatta gave us all a little hope that miracles do exist.    Long live Zenyatta!

17 Nov 2010 5:39 PM
anncat

Thanks, Steve, for all of your great writings about Zenyatta.  My hope is that she can study dressage during her retirement.  I think she has a good foundation and proven aptitude to that equestrian sport.  Just think what a boost to the sport of dressage that would be!!

I think they ought to breed her to A. P. Indy or his son Bernardini.  

Here's hoping the Z-Cam idea takes hold.  I will subscribe the first day.

17 Nov 2010 5:42 PM
wildblueroan

Not only did Zenyatta set a new standard on and off the racetrack,but IMO her connections did an outstanding job of managing her career. They clearly made her well-being a priority, balancing her need to race with at the highest levels with keeping her sound and happy. And all the while they were gracious and accommodating to her fans and the media. All this was no mean feat over the course of 3 years! I thank them for interjecting some humanity and appreciation for horses back into racing. Zenyatta herself is one in a zillion, and she will be deeply missed.

17 Nov 2010 5:47 PM
Kathy B.

I've been sad/happy all morning....thank you Steve for writing with compassion about our beloved Zenyatta.  And thank you Dottie for the wonderful diaries...please keep them coming!  That way the Queen can be in our lives for many, many years to come.  And pooh to those who think sentiment is not a valid part of horse racing....it makes the sport live on thru the ages!  Zenyatta and her Team have been terrific ambassadors.

17 Nov 2010 5:50 PM
bc

I would love to see a Pulpit and Zenyatta breeding

17 Nov 2010 5:55 PM
Carl

I am just glad they gave this magnificent animal the rest she deserves. Unlike some, I was holding my breath hoping they would not extend her career. I know she could win many more times, even as a seven year old, but she has earned the right to be turned out healthy and happy. I'm sure Zenyatta thinks she won that last race. Imagine the heart of this great champion. In her mind, loosing was not an option. It still sends a chill up my spine and makes my eyes water when I think of her greatness. You just don't see that in everyday life.

The best part of her retirement for me is the haters. Now they won't have this incredible animal to belittle and denigrate. They can focus on the mediocre horses they seem to love.

A message to the Zenyatta haters: kharma is a ...... I believe greatly in kharma. I have seen it work too many times not to believe in it. You will remember your unkindness to Zenyatta, when all she did was bring joy. Her, I miss already. You, I never will.

17 Nov 2010 5:57 PM
julieo

What an amazing ride we were on.  Zenyatta was a gift, and her people knew it and always shared her with us.   I will miss her, them, and Steve's wonderful articles on her.   I hope someone interesting comes along soon!   (Maybe Uncle Mo?).   Everything about Zenyatta was unique- racing style, successes, personality, and physical presence.   I don't think we'll ever see another horse like her.

17 Nov 2010 6:00 PM
Johnny

Steve I am having a debate with my self.

This years eclipse awards are in my backyard.

Is this event woth attending if you are not in the business just a fan.

TY

Johnny

17 Nov 2010 6:01 PM
Railbird!

Live strong big Z. Be happy  knowing your healthy! And in great hands. I feel blessed to have seen you run live from the rail three times from Oaklawn park and Santa Anita at last years Breeders cup! And sad to say I never got to see you run your race vs Ratchel. I will allways cherish the three raceing progrhams I saved from each race. And bless all involved in keeping her safe and sound. I know it's going to be a tough last day when you place her on that horse van heading to Kentucky!  

17 Nov 2010 6:03 PM
Sharon

Zenyatta, you touched a lot of hearts out there and you definitely touched mine. You deserve this retirement because you have done everything ever asked of you and then some. I hope you enjoy your long awaited retirement and keep them boys in line. Maybe some day, I will come to visit you.

17 Nov 2010 6:03 PM
JO

i WAS SO PRIVILAGED TO GET TO MEET ZENNY AFTER THE BREEDERS CUP GEVE THE TEAM A CAKE YOU TOOK A PICTURE OF AND GIVE ZENNY CARROTS AND JUST TO SIT IN AWE OF HER FOR AN HOUR BY THAT FENCE ON LONGFIELD. SHE STAYED RIGHT THERE UNTIL TIME TO GO IN. THANK YOU ZENNY THANK YOU TEAM AND THANK YOU STEVE I SO HOPE I CAN VISIT HER OFTEN HERE IN KENTUCKY

17 Nov 2010 6:05 PM
Dutch

She gave horse racing fans a big lift with her thrilling victories over the years. We'll never see another horse quite like Zenyatta, that's for sure. Here's hoping she has a prosperous career as a broodmare.

For what it's worth, thank you to the connections of Zenyatta for a job well done. She definitely had a great team behind her.

17 Nov 2010 6:05 PM
anita b

Thank you to John Shirreffs for alowing Zenyatta grow up before starting her racing career. She is one of the greatest--30 years from now people will still be talking about her. Let us hope she goes to Ireland to have a date with Sea The Stars. He, like her, are extra special thoroughbreds. Have a great date, Zen.

17 Nov 2010 6:05 PM
Melanie

Thanks Steve. I'll miss your articles on Zenyatta almost as much as I'll miss her! I knew the day was coming, but seeing the official announcement still made my stomach turn. Selfishly, I was still holding out hopes that they may keep her in training and give her a swan's song in Dubai, but this is for the best, I know. She's happy and healthy, and that's all that really matters. Now that she'll be gone, maybe we'll have some of her siblings to cheer for? Does anyone know the names of any of her siblings that are in training? Other than Balance, I don't know the history of any of the others. Anyone know?

17 Nov 2010 6:07 PM
Zenyatta The Mama!

Now us worry worts will have some nail biting as she delivers that first foal.  Hoping they breed to a stallion who's foals come easy!  I cannot wait until her first baby runs!  Until then, we have baby Rags To Riches and Octaves and the like.  Pepper's Pride lost her first but hoping a baby will be born to her this year.  The gift of Thoroughbred racing, the great families . . . horses AND humans!

17 Nov 2010 6:11 PM
sue

Great article as usual!  Zenyatta is a once in a lifetime horse...how many times have we heard that.  But...it's true.  I believe Jerrya and Ann have chosen a great place for her and I efforts will be made to accommodate the fans who want to visit.  She deserves a great life and will have one.  {{{   }}} to her connections who always put her interests before anything else.  Together they were a winning combination of the highest order.

17 Nov 2010 6:15 PM
KariB

Thank you Steve,

I knew they would go out of the box for her! I believed in her connections. She will be just up the road a bit from me. Tears of Joy.

She captured me deep in the core of my being and I will love her always. Long-Long Live The Queen!!

Thank you Ann and Jerry Moss and all involved from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you for telling Zenyatta's story in such a beautiful way.

17 Nov 2010 6:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Three thoroughbreds have deeply effected and affected me. Zenyatta, Lost In The Fog, and Secretariat. It has been such a joy being a part of the Zenyatta journey. After losing Lost In The Fog the way we did I didn't want to feel that close to anyone again. I had no choice with Zenyatta. If you watch her, you love her. I witnessed magic in it's purest form. I saw joy and adoration that I've never seen. I yelled like I've never yelled. I've been stunned by expected victory. I've seen the greatest pre-race show ever exhibited. Beauty, excellence, pride, determination, heart, love, and joy all in one bundle of of one hell of a show. The Greatest Show on Earth twenty times, nineteen that ended in the winner's circle and one that ended in victory without crossing the finish line first. There was no strikeout, there was no lack of joy in Churchillville. Never has a horse recieved such applause for not crossing the line first. The Great Zenyatta was applauded for the tremendous effort she gave on November 6th, and for every other time she stepped onto the track and astonished us, and for her kind, and gentle soul that she has shared with loved ones, and strangers, and the world. Thank you Dottie, and John, and Mike, and Steve, and Mario, and Ann, and Jerry for sharing with us the most magnificient creature that ever lived, and taking such good care of her so that she could go off to conquer new worlds as healthy as a horse.

17 Nov 2010 6:17 PM
Jodie

Thank you Steve for this.  You are one of the few that seems to capture what makes Zenyatta so special to her many fans.  I knew this was coming but for me the excitement has just left horse racing.

17 Nov 2010 6:18 PM
DinkyDiva

You know, I don't recall ever feeling this way about a horse I did not own or touch or see in person.  I knew this day was coming but, still, that knowledge doesn't stop my heart from breaking nor does it stop the tears from falling.  Ughh!!

Zenny, I don't have the words to describe what a difference you have made in my life.  I wish you the best and will look forward to seeing your babies and watching and reading about you every chance I get!  I'm sure it won't be easy at first, being away from most of your family!  But, maybe they will put you in the field with your old stablemate, Life is Sweet?! You will always be my Queen! I love you soooo!!  Thank you so much for everything you have given!

Thank you Team Zenyatta for taking such wonderful care of our Queen and allowing us to be a part of her life and yours!!!

Steve, do you think they will televise the retirement parade?  That would be a great thing for us fans that can not make it to HP!

Also, Steve, I want to thank you for all of your articles, you have such a special way to connect with the fans!  I'm sure that the next "And they're off," might be hard on you and Lenny.

17 Nov 2010 6:18 PM
cynthia

Hopefully in 2115 or so I will be rooting for AP Zendy to win the Triple Crown...

17 Nov 2010 6:19 PM
Susan

The ride with Zenyatta has been like no other. I thank her handlers for sharing her with all of us. I wish her the very, very best on the next chapter of her extraordinary life.

17 Nov 2010 6:20 PM
Ollie

There are no words that can

truly express what I feel and

have for "The Queen." She is

the greatest!  I console myself

knowing that she is sound and

healthy and will be well taken

care of, but it's not easy.

Love live my "Queen"

17 Nov 2010 6:20 PM
Lorri

And the legend continues. Here's to Zenyatta producing beautiful babies who can run like their Mom. She can be the Broodmare of the century. No hacks for Zen. Only the best, those befitting her regal response. We will most certainly miss her but with Dottie, John and the Moss' keeping her fans updated the story will never end. Have the best life Zen, you have definitely earned it.

17 Nov 2010 6:23 PM
Riket

Te vamos a extrañar mucho Zenyatta,  eres la mejor yegua de carreras de la historia y una inspiracion..te deseo lo mejor y siempre estaras en mi corazon. Siento mucha tristeza pero al mismo tiempo mucha alegria y  esperanza de algun dia ver a tus hijos continuar con tu legado.  No sabes cuanto te voy a extrañar. Con todo el cariño y el respeto del mundo, te doy las gracias!!

17 Nov 2010 6:34 PM
Annette

All hail the Queen!!

17 Nov 2010 6:36 PM
AzCav

I'll miss watching her run, she was so exciting and just stunning to watch. But she more than deserves retirement and motherhood!

Have a great time in the green pastures, Zenny.

I love you Zenyatta! Long live the Queen!

17 Nov 2010 6:37 PM
DinkyDiva

Steve, just watched: "And they're off."  I loved it as usual but, really loved "Zenyattasphere!"  Thanks

17 Nov 2010 6:41 PM
Rita

I was hoping they would retire her now it is killing me.I hope her family will see her like they said they were going to. If she was mine I could not let her go for any reason but I guess business is business.I don't think they will let fans see her. Maybe thru the facebook page Dottie said she was keeping and thru Bloodhorse people, reporters and writers like Steve we'll be able to keep up with her. I just hope she will not be forgotten.I miss her so much already.

17 Nov 2010 6:46 PM
Gayle

Just went to an open house day after the B.C at Lane's End and they brought out all the stallions for us.  Maybe they will try to plan something to accommodate the public. It will be difficult considering she's a mare, but she's the people's horse, they have to understand....don't they???

Love You Zenyatta..glad I was able to see you at the barn......

17 Nov 2010 6:48 PM
Rachel

This is the time you wish she was a stallion or a gelding, so we could go see her...only a privileged few will get that opportunity now that she's a baby maker.

We'll miss you, big girl. ♥

17 Nov 2010 6:52 PM
Steve Haskin

johnny, if you have TVG, I wouldnt spend the money for a ticket.

Thanks, Dinky, I kinda like that word myself :)

17 Nov 2010 6:53 PM
Sam Anderer

Steve, as alway, great article.  There are still some questions that have not been answered.  Zenyatta's heart size.  I find it very hard to believe that she's never had a EKG that "measured" her magnificent heart.

If she has that double tap on her genes, she needs be crossed to a stallion that actually, physically has a big heart, with his dams having the double tap as well.

I'm surprised that the Mosses didn't go after Vertigineux when she was offered for sale, or that someone didn't take her back to Street Cry.

I also wonder what are the unstated reasons for Queen Z's retirement.  Why not a Grade 1 on the grass, or the Santa Anita Handicap?   Has any other than Lava Man accomplished Grade 1's on all 3 surfaces?

Has she lost her zest for running?  She's just coming into her prime.  If this is set in stone, I hope all goes well with her reproductive capacity.

Mike Smith stated there was not a stallion worthy of her.  Remains to be seen.

Let's do ourselves a big favor and stop talking about her in the past tense.  If I was new to racing and read the comments and blogs, I would think she had died.

17 Nov 2010 7:06 PM
Kurt

it'll be interesting to see which lanes end stallion shes bred to. first thought was ap indy because hes older but ap's offspring can run all day, same as Z, so guessing they will breed her to speed. as much as i hate to say it, quality road would be a solid choice..although i hope she kicks him for stopping in front of her and costing her #20..although, i saw QR the day he arrived at lanes last week and hes actually a big horse too..they said 16.3 so maybe go with a smaller stallion. as for visits, yah, lanes end is a horriffic choice!!.not fan friendly at all..except at the open houses they hold during the year. i would have hoped the moss' would have a visitation clause wherever shes at. side note, i spent a week in ky after the BC touring several farms. i saw only ONE of the great mares...serenas song!..the farm shes at was amazing!!. i was able to see serena, feed her peppermints and take pics of her. they said she gets visters nearly every day so IT CAN BE DONE!!

17 Nov 2010 7:19 PM
GRob

Thank you Lord.  She sooooo deserved to be retired.  I love her.  I appreciate everything she has done for the sport.  I think now, people can really focus on other races besides only the races she runs in.  I hope all the people she brought to racing, keep watching, and truly learn the sport..... because there are a lot of qualiy horses running out there, who deserve attention.

17 Nov 2010 7:22 PM
mary glynn

Aw Steve Haskins you just make the soul sing and hurt at the same time, Zenyatta I may never get to see you as so many other lucky folks have,My heart goes out to her racing family especially John Sherriff You are an awesome man and trainer. I know this must be hard but maybe you will be with her again when the first baby comes . Steve I have said this before but somebody needs to write a book about zenyatta and follow her career as a broodmare!

17 Nov 2010 7:23 PM
Bheinz01

Now there will be two "Royal Weddings" in 2011. Thanks for all the insightful and often poetic coverage of Zenyatta.

17 Nov 2010 7:26 PM
GRob

For all of the fans..... they will let you see her.   Just call for an appointment, and go see her.  Be sure to tip the groom who shows her to you.  It's not like she's going into isolation.  She's going to a major farm in Kentucky.  Quit acting like she's gone forever.

17 Nov 2010 7:27 PM
markinsac

If and when Hollywood Park closes, her entire barn and stall MUST BE PRESERVED.  This is a historical landmark that could be visited by the masses for ever.  And save that little patch of grass too!  She gave her fans and the industry a ride of a lifetime.  No other horse will ever come along that has her heart and charisma.  

Ann, Jerry, John, Dottie, Mario, Steve and Mike, we owe you a lot for training her the way you did.  And for sharing her the way you did!  Letting strangers hug her and kiss her was amazing.  I can't thank you enough for helping out so many people, you lifted us up when times were tough.  I spent a lot of money going to Los Angeles and San Diego to visit her.  It was worth every penny!

Zenny, I love you!

17 Nov 2010 7:31 PM
Tracy

To Zenyatta,

Thank you for everything,but you are not off the hook as your picture will remain on my piano forever,I will never forget you for all the joy you brought.You are every word that describes something perfect in my book.Love you Queen Z!

17 Nov 2010 7:31 PM
Carolyn

Melanie:  There is a drk bay filly that is a half to Zenyatta, foaled Jan 27, 2009 named Eblouissante (yes, that is the name given in Pedigree Query..lol) that looks interesting...she also has no inbreeding like Zenyatta...she was sold privately but don't know who has her.  She is by Bernardini...I will keep my eye out for her, tho I doubt there will ever be another Zenyatta!

17 Nov 2010 7:40 PM
SQ

Does anyone know which farm Rachel Alexandra resides-I know Life is Sweet is at Land's End. Zenyatta gaves us a great ride;)

17 Nov 2010 7:41 PM
Helen

Hey, it is easy.  Don't despair.  As far as I am concerned, breed her to Blame.  No really, it is not a bad cross!  And remember, horses can not read their pedigrees!  I think it is a match made in heaven......and lastly, never forget that Hope Springs Eternal....

17 Nov 2010 7:42 PM
Mike I

You always make us wait for you at the top of the lane this is true.

Heart pounding romp to the finish line, will she get there just in time. Hurry up the fans yell out loud run Zenyatta run and you always got up just in time. Your best run you saved for last running against the very best class, who can BLAME you where you ended up. the world was watching and saw the heart of a queen run her heart out chasing a dream. History will show down the road that you Zenyatta were the top show.

17 Nov 2010 7:44 PM
EQUINE PAPARAZZI

I have had the distinct honor of walking with Zenyatta to the paddock each time for her last three races in California. Three times I tagged along with John and Steve and Mario from the shed row or receiving barn, totally uninvited, but yet not shoo-ed away. I was filming her at the time and did not realize until just recently how lucky i was. It brings tears to my eyes to read all the wonderful words here and to know i was able to walk with her 3 times.

17 Nov 2010 7:47 PM
Taxman

This virtually guarantees she goes to AP Indy, as long as he is breeding they have to try him. The only other stud at Lane's End who is worthy is Smart Strike. Plus it is a good pedigree fit with Zenyatta.

17 Nov 2010 7:47 PM
wendyg

Since she is going to Lanes end, does that mean she will be bred to one of theirs?  If so, that could mean A.P. Indy, Curlin, etc... Even Rock Hard Ten is there, who I love a lot.  That could make a very large horse though.  Anyway, I was just curious.  

17 Nov 2010 7:52 PM
Greg J.

Thank You Zenyatta!  She is quite simply the most amazing horse I have ever seen in my life, hands down!  Hope she enjoys her well deserved and earned retirement.  I applaud her connections for doing right by her, they are a class operation, Bravo!

17 Nov 2010 8:05 PM
Michelle

All Z fans - you must watch this video.  You have got to see when Z goes into the paddock.  It is on the first video which is long but so worth it.  Us older folks may never see anything like this again in our lifetime.  What a special and amazing horse!!!  I hate to see her go but am so thankful that she is healthy and happy.

www.huffingtonpost.com/.../zenyatta-ffrom-backstretc_b_783189.html

17 Nov 2010 8:11 PM
Arts and Letters

If she were mine, I would breed her to Bernardini - although I don't think he's a Lane's End.

17 Nov 2010 8:13 PM
Kiyoko

Thanks for the memories, Zenyatta!

And as for her life at Lane's End, I think it would be a shame if they limited her to the public. Broodmare or not. I've never heard of a pregnant mare that has ever had complications from extra petting, hugs, or just being showed off to people. And I'm sure after the foal is born, being in front of people would be a great socializing experience that could work wonders in getting it used to the sounds on the racetrack.

17 Nov 2010 8:14 PM
PJJ

I hope she is bred to A.P. Indy, that way her foal will have the Secretariat bloodline.   Although, I know the Mosses dont plan on selling her foals.  I dont blame them.

17 Nov 2010 8:15 PM
RockHardTenGroupie

crying...it's like I am seeing off a beloved friend on an adventure I can not be a part of but still have the joy in my heart that they will be happy and healthy in that new endeavor

17 Nov 2010 8:19 PM
MTBFan(still)

My eyes just got blurry. Must be allergies...oh, never mind. I can't make excuses anymore. *sniff*. I admire this mare but was (and am) a Rachel fan with all the vim of a Tea Party member. But I managed to realize how amazing she is before she retired and I got a chance to become a good fan too.

17 Nov 2010 8:20 PM
Will W

They just can't get em' to the breeding stall fast enough. Blame, Quality Road, and now Zenyatta. This one with Z is worse than the retirement of Curlin on a sour note after a defeat in the BC Classic. There's very little sport left in the Sport of Kings. There seems to be nothing ahead for thoroughbred horse racing but new and lower levels of disgust for a game that thinks it can right itself by the addition of casino gambling and other gimmicks rather than by leaving its champions on the track long enough for the emotional ties to be established with fans that will bring the public back to the tracks. Zenyatta stayed in training long enough to begin to do that in an unprecedented way. Now all the legions of fans that multiplied in the last year can disappear like a morning mist or an evening shadow, and horse racing can go back into the serious doldrums and decline from which it seems unable to right itself. What a void is left by the retirement of Zenyatta at the top of her game, fit, and sound. She would have packed the tracks in 2011 and helped bring some welcome relief from those empty grandstands. Now with the loss of Zenyatta and Rachel  as well it's back to voids and vacuums as the norm in thoroughbred horse racing.

17 Nov 2010 8:24 PM
andrea cunningham

To the Queen and her family, you were the breath of fresh air this old trainer need.  Zenyatta gave her all, she was what a true champion should be! she gave our sportmany new fans and showed  the world what a great game this is. Thank you Mr. Sheriff for showing the world what it means to be a great trainer, you put the horse first, and to the Mosses you are great couple and you show true class thoughout the ride! Z earned her Horse ofthe Year and Mr. sheriff earned the love and respectof allhorse lovers.  Thanks for everything you did for  people around he world who love this sport!

17 Nov 2010 8:41 PM
marci

I am so thankful for the past 3 years. Watching a supreme athlete is a spiritual experience. It thrills the soul and rejuvinates the mind. She was pure joy! One day I want to kiss that nose! Wishful thinking, I know.

17 Nov 2010 9:02 PM
Pam S.

So many times I have waited eagerly for Zenyatta's next race, and now, it's the end of an era.  I'll never forget her.  She has put her stamp on this game like no other horse in many a year.  I wish her a long life and the best retirement imaginable.

So many good ideas posted here.  I would love to hear what her groom has to say.  Contributing to a horse welfare organization in Zenyatta's name is the perfect way for any fan to express how much she meant to them.

Sincere thanks to Team Z for the great care they took of our Queen -- and when they say they'll keep her fans updated on how she's doing, I know they mean it.  Thanks to you too, Steve, for the many wonderful tributes you penned during Zenyatta's career.  There was usually just nothing left to say.

But in this case, it's good-bye.

17 Nov 2010 9:03 PM
Stephie

What am I going to look forward to now? I really anticipated each of Zenyatta's races and could not wait for that Saturday to come.  

Zenyatta, you brought a lot of joy into my life.  I will sorely miss you.

17 Nov 2010 9:09 PM
Cris

Looks like maybe we might see a "li

ttle" Zenyattaformer running across the pasture in 2012. All the best to her. I just opened my birthday card and my sister sent me a wonderful card full of pictures she took through the chain link fence on Sunday after the race. I went out and framed them and I have them on my desk now as I write. Take good care of her Lanes End the world is watching.

17 Nov 2010 9:12 PM
Paula Higgins

First, Criminal Type I am so sorry for the loss of your only child. Everything else pales in comparison to that. Please accept my sincere condolences. I know this must be a very difficult time of year for you.

Steve, thank you for this wonderful article on Zenny's retirement. I am sitting here with a lump in my throat, yet all the while knowing this is the best thing for her. She owes us nothing and she has done so much. The same should be said for her connections. They will miss her far more than any of us can even comprehend. The day she leaves will be gut wrenching and they will be in my thoughts that day.

I think this is a good place to send her. They seem like good people and Mr. Farish is already on record as saying he will try to work something out so the public can see her at times. Dottie Sherriffs is going to keep us posted on Zenny's website. So we will get updates on how she is doing. Here is the really good news: she is retiring in excellent health and condition. I am very grateful for that. Also, we were part of a wonderful experience everyone, how lucky did we get?! We cheered her on, celebrated her successes and talked about it endlessly amongst each other as kindred spirits. What a great ride we had.

17 Nov 2010 9:15 PM
J Blessing

Lane's End! Oh god, I hope they breed her to Smart Strike! I've been pulling for that breeding since her last retirement, last year. I think Smart Strike would be an excellent cross for her, and his progeny can run all surfaces.

17 Nov 2010 9:15 PM
Racefan1111

Hopefully Lane's End will do their job to ensure The Queen's fans can visit her. She has done so much for the sport and this would allow it to continue. I also hope the diary post continue on Zenyatta.com, keeps people connected. As for the first date, I ran a nicking report on Zenyatta and Afleet Alex, someone mentioned it in a comment, unbelievable match.

17 Nov 2010 9:26 PM
Rocky

Thank you, Steve, and thanks to all of her connections for so generously sharing her with us for these years...to all of those who have had her with them every day and for whom there will be a space in their barn and in their hearts when she leaves for Kentucky.  We've all loved the ride, the excitement, and look forward to the next phase of her life with hope and the anticipation that it will be as successful and beautifully managed as the first nearly seven years.  Brava, Zenyatta.

17 Nov 2010 9:30 PM
Deborah

Zenyatta you made horse racing exciting. I never really paid any attention to it till you came along. I know little of the racing world, but I do know I could never let you go. You would just have to make do with a beautiful pasture in CA and suitors would have to come to you. You would only be bred every 3rd year at the most and there would be opportunities for your adoring public to visit you forever.I traveled to Churchill Downs just to see you and was thrilled. I don't see how you are going to be happy so far away from all you know and the limelight, but I pray that somehow you will be. Your fan always.  

17 Nov 2010 9:32 PM
John

Zenyatta retires as the greatest female racehorse of all time.  She has beaten the winners of 67 Grade 1 races, 25 horses that have won a Grade 1 race, 12 horses that were multiple winners of Grade 1 races, have beaten at least 6 and perhaps 7 Eclipse Award Champions, have beaten 6 and perhaps 7 Divisional Champions, 2 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic Champions, has destroyed Citation's and Cigar's records, has destroyed Eclipse's record, has destroyed Bayakoa's record and has destroyed Rock of Gilbralter's record.

She WILL be ranked in the top 15 of all time American racehorses.

She WILL be the 2010 HOY.

17 Nov 2010 9:36 PM
sherpa

Here's the Press Release from Lane's End:

LANE’S END

1500 Midway Road

P. O. Box 626

Versailles, Kentucky 40383

PRESS RELEASE

November 17, 2010

TWO-TIME CHAMPION ZENYATTA TO LANE’S END

"'Jerry and Ann Moss’ great champion ZENYATTA, who recently retired from

racing, will be boarded at Mr. and Mrs. William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near

Versailles, Kentucky. She is expected to arrive in early December.

ZENYATTA won 19 of 20 starts with her only loss coming in this year’s

Breeders’ Cup Classic when she ran second, by just a head, after coming from far

off the pace. She set North American female records in earnings - $7,304,580 and

with an extraordinary 13 Grade 1 wins. Those Grade 1 wins include the 2009

Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic. She earned

Eclipse Awards as champion older mare in both 2008 and 2009.

ZENYATTA was purchased by David Ingordo on behalf of the Mosses at the

2005 Keeneland September yearling sale. She was trained by John Shirreffs and

ridden for most of her career by Mike Smith.

Steve Haskin recently wrote for The Blood-Horse magazine the following tribute,

“Those six inches that separated her from an unbeaten record will be more and

more inconsequential as the years go by, consumed by the vast scope of her

accomplishments . . .”

Breeding plans have not yet been finalized.'"

:-)

17 Nov 2010 9:42 PM
DinkyDiva

You know, Steve, you write your stories for us but, how do you feel about this?  I mean, truly feel??  As a fan, not just a journalist/turf writer?  

17 Nov 2010 9:46 PM
Barrydan

Would love them to show the love for Mike Smith and send her to Holy Bull for the first foal.  His two loves together..brilliant.

17 Nov 2010 9:50 PM
sherpa

I knew she'd have to be retired FOR REAL this time.  Yet when I got home from work today and checked in, the headline took me off guard.  Lord, I will miss her!

Steve - Thank you for giving us so much space to express our abiding affection for Zenyatta.  (It boggles my mind to think how much deleting you must have to do to keep this the ONE place "where never is heard a discouraging word!")  

Thank you!!

17 Nov 2010 9:55 PM
GJU

When I found out this afternoon that Zenyatta's retirement was "official", it was a bit of a letdown. I sat at my computer just writing what I felt about Zenyatta and boy, did it come pouring out. After reading Dottie's comments, I don't think I can imagine what Big Mama Z's connections must be feeling, but I would like to join the many on this blog who have thanked them for making Zenyatta available to the public, keeping her racing in 2010 and allowing Mike Smith to ride her up and down the stretch after each win so fans could get another look at her before hitting the winner's circle. And now, to keep us informed of Zenyatta's goings-on in Kentucky. I hope this happens and I hope the fans who go to visit her there will be allowed. This is what horse racing needs more of. Viva Zenyatta! Love you madly!

17 Nov 2010 10:01 PM
txhorsefan

Steve, you've done it again.  I guess I will never learn to get up from the computer and grab the box of kleenex from the other side of the room and then continue reading your blog. After a busy day with my family, I finally got a chance to get to the Bloodhorse site only to be saddened by the headline of Zenyatta's retirement.  I knew it was coming, and I know it is the right thing, but I still have such mixed emotions.  Of course, then I have to start scanning the other articles to see what you have to say on the subject and you did not disappoint.  Your eloquent tribute to Zenyatta reminds me once again why I've been reading here for so long and I thank you.  I wish I could find the words to express my gratitude for your generosity in sharing your experiences with Zenyatta and her connections so we can feel less left out.  It's going to be so hard to not be seeing articles about her on these pages, so I hope they will continue her web-site and I do sincerely hope that as the original article stated, they will make some provisions for her fans to visit with her at Lane's End.  I cannot imagine anyone else being as accommodating as John Shirreffs and the Mosses have been, but I will remain optimistic until I learn otherwise.  With all of my mixed emotions, sadness at the same time I'm happy for her to be retired healthy and sound, I believe that her California family must have much the same, even stronger feelings so my heart goes out to them also.  

My heart goes out to you, also, Criminal Type on the loss of your son.  Having lost a daughter 26 years ago, I can tell you that I understand, that there is nothing worse.  Please be strong through these tough holidays and know that there will be others thinking of you.

Steve, I'm going to have to agree with Dinky Diva on the Zenyattasphere, too.  Love it!  That was another great ATO.  Thank you!

17 Nov 2010 10:01 PM
donkeyhotey

When I was 13, I fell in love with Majestic Prince as I watched him race on tv.  I plastered my room with clippings and articles on him and I even wrote him a letter to tell him not to feel bad that he didn't win the Belmont! Because of him, I became interested in horse racing and used the money from my job at 14 to buy a subscription to Blood Horse and so it began... 40 years later, last Dec. 26th my husband and I went to Santa Anita to get to see Zenyatta in person before she retired.  Surprise!  She unretired and we both fell in love with her, and what a magical year we've had going to all of her CA races and experiencing the Phenomenon.  This has meant more to us than I can ever express.  We are so grateful to the Mosses and all of Zenyatta's amazing connections for this extra year, we wish all the best to all of them.

17 Nov 2010 10:08 PM
John T

It would have been nice to see her

retired undefeated like that other great mare Personal Ensign but it just was not to be.It was a great

effort,she won one Breeders Cup Classic against males and come a close second in another and it does,nt get much better than that.

17 Nov 2010 10:14 PM
Bonnie

Zenyatta is more than just a horse.  Some people get this about her and some don't.  She has so much to give, she loves people and children are especially struck with how kind a huge animal can be.  I would love to see a program designed for her where disadvantaged children would be able to visit her.  To me this is where her biggest strength lies, in her ability to heal people and her unconditional love.  In any case the quiet life of a broodmare will seem like watching water boil after such an exciting life.  I wish her all the best, she has given me thrills and opened my heart, what more could you ask for?!

17 Nov 2010 10:17 PM
Dave

The best racemare in North American history was the "morning line" and "post time" favorite in the Breeders Cup in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

An absolute phenom!

We will never see a female racehorse as the "Breeders Cup Classic" morning line and post time favorite in our lives. Unbelievable!

17 Nov 2010 10:24 PM
Outlaw Enterprises

First off, congrats to Z and her connections for making it through a long, historic career completely healthy.  It is always a great milestone to be able to make the retirement choice instead of having it thrust upon you... or worse.

Second, most people know that while I respect everything Z has acomplished, I am not a drop dead fan.  That being said, the few people making caveats about the "so-called haters"...  Just stop.  You sound as bad as them.  It is almost like you are a sore winner.  Keep on point! One of the greatest horses of our lifetime has just retired completely sane and sound.  Let us rejoice that people were able to enjoy her racing and now have another 20+ years to enjoy her as a broodmare.

17 Nov 2010 11:08 PM
Matthew W

Steve I've seen'em all since 1971--never seen one like that--never close, the one and only, and if she were to never win HOY--she cast her own shadow, and for my money, Zenyatta cast the greatest shadow in racing history--she came from the clouds, and she always showed up--who have you seen who could've run that kind of last 1/2?...I thought so....

17 Nov 2010 11:09 PM
Jen in MN

I have to say that I'm sad Z is retired but she has done more thatn enough on the track (and off for that matter). I'd love to see her go to A.P. Indy or maybe his son Pulpit. I have to say that sending her to blame is a bad idea (not because of the race) as in many respects he represents the reverse cross (Kris S over Mr P son)of her pedigree (Mr P over Kris S).

Anyways...

all the best to our big girl as she moves onto a new phase in her life. She would make a great dressage horse...maybe Lane's End will have her exercise under saddle like some stallions do.

Thanks for all the thrills and excitement.

17 Nov 2010 11:22 PM
needler in Virginia

Just in case no one has noticed yet, there IS a castle for sale in Versailles.....close by Keeneland and very much an appropriate residence for such equine royalty. Just Google "castle Versailles Kentucky for sale" and you'll see what I mean!

As to her consort?? Just for giggles and grins run a nick on Zenyatta and Tiznow...you might be surprised. But, frankly I don't care who she's bred to; the likelihood of a repeat of her genetic map is slim. The very best we can hope for is what all breeders think about......breed the best to the best and hope for the best.

My good wishes go to Kentucky with her, but how on Earth will the Mosses and Shirreffs and the Espinozas and Mr Willard deal with that empty stall? No way could I do it; I'd buy a little house right outside Lane's End, or go to work mucking their stalls just to be able to say "hiya, Big Girl" once a day.

Cheers and safe trips to all...........REALLY!

17 Nov 2010 11:23 PM
eightbelles

Steve, thank you for writing so beautifully about Zenyatta throughout the years and especially in recent days.

You really capture what many of us feel concerning this great lady.

For Zenyatta, I am so happy that you are able to retire happy, healthy and rested. You are so loved and I wish you all the very best.

I plan on following you on your diary website and you will forever remain in my heart.

You are going to be a wonderful Mama Zenny.

Bless you always sweet girl.

17 Nov 2010 11:27 PM
Terry

"There is a drk bay filly that is a half to Zenyatta, foaled Jan 27, 2009 named Eblouissante...  She is by Bernardini"

This is interesting! I was thinking myself that Bernardini would be a good cross for Queen Z. Because of her pedigree, there are many options available for her. The next couple of months will be fun!

17 Nov 2010 11:38 PM
Donut Jimmy

Zenyatta is going to Kentucky because that is where the boys are. SInce no AI is allowed in Thoroughbreds, she has to go there. However, being at Lane's End means she will go to a stallion standing at a central Kentucky far. HOwever, mares are routinely vanned to other farms to be bred, so she could go to any stallion in the region.

Fortunately, Lane's End says they are trying to figure out how to accommodate Zenyattas's fans, so there is some hope of being able to see her at the farm. We will see how they handle it.

Personally I would like to see Zenyatta sent to A.P. Indy. There are some nice pedigree and conformation aspectsto this cross. Besides, A.P. is getting up there and only has one cylinder to fire on anyway. I would breed her to him while it is still possible.

17 Nov 2010 11:42 PM
Matthew W

Steve you and Zenyatta are two for the ages! If ever this was an opportunity for another Exceller, this year, if you haveta "screw" one of them--make it Blame--just like Seattle Slew, the better horse ran 2nd and as hard as that is to take, it's important for racing to get this whole thing right--it's right, to handicap Zenyatta as the best horse on the planet, this year, isn't it?

17 Nov 2010 11:48 PM
sushyne

With tears and a sniffling nose I write this. It's even harder this year than it was last year as we know this is definitely final. Thanks Steve for another beautifully written and empathic article for our Zenyatta; only difference this time it will be the last one before the ones for her final retirement party and the "media- only" reception at Lane's End upon her arrival. Then we really won't hear too much except on her Zenyatta.com website and hopefully a Lane's End page. She gave SO much, asking little in return other than some peppermints, carrots, an apple or two, a good rubdown, and bath; and I'm sure she will give so much more as a great, loving mom. Frankly, I don't think there is a stallion that is worthy of her. :>) Whoever her first date is, however, he better treat her gently and "lovingly." She deserves no less. Long live our Dancing Queen. Let her rest, be pampered, and munch on all the grass she wants...

17 Nov 2010 11:49 PM
BWeaver

I hope to see her at Lane's End!! Maybe by next spring/summer things will be calmer and I will have a chance to actually see/touch her!! I hope so

17 Nov 2010 11:52 PM
Nancy McIntyre

God bless Ann and Jerry Moss for making the tough decision to retire her while she is healthy and happy. She retires with head held high, as is her queenly style.

I will continue to read the Diary posts and follow her career as the Queen Mother. All Hail Queen Zenyatta - we will always love you, we will not forget you.

18 Nov 2010 12:13 AM
M.Kern

I will miss her so dearly.  It was fun and thrilling ride for the last three years.  She almost gave me a heart attack several times.

18 Nov 2010 12:24 AM
jlp918

Great Britain is celebrating the engagement of William and Kate.  Now our Queen will be seeking a mate.

18 Nov 2010 12:31 AM
papillon

oh, wow. i didn't realize how hard it would be to read the headline, "zenyatta retired." it's harder than the disappointment of her loss to blame...much harder...

"Of all the comrades that ere you had, they're sorry for your going away,

And of all the sweethearts that ere you had , they wish you one more day to stay,

But since it falls unto your lot that you should rise while we should not,

You will gently rise and we'll softly call, "Goodnight and joy be with you doll"

thanks z, for everything.

and thank you too, mr. haskin, for giving us a place to say our goodbyes.

18 Nov 2010 12:41 AM
Slew

From Queen to Queen Mother.  Think about it.  I wonder who, right now, is the alpha female at Lane's End?  I don't think she will still be alpha in December, once Zen is there.  Can't you just imagine the look on the face of Life Is Sweet when she spots her former stable mate?  or see them gossiping over a backyard fence when they meet again?  What will those stallions think?  Will they be excited..or scared to death?  She's so imposing.  

I'm certain Lane's End is all too much aware of her fan base, and will try to accommodate her fans in this so special circumstance, but honestly ladies, how many visitors were you willing to accommodate when you were pregnant?  Oh, my aching back? are my ankles still swollen?  Do I look fat? When will they ever leave? Can I just take a little na...zzzzzzzzzzz?  

Slee...Bob Hope would kiss you for that awesome tribute.  Thanks for more great memories.

For her wonderful family and their loving care, I wish them many happy moments for the rest of their lives.  And for Zenyatta, I will miss the grace and charm and charisma you brought with you at all times.  I will miss your beauty and heart, and the little salsa dance none others seem to know. I cannot say a large enough thank you.  You always made the pain go away.  

18 Nov 2010 12:42 AM
Delrene

Thank you Steve for a great summation of her impact on millions of people, both old and new to thoroughbred horseracing.  I do hope her new family will allow access to her as many will come to Kentucky.  My heart goes out to the Z team, I cannot imagine life without her sweet presence every day.  I know she will miss them.  I hope they make the transition slowly and let Mario stay with her awhile.  I don't want to anthropomorphize, but I worry that she will be terribly lonely without her caretakers.  Thank you to the Z team for keeping us apprised of how she is doing by going to the website.  She is the Queen and racing won't be the same withou her.  Everytime I go to Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar, I will always remember her breathtaking races.  What joy and excitement.  

18 Nov 2010 12:54 AM
Dona

This is my first entry since her last race. I just couldn't bare to read or write anything regarding her, knowing this day was coming. I will never forget her nor forget anything about all the great times I had watching her in person and on Tv. Because of her, my heart has grown and enlarged to hold one more great love. Zenyatta joins Native Dancer, John Henry, and Barbaro, all "the greatest" in my book. Each one different but equal in my heart and mind. Thanks to one and all that had anything to do with Zenyatta becoming the  peoples champion, the peoples love and the legend for us all.

I don't think I can go on as usual now that she's gone. I'm bitter about all the hateful things the naysayers posted and I have no

respect for so many in the industry because of what they wrote about her, it went beyond just being opinionated and I don't want to hear all the ranting,  raving and gnashing of teeth about the Horse of the Year award. She's more than that, she's a Horse of a Lifetime. Most of us will never see the likes of her again and we know it.

Much love and best wishes to you Zenyatta and to those that have loved you.        

18 Nov 2010 1:04 AM
Helen

First I would like to thank you Steve Haskins for being so open and honest.  Your summation above was so eloquently put.

I do hope Mario goes with her to make the transition easier for her (and Mario).  She loves to be loved and I am hoping Lanes End will understand that.  It sounds like the Moss' have already considered this which doesn't surprise me really.  Zenyatta's connections have been the most gracious I have ever seen in racing.

We will miss her dearly however, what does she have left to prove on the track?

18 Nov 2010 1:11 AM
Mrglassoniongirl

Sionara Zenyatta. It will be a long time before we see the likes of her again, if ever.

Though, I would love to see a cross with Alex (Afleet Alex, of course). My favorite stallion and my favorite mare, would absolutely love that!

18 Nov 2010 1:32 AM
Deacon

With a heavy heart Steve I read your well written blog. It touches my heart like the great Queen did.

I listened to Dr. D and decided to make another post, some of the pain and disappointment of the BC Classic has subsided. It was those few blogs I read from another Blodhorse writer right after the race that disgusted me so that I wanted to just never blog again. Those people know who they are.  I asked myself how can these folks  say they love this sport,  be so hateful and arrogant. How can they continue to be so hurtful to an innocent animal who only has brought us joy and pleasure. By reading this blog and the last one you posted "Stirred Emotions" that I realized how special and wonderful so many of these folks who post really are. I thank all of you for helping me to believe again. It's safe to say that all of us have had so many thrills and chills from watching the Queen run. She truly stirred the emotional apex in all of us. It's been a real long time since a horse has moved me in this way. Only Ruffian and Dr. Fager ever touched me this powerfully. Bg Z is in a league of her own now. Like all of you, I will truly miss her, but knowing where she will be going gives me solace. This lovely lady danced and pranced into our hearts and mesmerized us with her charm. She took us places where many have never been. She healed the sick, made us all believe in humanity again, and rekindled a sport once great and hallowed. I for one am a better person for watching her, and after loving this sport for 55 years I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU big Z, and your wonderful connections for taking us on a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. I am tearful as I write this because I know that a horse like this will never come along again, at least not in my lifetime. Most of all I want to thank the good Lord for sending her to us, she is truly one of the greats. Lastly, I want to thank Mr. Haskin for his awesome work and tireless understanding on what she has meant to horse racing and all of us. I have never met any of you, but I now feel a special kinship. May all of you and Mr. Haskin have a safe and holiday season......next stop, Derby time, and the cycle renews itself and spring once again will dance in our hearts.........

Goodbye Zenyatta, thanks for everything............  

18 Nov 2010 1:32 AM
christy tate

thanks Steve for a nice article. i agree with everyone who thinks that it's disappointing that farms like Lane's End aren't the most fan friendly. maybe, they're worried about the safety of the horses because of all the money invested. but, thats besides the point, this is all about Zenyatta, one of the best racehorses of my lifetime, the likes of which we'll never see again. I'm glad she retired safe and sound, and  i hope she winds up being an awesome mom to her foals.

18 Nov 2010 3:39 AM
Old Yeller

I'm sure going to miss her.There will never be another Zenyatta. Thankfully she is retiring safe and sound. Let's just consider all of us who watched her how lucky we are to have  been around to see it all. Thank you Zenyatta.

18 Nov 2010 3:48 AM
Livesoutwest

Smart Strike would be a great choice as a sire.  He brings more speed to the table than AP Indy.  I think an Indy/Zenny match might produce a plodder.  Indy's a better match for Rachel, but Curlin might have something to say about him hitting on his girl.

18 Nov 2010 4:12 AM
Henrietta

ZENYATTA, SIMPLY THE BEST! You have given us all quite a ride. You took my heart and ran with it and now it will be going to Kentucky with you. Thank you for the enjoyment you have given me. I love you Zenyatta!!!!

18 Nov 2010 4:43 AM
Tammy

I will miss the Queen.

I would like to see Zenyatta go to Giant's Causeway who was a marvelous race horse

(he wasn't called the iron horse for nothing), and he is one of the worlds best sires.  His grit and her heart? it could be magical. It does not hurt that Zenyatta has a half brother by Giant's Causeway named Souper Spectacular who looks like a good one on turf. Regardless of who is the sire, any foal out of Zenyatta has big shoes to fill and will have so much expected of them. I am sure we will follow each one every step of the way, Win or lose, Champion or not let us love them for what they are, gifts from one of the greatest and most beloved mares of all time  

18 Nov 2010 5:05 AM
Dawn in MN

Zenyatta's chapter in Thoroughbred racing ends, and the bittersweet life of a broodmare begins.  

I believe that Lane's End will give Zenyatta the best of care.

I am not thrilled about the breeding of Thoroughbreds in general.  Breeding Zenyatta is somthing that will happen, whether or not it is in her best interests.

It isn't cute, and the birthing process isn't easy.  

To the person who suggested breeding her to Blame... I seem to remember hearing a story about a mare that was bred to a stallion that beat her, and it didn't end well.  

I hope that Zenyatta is a healthy broodmare.  I have read that big, fast mares often have trouble as broodmares.  I hate it when I read of a mare dying of "foaling complications."

I will hope for her, and her fans that she remains healthy, just as I hoped for her health as she raced.  While we want to see them run as long as possible, I don't like to see mares producing foal after foal, year after year.  I hope they will retire her from breeding early.

18 Nov 2010 6:28 AM
gailg

Melanie:

Zenyatta has a half brother, Souper Spectacular who has now won 3 straight on the turf. He just won this past weekend at Aqueduct.

18 Nov 2010 6:41 AM
ILUVZ

Love you Z-Glad your healthy and happy with a lot of love to give your kids.  Thanks to Z/Team Z for sharing her joy with us!  Info: The celebration at Hollywood Park is on Dec. 5th.  Then according to the article I just read Jerry, Ann, John, Dottie and Mario will personally take Z to Lanes End.  Eblouissante (means dazzling) is a yearling Bernadini filly-foaled from Vertigineaux (Z's mum) was bred by Eric Kronfeld (Z's breeder) who is a personal friend of the Jerry Moss.  Vertigineaux was sold privately last year but Kronfeld maintained ownership of Eblouissante.  He is going to send the filly to John Shirreffs for training.  Pretty cool, huh?

18 Nov 2010 6:43 AM
Rachel

Rachel's at Stonestreet farm, Lexington

18 Nov 2010 6:47 AM
Rachel

Smart Strike gets a "C" with true Nicks.

AP Indy and Mineshaft get A++...I'd send her to Mineshaft, I love AP Indy, but you get Indy with Mineshaft and I love Mineshaft's dam line with Hoist The Flag and Raise A Native ...I think it will bring a lot to the table for Zenyatta in getting a classic horse.

18 Nov 2010 6:58 AM
Cristina & Brad

My wife and I became fans of Zenyatta the first time we saw her on TV, and with every heart stopping race our Love for Zenyatta grew stronger and stronger, we are huge Horse Racing fans and whenever Zenyatta would run we would stop and make sure we watched every heart stopping race she was in and every time she won my wife and I would be yelling and hugging each other with happiness would could not describe, we will now be about 5 hours away from her and we will go see her in Kentucky. Zenyatta Thank you for all the Happiness you have brought into my wife and my Hearts, we will always LOVE YOU.

18 Nov 2010 7:05 AM
hoofprintsandhorseplay

I hope they don't go to AP Indy. That offspring wouldn't make it to the races till five.

I'd like to see either -

Elusive Quality

Quality Road

Pulpit

Afleet Alex

That way they could try to put some speed along with the stamina.

18 Nov 2010 7:07 AM
rams2050

The Queen is retired.

Long live the Queen.

We will miss her.

18 Nov 2010 7:10 AM
Jayme Dare

A once in a lifetime horse! Queen Zenyatta....I'm so thankful that (at the last possible moment), we jumped in the car and drove to Kentucky to catch a glimpse of this beautiful mare and feel the thunder as she flew by.

18 Nov 2010 7:29 AM
Abbie Knowles

Thank you Steve Haskin for all the wonderful blogs about Zenyatta and for sharing so much about her and Team Zenyatta.

Thank you to all the Zenyatta fans for your wonderful comments on the blogs that i have enjoyed reading so much. They are worthy tributes to one of the greatest racehorses of all times and most certainly one of the most charismatic and endearing!

Thank you Team Zenyatta for sharing the great mare with us fans and for allowing so much access to her.

Most of all thank you Zenyatta for all the wonderful memories, your dancing, kisses, tremendous presence and for the way you made horse racing transcend the usual narrow confines of the sport!  You are one in  a zillion, zillion and I will always love you.

I hope that Zenyatta's "family" will get to see her whenever possible, that Zenyatta will prove as great a broodmare as she was racehorse and that she will be very happy in her new life.

I would love her to have a date with A P Indy or Bernardini or Pulpit or Tapit or Malibu Moon as they are my current favourite stallions but am sure her devoted Team will choose the best possible stallion for her!  Will look forward to seeing Zenyatta's sons and daughters on the racetrack!

Souper Specatacular her half brother by Giant's Causeway has won 3 from 3 on turf!  He is trying to uphold the family tradition!

Will look out for the Bernardini half brother!

May God Bless Zenyatta, Team Zenyatta, Steve Haskin and his family and all Zenyatta's many fans!

18 Nov 2010 7:30 AM
Streak

the obvious to me will be AP, Giants, esky, Medaglia to start.  Lucky guys!!

18 Nov 2010 7:36 AM
Racingfan

Thanks Steve for all your writing on Zenyatta. I WILL buy your book - are you working on it yet?  hint hint  LOL  (I already have Tales from the Triple Crown)  Thanks SO MUCH to team Zenyatta for sharing her with us. That is what horse racing needs and I hope other owners and trainers will give it a try after seeing how much the fans can love and support a horse - even if they never get to see them in person like me. As for Zenyatta, she is one for the ages!  I have been waiting for another "all-time great" horse to come along and I am thrilled that I was able to witness it!  I am finding myself very sad that she will no longer race, but relieved that she is safe and sound. If you are able, will you please try to continue bringing us info about her?  When horses retire I really miss hearing about them.    ***On a side note, the picture in the Bloodhorse of Zenyatta at the beginning of the Classic was so sad...she was obviously very unhappy about the wave of dirt slamming her in the face. I felt really bad for her...but also amazed that she went ahead and gave it a go anyways.  WOW!

18 Nov 2010 8:31 AM
Criminal Type

While there is a good chance Zenyatta will go to a Lanes End stallion at some point, She can be bred to any stallion the Moss's choose for her. AP indy, City Zip, Mineshaft and Steven Got Even are all A++ nicks with her. Aragorn is an A+, Langfuhr an A, Candy Ride a B+. The rest of the Lanes End boy's are C (Curlin, QR, Smart Strike, Lemon Drop Kid, Pleasantly Perfect, War Pass)& D (After Market & Belong To ME) nicks. I played around with some outside stallions as well and found Pulpit & Malibu Moon are both A++, Giants Causeway and Offlee Wild are A+, Hard Spun, Indian Charlie and Medaglia D'Oro are all A nicks. The B group includes Tiznow, Elusive Quality, Stormey Atlantic, Broken Vow, and Dynaformer. Although Rock Hard Ten only rates a C, WOW, check out the horses bred on this cross. Ironically a mating with Medaglia D'Oro is the same cross that produced Rachel Alexandra & Warriors Reward. The Dynaformer cross is the same one that produced Barbaro. The Indian Charlie cross produced Fleet Indian. Just some food for thought HAHA.

18 Nov 2010 8:39 AM
Billy's Empire

Relva, funny you try to liken me to Dray. What is worse, is that again, you have nothing positive to say, and this is on a blog about your so called favorite horse. I am a fan of horse racing, competition, and of the industry, and Zenyatta has done great things over the last three years. This is a blog about remembering a great horse, and yet you are the only one blogging something negative.

Happy Holidays to all!

18 Nov 2010 8:46 AM
LACS70

Speaking of Pepper's Pride, couldnt you imagine if Zen and Pepper ended up eventually at the same farm? Those two big girls would be fun to watch! Genuine Risk and Davona Dale both were at the same farm, and had stalls next to one another.The barn staff said those two would "talk" and touch noses.

18 Nov 2010 8:47 AM
Melanie

Carolyn: Thank you so much! I will keep an eye on Eblouissante. You're right, it's hard to imagine her turning out like Zenyatta did, but it will still be interesting to see her progress. Thanks again!

18 Nov 2010 8:52 AM
Lonnie

Thank you, Steve, for putting into words that say what most of us can't.  Yes, we know she should retire, but I believe we have just lost the most special race horse we will ever see.  It is not only the heart wrenching come from behind wins, but the dancing, prancing and the looks that all of the Zenyatta team give her.  That will be greatly missed by all of us.  She has gotten us through the last three years with something to look forward to.  She is truly so special and racing will not be the same.  Keep the articles coming on what she is doing.

Thank you, Steve.

18 Nov 2010 8:59 AM
Diane J

That's great Life is Sweet is at Lane's End - I think it would be great for them to share a field together. I love the picture (I think it's Barbara Livingston's) of John holding both Zenyatta and Life is Sweet.  It's nice she'll have a buddy already at the farm!

18 Nov 2010 9:04 AM
HorseSoGreen

Just wanted to camp on with all the other fans.  Z's connections are to be modeled by all the others in racing.  Class acts all!  Z is the best I've seen since Secretariat.  We will all miss her.

18 Nov 2010 9:08 AM
Fred B

As a life long fan we say goodbye to Greatness and for me Inspiration.  What heart, what ability, what a horse. Thanks to the Moss family for letting us be apart of history. My grand children will know all @ the Mighty Mare Zenyatta....

18 Nov 2010 9:13 AM
ZJ

Thank you Zenyatta for the memories! Took my first trip to the Bluegrass State to see you run in the Breeders Cup and I will never, ever forget you!

I hope they wouldn't consider Rock Hard Ten just based on that  he is by Kris S and Zenyatta's mom is too... too close for comfort there. I wish her the very best and if there is ever a chance that I might get to see her in my next trip (already planned) to Kentucky, it would be a treasure!

Thank you to the Mosses for keeping her in training for this year and for taking care of her! John Sheriffs for the job he did, Mike Smith, and company... I can't imagine parting ways from something so special. Big shoes to fill... I love her so much. She helped me move past the death of Skip Away earlier this year.

I hope she is bred to Lemon Drop Kid, A.P. Indy, or even Giant's Causeway would be a great pick.

18 Nov 2010 9:23 AM
Dani

A day at the races with Zenyatta -

I sit on my couch waiting with excited anticipation for you to enter the paddock. And there you are. The most magnificent creature on earth. The crowds cheer, it cries out your name and you oblige with your little dance, a pawing of the ground here and there, a prance around the circle and the patented pose for photos. You look as if to say 'what's all the fuss about?'.  But you know very well that it is all about you and you selflessly pay your fans back with the antics they so love.

Now it is the post parade and you are a little more serious but the roar of the crowd again brings out the queen in you, the comic in you, the dancer in you and you again oblige. I, all along, have had a silly, dopey grin on my face watching you and marveling that this one horse, this one special horse has given me a joyful heart even in the most difficult of life's times.

But now I see we have reached the gate. Now urgency begins to wash over my body. Now 100 butterflies take flight in a mad dance in my stomach. You load. You are all confidence as is your rider Mike. The gates open and we are off. You take your usual spot at the back of the pack. I take my usual spot on the edge of the couch. The feelings of anticipation and trepidation begin to churn in my stomach. I wait for you to make your move.  It seems like ages before you do. I worry, I worry and I worry. But then there you go. Slowly you pick up momentum. I start to see the silks of other jockys become blurs.  I am now up on my feet my arms pumping, my heart pumping, I hear myself chanting with excitment c'mon girl, c'mon girl. You are now in full charge down the stretch drive, a locamotive that cannot be stopped. But still the wire is coming up, it is closer and closer.  I feel tense, my stomach knotted, are you going to make it? Please make it.  I find myself inches from the screen of the television pulling you through the remaining horses, the excitement in my voice reaching a crescendo, go Zenyatta go. You've got it you've got it!!! And then you do. I am jumping around my living room screaming and squealing like a 10 year old. I watch you gallop out in that confident and queenly fashion that you do.

As you approach the winner's circle I see everyone has that same ear to ear grin that I have. An air of jublilation fills the air and resonates through the cheering crowd, through the television. We are all pumped with adrenaline, the adrenalin of witnessing yet again the magic of the most amazing creature we have ever known.

I fall back on my couch and watch the photos taken, the presentations made. I watch you. Everyone around you is shaking with exitement and pride. But you, you my dear, are as cool and calm as can be. After all, it is just another day in the office for you.

And now this chapter in your life has come to a close. What will we, the Zenyatta junkies do now? We have our DVDs which we will all watch to recapture the glory and the magic of each moment but we will not have the anticpation, the excitment of waiting for your next race.  But we WILL still have you as the Shirreffs and the Mosses have promised. And not a one of us will miss out on your new life on a beautiful farm where you will make new friends and receive new love. But always remember, your old friends here will always be with you and will always love and cherish you.

Thank you for the time of our lives.      

18 Nov 2010 9:44 AM
Saratoga AJ

Currently, the sire choices at Lane' End include A.P. INDY, SMART STRIKE, LEMON DROP KID, CANDY RIDE, MINESHAFT, CURLIN, WAR PASS, ENGLISH CHANNEL, PLEASANTLY PERFECT, LANGFUHR, and another new addition this year, none other than QUALITY ROAD.

Now as much as I love Curlin, old AP, and Smart Strike, my vote goes to Quality Road to get first shot. A notoriously fast horse, and can bring it right from the gate. What better match for Zenyatta's slow start style, after which she can unleash incredible stretch runs and at longer distances. Perfect combination. Besides, he’s the only one tall enough to look her in the eye….he’s another close to 17 hand tall monster as is Zenyatta. Just more heavily muscled. Maybe they’ll produce another monster that can turn it at any or every point in a race. And 17++ hands!

With Zenyatta having a lot of European influence in her lineage through Street Cry, it looks as though there are a few very good matches at Lane's End.

18 Nov 2010 9:49 AM
MyBigRed

YAHOO!! I'm so glad Zenyatta is going to Lane's End. I visited Lane's End last year & I was quite impressed with the facilities & staff. Perhaps Zenyatta will be bred to Smart Strike?? He is an Proven Sire & he has a remarkable personality, like the Queen, he is very sweet & likes people. Congratulations Lane's End!! I can't wait to visit next year:)

18 Nov 2010 9:55 AM
Linda in Texas

Para RIKIT - Sus sentimientos acerca de Zenyatta fueron tan sinceras como todos los nuestros son los que aman su de sus cabriolas primero a la puerta.

Ahora camina a traves de otra puerta al proximo curso en su vida. La de la maternidad.

Te deseo mucha suerte una buena con sus caballos de carrera y una temporada de alegria para celebrar el naciemiento de Jesus.

Mis mejores deseos para ti de tu

amiga Linda en Texas con admiracion.

Que todos sus viajes se los seguros.

18 Nov 2010 9:57 AM
Linda in Texas

Steve, please correct my mis spelling of Rikit to Riket.

Thank you, Linda

So intent on getting my spanish correct, i mis typed her name.

Perdoname RIKET.

18 Nov 2010 10:04 AM
Love 'em all

Zenyatta is a racing fan's dream come true.  She is the epitome of all the good in this sport, which is something to really brag about, I might add.  

For three short years, Zenyatta kept the fun and excitement going for her many fans ... and the love for her came so, so easy.  

Kept happy and healthy, she rewarded her connections the best way she knew how, and that was being a 'classic' winner on and off the track.  

My sincere thanks to all her good people, and especially to Mario, her groom, for all the happiness and love they bestowed upon our Queen Zenyatta ... who stole our hearts like no other.

18 Nov 2010 10:11 AM
racingheart

I am thankful for the consideration that her immediate family is giving to her extended family. I know that I will be visiting Zenyatta at Lane's End & also at her web site daily to catch up on our queen. As I said in my petition for Zenyatta to be Horse Of the Year - Kudos to Blame, but the Dame should get the FAME! Much love & thanks to all that surround her & may blessings a plenty be laid at Zenyatta's feet.

18 Nov 2010 10:16 AM
Zenyatta2004

There will be a great void in the horse racing world not seeing Zenyatta run. But if they raced her another year, then retire her, that would make her around 9 for her first foal. There are risks with any foal but being that old for the first foal, there's a chance greater. I hope she has healthy babies and no complications from any of her foaling. It would be so sad to loose her that way. I know so many mares do well but it only takes once to end it all. Good luck to all the connections and especially Zenyatta. She's a horse that comes along once in a long time. I know the race is over but it the race would have been 1 or 2 strides longer, she'd a nailed Blame. She just ran out of track. :)  Can't wait to see who she'll connect with the first time. And hope and pray things go well.

18 Nov 2010 10:24 AM
MTBFan(still)

I heard from someone that Blame and Zenyatta have the same grandsire, one is on the dam's side/sire's side of each, not sure which.

18 Nov 2010 10:41 AM
Susan from VA

Dang, I was hoping that although the farms don't usually give tours of their mares, that wherever Zenyatta went, she would merit a stop on the tour.  Then she goes to a farm that doesn't even give tours at all.  Boo-Hoo.  I'll never see her in the flesh.

18 Nov 2010 10:59 AM
CandyGirl

We shall miss you Queen Z. You are truly a Queen in all aspects.

Lets hope that Lane's End will keep everyone posted on her well-being and babies. That her name does not disappear like other broodmares' names do.

18 Nov 2010 11:03 AM
Deb

Such a wonderful horse. She was everything of legends of great racehorses. It will not be the same knowing she is not somewhere racing.  And to retire sound. That is the best gift she gave us.

HUGE thank you to her owners, staff and Z especially for the ride of our lives.

18 Nov 2010 11:11 AM
TheMightyCurlin

I pray someone, makes a DVD of Zenyatta's races. I will miss her dancing & strutting in the post parades. She is truly a HERO everyone can look up to. LONG LIVE AMERICA'S QUEEN!!

18 Nov 2010 11:39 AM
Soldier Course

Cynthia:

If it comes to pass, A. P. Zendy is the perfect name!

18 Nov 2010 11:45 AM
MintHillFarm

Great writing, as usual. You always capture the best of the best.

I think that Lane's End allowing vast amount of visitors to see Z is remote. Personally, I agree with that. Being able to see her through photos and video in the future is fine with me. Time for her to graze, roll and enjoy the farm life now...

18 Nov 2010 11:45 AM
beej56

It will be very hard to not watch her run anymore.  I've watched her since she started.  I'm not a "mare" person but there was something about her after seeing her race the first time that captured me.  I continued to watch her grow, run and win until the last.  I realize now it's the kindness in her eyes and actions as well as her quirky personality that I was drawn to.  She is the "Queen" in my heart and I will miss her.

18 Nov 2010 11:49 AM
Donigmedio

Thanks for the memories, especially the 2010 Classic. I had Blame on every ticket. WPS,Exacta,Tri,DD, P3,Super.Thank you so much.It was unbeleivable, a performance I will never forget.

18 Nov 2010 11:52 AM
DAISYMAE

Zenyatta is the best and I shall miss her.  I can't wait to see her babies.  

18 Nov 2010 12:12 PM
quarterhossgal

Steve,  you are the Zenyatta of sports writers.  Your words give me the same thrill that Zenyatta did roaring down the sretch.Thank you for putting into words what this great mare has done for the sport of horse racing. Her will to win is only matched by her gentle disposition.  How many race horses could you allow non horsemen to pet, hug and kiss them? Next to none!  She is truly an inspiration in every way.  Please keep us up to date with her adventures to get in foal.  As we know it is sometimes difficult to get a maiden mare in foal.  When she does get in foal that baby is going to have some big shoes to fill.Enjoy the green pastures and cool streams you deserve it Queen Z.

18 Nov 2010 12:22 PM
Erin Gonzalez

I have had the true honor and privilege to personally see Queen Z run 4 times, including being there to watch her last race at Churchill. For the first time in so many years, the stands at the racetracks were full- and all because of one horse. Zenyatta brought the true spirit of horse racing back. I have seen little girls at the tracks with Zenyatta buttons, shirts and posters. She gave us all something to believe in again. In a time when our sports stars are constantly under suspicion for performance enhancing drugs, Zenyatta was our pure and shining star. She brought hope and light into so many hearts. Words can't express how much I will miss her. I can only hope that racing can survive without her.

Thank you team Z, you are truly an extraordinary group of people. Thank you for giving us the Queen. And to Zenyatta, thank you for showing us how to dance again. Thank you for giving us the ride of a lifetime.

18 Nov 2010 12:32 PM
Michael

I must admit I'm sad for Zenyatta's inevitable retirement. My selfish side was hoping she'd come back for one more race so that we all could say a proper goodbye. I was at Churchill Downs for the BC and needless to say, that isn't the way I wanted to see Zenyatta's final race end.

In regards to her future breeding, I guess I kind of agree with Mike Smith's earlier quote. "Who is really worthy?" A.P Indy = too old. Rock Hard Ten = their offspring just may not fit into a starting gate. Curlin = HELL NO. Why reward Jess Jackson by allowing his stallion to be bred to her !! And if you think about it, what real benefit is it for Zenyatta to become a broodmare? She'd be in foal for 11 months of the year, give birth and spend just a few months with her baby only to then have it ripped away from her and sold at auction. Then the whole process would start up again. Not a befitting life for the Queen if you ask me.

18 Nov 2010 12:34 PM
Livesoutwest

I didn't realize Mineshaft stood at Lane's End.  That would be a great cross with Zenyatta.

18 Nov 2010 12:35 PM
Anne

Like Ron Turcotte once said "Thanks for the ride!"

18 Nov 2010 12:40 PM
Linda M

thanks again Steve, for your brilliant blogs.  Now that the GREAT ZENYATTA is off to Lanes End, who can you possibly write about next?

Zenny, you took horse racing to another level, such as we've never seen.  Be happy, big girl, and enjoy your new life.

We love you always.

18 Nov 2010 12:44 PM
Soldier Course

Susan from VA:

According to an article in today's B-H, Lane's End says they're thinking about a way to give Zenyatta's fans a way to see her at the farm. This huge interest in a broodmare is something they haven't had to handle before. I wouldn't hold my breath because you can tell they're worried about security.

18 Nov 2010 12:46 PM
Linda

When I read the news of Zenyatta's retirement I cried and cried, I never wanted her racing days to end. Zenyatta you are the greatest. I'm just so glad that you are healthy and happy.  Maybe when Gio Ponti retires you can meet up with him.  Thank you for all the wonderful memories.

18 Nov 2010 1:05 PM
goodwin

Thank you, John Sherriffs for the absolute great training job, just like After Market, delivering Lane's End a healthy, happy horse to his/her well deserved retirement. The man obviously isn't in the game to churn and burn like so many others - thank you!

18 Nov 2010 1:05 PM
judy

As a professional in the racing business (trainer)I am not supposed to get emotional about a horse, especially someone else's horse but with Zenyatta that is impossible. The first horse I ever trained was a big closer, but unlike Zenyatta she didn't always get there first but it was always a thrill. Zenyatta took being a stone closer to a whole new level and there is a part of me (the fan part) that wants to believe that she knew what a thrill her running style gave to all of us. Did she get so far back in the Classic just so she could attempt to give us the biggest thrill in her final race? Not since Secretariat has a horse touched so many people and done so much for the sport. Thanks so much to her connections for sharing her with us as a 6 year old-such a rarity in this sport!

Steve Anderer-you brought up many of the same questions that I have had; heart size and ability to get in foal and carry one to term. Time will tell. I am almost certain it will be proven that she has an extremely large heart, and I can only hope that she is physically able to be a success at her new career.

Will W.-She ran as a 6 year old in an age where many horses are retired after their 3 year old or 4 year old seasons. What more can you ask for.

18 Nov 2010 1:20 PM
Freetex

This is a tough one.  I am not surprised, but what a wonderful ride.

Thank you Steve.

Thanks to Zenyatta and her family.

18 Nov 2010 1:32 PM
Vcaser

While I am very happy to see Zenyatta retire sound and healthy, I know she will be going to to obscurity of the broodmare band where only her connections certain of the media and the rich/famous will be able to finagle visits.  Since talented mares very rarely, if ever, reproduce themselves, this almost seems like a waste to me considering the risks of childbirth.  Can you imagine what a fabulous dressage horse she would make??  Don't misunderstand me, though - I agree it's time to let Queen Z "be a horse".  

18 Nov 2010 1:38 PM
Linda in Texas

Dinky Diva, you know as well as all of us do that Steve Haskin has the biggest heart in the world. Most men aren't man enough to let it show. It isn't correct for a man to show emotion. I say throw correct and non emotion out the window i think it is a pleasant change and i find it complimentary to say the least.

I say to heck with not having emotion. Look what his heart has poored out to hundreds of us, if not thousands, as many who read his words don't comment on them.

Look at all of the new posters and fans on this blog. Amazing is an overused word but not when it has to do with Zenyatta.

I can only imagine Steve is truly drained from internalizing so many comments from people who have had some terrific obstacles to surpass with health issues, life issues, losses of children and family members and just plain old trying to survive.

We all thank you Steve from the bottom of our hearts and i hope you know how truly special you are to all of us.

Quarterhossgal said it correctly,Steve, you are THE ZENYATTA (the ultimate) of sports writers and purveyor of thoughts.

You are extraordinary.

And Deacon, my heart is ticking again reading your comments. Spot On for sure. You are among friends here and we need quiet and calm voices like yours. And you are unfortunately correct, there is probably a good chance that some of us will never live long enough to witness another horse that brought so much to our lives and racing as Zenyatta. She is right up at the top of the best things to come along in my life, right under my two sons!!!!

Thank you Steve, you are Un-be-liev-a-ble just like Zenyatta.

And a new chapter waiting to be written!

18 Nov 2010 1:56 PM
In aint easy being good!

Not a big Zenyatta fan but what she did her last race was one of the best performances I have ever seen in a losing effort. Her loss by a nose should make her HOY! She was great!

18 Nov 2010 2:06 PM
Carolyn

Melanie:  You're very welcome!  I am excited to see her run also. :)  I forgot about Super Spectacular..Vertigineaux's only colt..(and chestnut)..I think he will pop up this winter somewhere, probably Gulfstream..wonder if they will try him on dirt.   Oh, she had a foal, I think another filly?, this year by Henry the Navigator...but that will be a long wait!!!  lol

Livesoutwest:  I agree with you.!!..Smart Strike ...not A.P. Indy the better cover...that mix was close to what produced Zenyatta herself. :)   Vertigineaux had one cover to Pulpit (A.P. Indy) and produced her only non-winner of 6 foals...and Zen 'looks' a lot like her mother, soooo, who knows...breeding is such a crap shoot...Natalma went to Nearctic 5 times, but only one Northern Dancer :) (the first mating with him I think)...tho they did produce Artic Dancer, mother of La Preveyante...for those who go back that far...lol.  Such a sad end for her..sigh.  In a way, I am glad Zen is retired.  I pray she lives a long and happy life and produces alllll super-stars!!  Yeah!..root for those Zenny babies!!  ...whoever she goes to.  

18 Nov 2010 2:11 PM
Marianne

A P Zendy. Now there's a great name and a great cross. Jess Jackson would pee his pants if they bred her to Curlin

18 Nov 2010 2:13 PM
WWSTP

Zenyatta is seriously, SERIOUSLY!!, going to be missed.  She's going to be a hard act to follow for this industry!!  What a hole!!  I cannot thank Z and all her connections enough for taking such good care of her, for bringing her to the top in her own way and her own time, and for sharing her with us so openly and with such great heart.  And many thanks for how she has opened so many hearts during a time that we, this nation, truly needed it.  For the big Z, I wish her great frolics in a green pasture, and a really good buddy to graze with, and awesome babies, and a heart full that always remembers our love and adoration for her...our KNOWING her for the Champion she truly is.

18 Nov 2010 2:16 PM
Steve Haskin

I apologize for everything getting backed up today. I didnt realize until now that nothing had been posted since last night. I wish I could answer everyone, but I will say once again, thank you for all your wonderful comments.

Dinky, I think Linda in Texas said it better than I could, and I thank

you, Linda, and everyone, for your kind words. Dinky, I like to believe there is no separation, because I write what I feel, and what you read is who I am. I understand that might be scoffed at by some who look at things more analytically, and that is OK, as I feel there is a place for both in racing. We are all passionate about the sport and the horses in our own way.

18 Nov 2010 2:26 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Deacon

  I don't have time to comment on everyone's fantastic comments but I wanted to thank you for posting. It's always a pleasure to read you and you are important to us just as Linda in Texas and many others are and I echo her comments. I appreciate everyone here and hope that all of you continue blogging at least once in awhile in Steve's Derby Dozen. Thanks Deacon, you made my day. And Hail To The Queen. Can't wait to see her babies run. They'll probably be zillionaires.

18 Nov 2010 2:29 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

That is my opinion also, that besides the human interest and complete writers, we also need the analytical, and betting picks writers. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, that's how racing survives. Every horse in every race gets bet on. I too am disappointed when people can't understand or refuse to understand the greatness of Zenyatta, but that is their choice. Anything negative said about her or her barn was overcome by reality anyway. Horse racing is about competition but taking it too far gets too ugly sometimes. All thoroughbreds are great in their own way, and all have someone that loves them more than they've ever loved anything in their life.

18 Nov 2010 2:52 PM
slee

It's an interesting difference between many European stud farms and many American stud farms about where the mares are kept.  I've been to a few farms in Europe where you could walk around unguided and mares would come up to the fences with their new foals to snuffle the strangers!

Lane's End may let Z settle in in private, then when she's ready have some visiting time.  We can hope!

(Slew - you're welcome.  The original lyrics were trickier than I remembered, but I kept as many as I could, and it was fun to do!)

18 Nov 2010 2:53 PM
Mike Relva

SOLIDER COURSE

Just contacted Lanes End today and was told there is indeed a chance something might be worked out.

18 Nov 2010 3:19 PM
Mike Relva

BILLY'S EMPIRE

Really,then why do you blog neg on other sites regarding Zenyatta? You aren't fooling anyone,but yourself!

18 Nov 2010 3:22 PM
EMERALD

Wow, facing a horse racing season without Zenyatta. It is time though. She will dance & prance whenever she likes. She will be missed. I would love to see her bred with Curlin or Eskendereya.

18 Nov 2010 3:22 PM
Flora

I can't say it any better than Dr. Drunkinbum - I also loved Secretariat and Lost In The Fog, such a heartbreak to lose them both too soon. Queen Z is something I never thought I would experience again in my lifetime after Big Red, a larger than life personality who brought joy to all who witnessed her.

I also sgree with Mike Smith - no one is worthy of her! They had better sit down and do some long, hard research to find her a suitable "man!"

Personally, I would like to see her do dressage - she is at the perfect age to begin serious training, and we already know she has the talent and brilliant movement for it. I guess we will have to let her teach her babies to dance instead... I love you Zen!

18 Nov 2010 3:50 PM
Jim C.

Thanks for all of your Breeders' Cup coverage, Steve.  Fantastic job.  I hope you write a full-length biography of Zenyatta.

And thanks to everyone at Team Zenyatta for sharing Zenyatta with us for another year and rekindling the public's interest in this Sport.

18 Nov 2010 4:18 PM
sodapopkid

Michael,  I wouldnt worry to much about Zenyatta's foals ripped up and sold at auction.  I can promise you that the Mosses are going to keep her offspring.

18 Nov 2010 4:33 PM
Cowboy Adventure

Oh Boy - I knew this day was coming but really was holding out for one more race and hoping it would be at the new track at Santa Anita.  Oh well, she is going to a really nice place and will be so happy. I will miss her so much; I never thought I would be able to get my husband to go to the track with me but because of Zenyatta he finally went and then never missed any more of her races!  He even went to both Breeder's Cups at SA with me - just to see Zenyatta! Thanks Z - you helped him get me. I am forever in your debt.  Man I bet Lane's End phone is ringing off the hook - just wait till they get all the cards, carrots and apples!  That is so awesome of Dottie to keep up the website!

18 Nov 2010 4:48 PM
Mike Relva

BILLY'S EMPIRE

And I quote from your comment on Jason's blog Nov 17. "Who did Zenyatta beat all yr. long"?

Guess it must be another Billy's Empire,right? lol

18 Nov 2010 4:57 PM
Mike Relva

JIM C

I want you to know that your comments you made recently on another blog  were on point and agree  a hundred per cent.

18 Nov 2010 5:09 PM
ofelia

Thank you Steve for a great article. Z will be missed but I can not wait to see her babies! She has a wonderful pedigree and size to pass on. I hope she has a long and happy life. This is the bittersweet part of racing that as one of the truly great ones retire, we are full of longing for what might have been and wistful for what has been. And yet, we can look forward to next year full of hope and excitement for the next crop to continue the legacy of those before them and those we long to see again.

Cheers to the great Zenyatta and all she gave us.

18 Nov 2010 5:37 PM
Lucy

What a great few years!  It's sad to see her go, hopefully someone steps up soon and fills the void she leaves behind.  Racing needs a new superstar to follow!

Flora-

I don't actually think she'd excel at dressage...good dressage horses tend to be extremely uphill, whereas fast horses (aka. race horses) are usually extremely downhill.  Well it would be possible, it would be extremely difficult to teach her after years of re-inforcing the downhill movement racing requires.  And from a dressage rider who owns a downhill built mare..it's hard work!  Fun fact for the day..

18 Nov 2010 5:48 PM
Mike Sekulic

I exaggerate only slightly when I say that I go to visit and photograph ZENYATTA every weekend. I don't even work at the Shirreffs' barn and I'm going to miss her, so I can just imagine how everyone else is going to feel! ZENYATTA is a great horse, the horse of a lifetime really, and there's nothing in the wings to fill that void that she is going to leave when she climbs aboard the van taking her to LAX and on to Kentucky. What a sad thing to think about. But it's also happy to know that she's going to be a mother...and what a lovely one she will be!

18 Nov 2010 6:54 PM
Horsefirst

Hats off to the caretakers of Zenyatta for keeping a big horse sound throughout her career.  That in itself is quite a feat.

I think the difference in Mr. Haskin's writing is that he loves the horses and loves the sport.  It's not just a betting game to him.  Some racing writers might just as well be writing about basketball or football.

As for who should court this great mare first, I'm always looking down the road for the future of the breed and tend to want to keep certain lines out as much as possible for out cross purposes.  That said, I like Purim for her as well as Hat Trick.  Both avoid a lot of the two ND's and do not add any more Prospector.  AP Indy does this as well but I do not like that cross conformation-wise.  Pleasantly Perfect has only 1 RAN cross but again, don't like his conformation for her.  My other pick, Pleasant Tap, is not longer with us.

Good luck great mare.  I don't have unrealistic expectations for your offspring because as always, it's hard to live up to a legend.  But I do expect to see your importance in a pedigree in the future.

18 Nov 2010 7:06 PM
HorseSense

WHAT I WOULD DO IF I OWNED HER!!!!!  While she needs nothing to gain her place among the greats, I would propose a $100,000,000 match race. Z against Blame in the next four weeks, anywhere at any distance  at or over 1 1/4.  25 million to blame to show up and 75 million to the winner.  That's not much money for love. I spend 90% of what I earn on my hobby. Shouldn't they? We could send a few bucks each to a fund if the owners don't dare risk that much. LET US CHALLENGE THEM.  IT WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY while it rights this wrong.  I have no doubt who would win.  Any betting would be easily 8:1 for her. And who is the horse of the year/decade?????

18 Nov 2010 7:51 PM
Ranagulzion

Here's wishing a very happy and healthy broodmare life for one of the greatest mares ever to set foot on a racetrack, although we didn't get to see enough of her true capabilities.  At some point I hope they mate her with one of the Urban Sea stallions Galileo or Sea the Stars.

18 Nov 2010 8:00 PM
Linda O.

Goodbye Queen Zenyatta!  I have been following your extraordinary career for over 3 years.  When I first heard about you, I commented to a fellow horse racing fan - "ya know - you need to keep an eye on this Zenyatta - she is undefeated after 5 wins and I think she is going to be something special."  How right I was!  I was at CD for the Breeder's Cup Classic and to see the fans yelling and cheering for her was wonderful!  I had on my Zenyatta hat and shirt and was standing on the bleacher seats screaming to the top of my lungs!  What a thrill!  To finally see her in the flesh was the highlight of my year.  She did not disappoint.  She is truly magnificent.  

Thank you team Zenyatta for taking good care of her, thank you Mike Smith for always giving her a great ride, and a big thank you to the Mosses for being so gracious and sharing her with her fans!

I love you Zenyatta and hope to visit you at Lane's End!

18 Nov 2010 8:07 PM
horselady

We'll miss you but I'm sure you'll make a great mommy.  Mineshaft, Mineshaft, Mineshaft.......

18 Nov 2010 8:12 PM
Robin from Maryland

God Bless The Queen.  I will miss her.  Thankfully, she retired sound.  Can't wait to see her babies.  You Go Girl!!!!.

18 Nov 2010 8:13 PM
Bellwether

WHAT ABOUT HER GROOM/& HIS WIFE...THATS WHO SHE WILL REEL E MISS...BIG RED WAS NEVER THE SAME WHEN THEY SPLIT HIM & FAST EDDIE SWEAT UP...LONG LIVE THE KING...ty...

18 Nov 2010 8:14 PM
Mike Relva

HORSEFIRST

Some racing writers discuss football and basketball on their blogs. I don't agree with it.

18 Nov 2010 8:27 PM
Merry

When horses go out of the public eye we tend to forget them.  But Curlin had the same kind of heart as Senyatta to scramble out of a pack to get out infront.  I am waiting for a Curlatta or Zenlin.

18 Nov 2010 9:08 PM
SpecialSue

Hail Queen Z!  Long shall you reign.  In looking at the suitors I would avoild Blame but if that were the cross I sought I would go to his sire, Arch, instead.  I too look at conformation as well as pedigree and avoiding more inbreeding is a good thing these days.  If I were going to breed to a 3 yo I would look for a Sadler Wells horse or a Cozzene horse.  I love Medaglia d'Oro - he certainly has the presence to match her and is tall enough not to need lifts or a hole.  I would avoid the Unbridled Song's like the plague but Eddington might be an interesting combination.  I wouldn't try to put much speed into her get... stick with the ability to get the classic distances and beyond.  This country has for too long placed way to much emphasis on speed and it has had disasterous effects on the breed.  Let's get back to the Thoroughbred basics and stop breeding long distance Quarter Horses from our TBs.

18 Nov 2010 9:42 PM
Matthew W

Deacon I never pass by one of your posts--Always they are loaded with little goodies of turf wisdom--in the end, history is left to the winners--and sports history is left to the writers---Zenyatta could be just another good horse or a cornerstone horse in racing history, the unbeatable mare--beaten but never defeated....as long as there are blogs, guys like you and me....and Steve Freakin' Haskin, and Vic S, who called most of her races and is as keen an eye as anyone--no, let the nay-sayers do their neighing--Zenyatta's legacy will be Hangin With Haskin...and I can tell by his words, he knows of what he speaks....

18 Nov 2010 9:53 PM
ruffianruns

Zen's Auntie - The idea of ZTV is so cool!  Did you call Lane's End? And when will they be installing the camera for you?  She'll be used to it, since John had her on his own Z cam!

Deacon - Thanks for coming back!

Dr. D - I always love your posts.  Thank you.

Thank you Steve for three wonderful tributes to the Queen.  Your blog is a frickin' haven in a frickin' storm!  It feels like PARADISE compared to the other blogs out there!  Thank you!  Thanks to the rest of you for all the wonderful, wonderful posts.

To Zenyatta and her Team:  I hope you can absorb all this admiration, adoration, and love.  You all deserve to feel and feel this.  Thank you for EVERYTHING.  To Zenyatta's future caregivers:  I hope you soon deserve all sorts of love and admiration, too.  Please take care of our girl.

I was very sad to see the announcement, selfishly sad.  I'm so happy that she's healthy and safe, still it is hard to say goodbye to Zenyatta, the race horse.

The universe always sends me messages that all will be OK and yesterday, I got another one.  As I was learning of Zenyatta's retirement, I was also planning to go to a friend's farm to see a newborn foal, born last Saturday.  Visiting with that little baby just gave me so much hope for new days and futures.

I'm sure we will all feel that so strongly when Zenyatta's first foal is born!  What a treat it will be to follow them all!

18 Nov 2010 9:58 PM
Sue

About visits at the farm...I choose to believe what John and Dottie have said.  They both commented that arrangements are being made to accommodate fan visits.  This excitement about a superstar is new to Lane's End too, so they will be careful with arrangements but I have no doubt something positive will be worked out.  I'm thrilled that Dottie is intending to keep us updated.  What a great bunch they are...great for horseracing, great for US.

18 Nov 2010 10:39 PM
Footlick

Just another quote from another respected horseman:

(On the other hand, America’s respected Nerud Ratings, which are compiled by a one-man committee made up of Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud, referred to Zenyatta as a “helluva mare – best I ever saw.” But what does he know, having “seen” only the likes of Busher, Gallorette, Ruffian, Silver Spoon, Susan’s Girl, Shuvee, Gallant Bloom and his own sprint champion, Ta Wee.)

18 Nov 2010 11:16 PM
SundaySilenced

I said this last year..It's not HIStory, it's HERstory! Blame who? lol Not the horse, she danced every dance. East coast/West coast? bah humbug..Goldikova, the Rodney Dangerfield..

If I were them at the awards I would proclaim 2010 Ladies year and showcase all the great female athletes we've had ending with these two fantastic mares, showcasing excellence.

18 Nov 2010 11:45 PM
Cynthia

Good Luck Zenyatta. You are the greatest racehorse I have ever seen in my twenty years of being a horseracing fan. I live on the east coast so I did not have a chance to witness your greatness in person. My goal is to visit you on the farm one day. When I meet you it surely will be one of the happiest moments in my life.

18 Nov 2010 11:52 PM
jmac

Z ROCKS! BREED TO TIZNOW. ZENNOW

18 Nov 2010 11:56 PM
Zen's Auntie

Marianne, I prefer

ROCK HARD ZEN.... sounds good right?

19 Nov 2010 12:00 AM
Diana_NV

The right decision.  She has nothing more to prove; she's in the record books.  Let's get those little Z's a coming, so John can train a few before he retires.  And yes, the first will be A.J. Zindy, an A++ nick, a classic sire, getting on in years, the right first match.  I hope that A and J will consider sharing her genes in other ways ... a few embryo transplants with top sporthorse sires.  Wouldn't it be fabulous to see some little Z's dancing their way to gold medals in dressage in the Olympics?  I can't wait!!!  The best may be yet to come.

19 Nov 2010 12:09 AM
John

Steve,

I just learned today that John Nerud, the legendary trainer of Dr. Fager and Ta Wee, said that Zenyatta was a "hellavu horse, the greatest mare I've ever seen".

Then Allen Jerkens, when asked by a New York Times reporter whom should be HOY flatly said "Zenyatta.  And there is no one else".

Wow, first Peter Ellis, the form analysis from Australia called Zenyatta "THE horse of the last 40 years" to Bob Baffert to Jack Van Berg to D. Wayne Lukas to John Nerud to Allen Jerkens.  It's something else to be so highly honored by such highly honored people.

19 Nov 2010 1:54 AM
Deacon

Dr. D & Linda in Texas:

Thank you both for the kind words. Like both of you, and many others, I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I want to say that I believe that you guys got what the Zenyatta sensation was all about. It wasn't about synthetic surfaces, it wasn't about the possible rivalry between Zen and Rachel, it wasn't even about her perfect record. It WAS about the human connection,   this mare brought to us. She was able to reach deep down inside of us and draw out emotions and passion we thought had long since died.  Many folks for the first time felt part of something bigger then everyday life. People across the land connected with her in a way that most of us can't fathom or understand. She held us in her hypnotic state. Most of all, she loved us back, and tell me one horse in recent memory that had a hold on this industry like the Great Mare did. I sure can't think of one. I promise all of you this, as time goes by,  we all will miss her much more then we do today.....

Kudo's to Mike Smith.......no one is worthy.........    

19 Nov 2010 2:35 AM
Chestnut809

OMG, when I first saw the headline and the beautiful portrait of our queen equine, the lovely Zenyatta, I broke down and cried.  Just so sad, yet I'm happy for her.  There will NEVER be another like her, not in our lifetime anyway.  Just her charisma, power, beauty is enough to take your breath away; and then to see her race!  I so love that horse. Horseracing won't be the same without her.  Love you forever, Zenyatta.  Stay safe and happy.  

19 Nov 2010 4:06 AM
Amy

Like everyone else with their posts, many thanks, Steve, for nailing this article about Zenyatta's retirement.

Personally, I am relieved to see her retire. The more attached I became to her, the more I dreaded that loss, in a race, or a breakdown.

She has fulfilled her destiny on the track, as she is now legend.

Off to her new career of broodmare, and I wish her well.

Being a mother, I know she will experience the joys, even beyond the racetrack, as producing life is the most valued destiny of all.

19 Nov 2010 6:38 AM
Billy's Empire

Just to reiterate my point, you have still said nothing postive Mike. You attack me, and the other blog, but never bring anything to the table. I, as many many many folks have, questioned her weak campaign. Does that mean I do not like the horse? NO. That mean's I did not want to see her bottled up in Cali racing against fillies if she is the best mare of all time. See, above, I stated I like competition, and I would of liked to see more of her races against better competition. You bring nothing to any of these blog's. Nothing. You piggy back on what other people say, or chime in when someone's says something you do not agree with. As I digress.

Like I said, she did great things for the sport and the industry, and anyone in or around horse racing can recognize that. Think about this way, a lot of people question what Lebron James did with his hour long "decision", many people dislike him for it, but at the end of the day, he is a great basketball player.

Again, Happy Holidays

19 Nov 2010 9:07 AM
Richard

It sounds like they will be making efforts to keep Zenyatta available for his fans during her retirement. I hope so for the sake of the sport that this remarkable mare that so many have come to love will not be locked away from her adoring public. That would be a great tragedy in my opinion and a hurtful move to the fans. The Mosse's and Shirreffs seem like they get it and I hope other owners and trainers will learn from their example.

19 Nov 2010 9:56 AM
Smoking Baby

 I'm for TIZNOW as a first mating for Zenyatta.  Can anyone tell me if this is a good or bad nick?  

19 Nov 2010 11:10 AM
Giddyup

I definitely feel Hollywood Park needs to build a statue to Zenyatta on the grounds. If Steve ever undertakes to write a book about the Queen I can guarantee it would be a best seller...no one brings out the deep and passionate human/equine bond in words, better than him.

19 Nov 2010 11:35 AM
Carol

Having been around a multitude of animals my entire life I can truly say how much she will miss all of you.  Is it possible for Mario or would you consider Mario going with her?  She will miss him beyond words.

19 Nov 2010 11:47 AM
Smoking Baby

TRES CLASSICS dk.b.or br.c.by Tiznow-Zenyatta, by Street Cry

19 Nov 2010 12:32 PM
John

Steve,

Just like Nolan Ryan is the only baseball player in history to have his number retired by three different teams, I believe, in honor of the legend of Zenyatta, there will be at least three tracks (Hollywood Park, Santa Anita and Del Mar) with a possibility of a fourth track, Oaklawn Park, to have a stakes race named after her.

Would that be a record as well?

19 Nov 2010 1:10 PM
Zookeeper

So much has been said, first by Mr. Haskin and then by all the wonderful comments preceding mine.

As a Zenyatta fan it's all music to my ears as it must be for her connections.

My thoughts are that what separates Zen from all the rest is that she is so UNIQUE. Other horses are beautiful, physically imposing, have the same "come from behind" running style, show tremendous courage, have great personalities and are kind to humans... but none, to my knowledge, have demonstrated all of these qualities, wrapped up in one package, the way Zenyatta does.

To me, this is what defines her greatness and makes her unforgettable.

My cup runneth over with gratitude that I was here to witness all of this. Gratitude, first to Zenyatta for thrilling me like no other and also to her Team who have shared her with us with such generosity and have allowed her to develop into the Great Mare she is.

We were blessed with three magical years made possible by Zenyatta's tremendous talent and by the wisdom of all associated with her.

Now it's time to let her go. Our sadness cannot possibly equal the one felt by her entire family. My heart goes out to all involved in the day-to-day care of this fabulous horse and her owners Ann & Jerry Moss who have doted on her like the proud parents of a gifted child.

Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, you are a treasure. We will rely on you to keep us posted on the events of her new life as a broodmare as you have done during her incredible career.

Mike Smith, thank you for all the breath-taking rides. We hope that we will be lucky enough to see you ride her offsprings. You two were a match made in heaven. We love you and applaud you as one of the greatest jockeys of our time.

Zenyatta fare WELL! Our hearts will be with you always. You're going back to your birth place but your home is in the hearts of all who love you.  

19 Nov 2010 1:20 PM
Lise from Maine

Hi!

In my mind Zenyatta is Horse of the Year - 2010.

She only lost by a head and coming from last place. That is quite an accomplishment. I bet Blame couldn't have done that.

I only wish that the Zenyatta team would have used a different strategy pertaining to her last race, and I bet she would have won.

I will miss Zenyatta, but I ordered the Bloodhorse special edition regarding Zenyatta, and will place her photo in a Gold Victorian Frame with an oval matting just so I can continue to see her as a reminder of her greatness. The gold frame and oval matting will enhance the small photo of Zenyatta.

Does anyone know how she got her name? I never heard of that name before. It's a beautiful name.

Love you, Zenyatta!

I am eager to see your little ones.

I will visit the Zenyatta.com website often to learn how you are doing.

Take care, Zenyatta!

19 Nov 2010 1:27 PM
Soldier Course

Speaking of farewells, I just watched a short video of Smarty Jones at his new home. Three Chimneys it ain't. It made me sad to see him.

19 Nov 2010 1:35 PM
Fran Loszynski

You were really taken aback with Zenyatta Steve, weren't you. I wish more people would love a racehorse like you. Just remember "Never a farewell, always "a forever"! You're a great writer.

19 Nov 2010 1:39 PM
Matthew W

Sizewise, Tiznow/Rock Hard Ten just seem too large for Zenyatta! She needs a Birdstone sized stallion!

19 Nov 2010 2:00 PM
Alex Bowdoin

It will be interesting to see how Lane's End Farm handles this request for Queen Z's fans to visit her. Broodmares are usually turned out together in a very large field. They will have to pick a certain day of the week and between certain hours of the day to handle this. I TRULY HOPE we will be able to visit her! I live in Massachusetts and have not met The Queen yet. I will someday go back to visit Lexington, KY which is a Very Beautiful area of this Country. Amazon.com has shipped my DVD on Zenyatta's 60 Minutes segement, can not wait until it arrives!! Steve, Please Write A Book on this Magnificent Mare!

19 Nov 2010 2:24 PM
Deacon

I concur, a statue of Zen needs to don the Hollywood Park grounds, ala Swaps. Santa Anita has a similar statue for Seabiscuit. They too should probably build something, and perhaps Del Mar as well.

How about Zen's Cause by Giant's Causeway-Zenyatta by Street Cry

19 Nov 2010 2:59 PM
KathPoet

I will miss seeing Zenyatta race so much, although I am very relieved that she has retired healthy and sound. She brought an incredible thrill into this sometimes dreary life, and the highlight for me will always be: "This is un-be-liev-able - Zenyatta!!" Goodbye and good luck beautiful girl!!!

19 Nov 2010 3:35 PM
Terri Z

Dear Steve,

Thanks for the fantastic articles about the world's sweetheart--Queen Z.

She will be surely be missed. I heard a rumor that this is to be the last year AP Indy is at stud; I wonder if that is the reason she is being retired so soon.

I hope that you will be at Lane's End for the open house when she arrives.

If you go to Kentucky, please try to stop at Calumet Farm to see Penny Chenery's yearling filly, Cora Mariah. She has the magnficient conformation of Big Red at a year of age and is training well. She also looks directly into the camera lens like her great-great grandpapa--LOL.

Much appreciation and thanks for your wonderful writing, photos, and articles.

19 Nov 2010 3:59 PM
Mike Relva

BILLY'S EMPIRE

That's one of your "themes" that I don't bring nothing to the table,which is totally false. Tell you what Billy,one thing I know for sure is I'm not a big hypocrite like you,pretending that you like her,yet on every other blog trashing her! Even you are aware on this blog Steve doesn't play.

19 Nov 2010 4:57 PM
Redraven

Its like an end to a great movie. Will there be a sequel? Only if she foals a successor, god only knows. Thanks Steve for your never ending support of a special animal, a queen among queens!

19 Nov 2010 5:42 PM
jshalo

Thanks Big Z. You'll be a great mom, can't wait to see your baby Z's.

19 Nov 2010 5:52 PM
Fuzzy Corgi

OK Billy's Empire and Mike Relva, you two need to play nice with each other and stop throwing sand in the sandbox or you both are gonna get sent to the principals office.

Let's just all agree that Zenyatta is a very special horse who has been thrilling to watch as well as a tremendously positive influence in American racing for the past three years.

19 Nov 2010 5:55 PM
Freetex

Zookeeper, your words were straight from the heart.  You said everything I and so many Zenyatta fans are feeling about the Queen.

Unique, that is it, she is just an incredibly unique horse.

Thanks for sharing.

19 Nov 2010 6:25 PM
Mike Relva

Steve:

Alex has a great idea,please write a book on Zenyatta.

19 Nov 2010 6:55 PM
Marilyn

I'm 60 years old and have seen the greats, but I'm still crying reading this blog, Steve. She is without a doubt the greatest racing mare in history.

TVG made an hour program called "Instant Classic" following Zenyatta's 2009 Breeder's Cup win. It captures all the excitement of the race and the crowd from start to finish. I still have it recorded on my DVR and watch it whenever I need a lift. (Friends tease: OH! You're not watching that race again - you know who won!") I'm hoping TVG releases that on DVD so everyone can enjoy it.

And Steve, I'm looking forward to your book - your writing is in a class of its own.

19 Nov 2010 7:38 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Deacon

   I think her face should be on Mt. Rushmore.

19 Nov 2010 7:43 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

ruffianruns

   Thank you very much, and very nice post on the rest-well said stuff.

Zookeeper

   Great tribute.

19 Nov 2010 10:04 PM
Deacon

Well just read where Looking at Lucky is being retired and rushed off to the breeding shed. This really hurts the sport as now we may not have any top 4 year olds out there for next season. With the Life At Ten fiasco, Super Saver and now LAL being retired early, does anyone have to wonder why so many gravitated to Zenyatta the way they have. She was handled with TLC, raced until the end of her age 6 season and retired sound. This is what I am talking about. Great connections, great handling and the results speak for themselves.

19 Nov 2010 10:11 PM
Judy

Steve, Could the powers that be at the Horse of the Year celebration give a special "Lifetime Achievement" type award if Blame does receive the most votes for HOY?  Surely this would pay tribute to this incredible mare and appease all who think she should be HOY?  The organization must do something to recognize her achievements and do something for the Mosses to recognize their incredible gift of sharing Zenyatta through her sixth year.

19 Nov 2010 11:18 PM
Racingfan

I was heartbroken when I read that Zenyatta was retired!  There may never be another like her!  I think we were pretty much expecting that news though.  However, my one consolation was that at least I could look forward to watching my second favorite horse run next year. I picked him as my Derby horse for this year after seeing him win his 3rd race in 2009.  I have followed his every move since then and was thrilled when his trainer said he would probably race next year since his owners are sporting guys who just like to see him race. Well evidently they are not so sporting after all and have let the big breeding bucks take away another sound 3 year old that seemed to just be getting better and better.  Now we will never know what Lookin At Lucky could have accomplished or where his true place in history could have been!  I have been a huge racing fan for about 35 years but I am getting worn out from having to find a new favorite horse every year (at least I had Zenyatta for 3 whole years!) A less devoted fan may just throw in the towel, and it appears that many are doing just that!  Looks like the powers that be did not learn a thing from the example that Zenyatta's connections set.  I guess it won't be a surprise if racing disappears for good one of these days.     And Steve, any thoughts on our requests for a Zenyatta book...?  

20 Nov 2010 12:06 AM
TexSpect

All hail the Queen, but let Candy "Ride."

20 Nov 2010 12:08 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

John

  Nolan Ryan- Seven no-hitters. Zenyatta- Nineteen no-hitters. Ryan- Blazing fastball. Zenyatta- Blazing down the stretch. Ryan- Put Ventura in a headlock and pummeled him. Zenyatta- Put her detractors in a headlock and pummeled them, including Beyer. Ryan- One ring. Zenyatta- Two rings,(Ladies' and The Classic). Ryan- Retired past age 40. Zenyatta- Retired past age 40.(in human years). Nolan Ryan-One of the all time greatest baseball players. Zenyatta- One of the all time greatest thoroughbreds. Both had their detractors. Ryan is in the Hall of Fame. Zenyatta will be in the Hall of Fame. Both like carrots and apples and oats. Both were iron men and healthy as a horse. Nolan Ryan had 12 one-hitters. Zenyatta had one one-header. Both are as good as it gets, and battle every step of the way. Both have millions of fans and are legends for unheard of achievements. Both like beer.

20 Nov 2010 1:15 AM
Steve Haskin

If they did give a Lifetime Achievement award, when would they present it? If before HOY it would let everyone know she didnt win. If after, it would be of little consolation to Jerry Moss, who would still be too disappointed in losing again and would not be in a very good mood. Plus, HOY would have to close out the proceedings. It would be perceived to be basically throwing them a bone.

As far as a book, I would imagine that's already in the works. But it wont be me writing it.

20 Nov 2010 3:24 AM
Bellwether

BRING THE OTHER "GREAT ONE" STORM CAT OUT OF MOTHBALL$ FORE ONE LAST SHOT @ HER...HE MAY HAVE ONE LEFT N THAT TANK OF HIS!!!...THEN SEND HIM TO THE KY HORSE PARK SO MORE RACE HORSE FANS CAN SEE HIM BEFORE HE PUNTS...LONG LIVE STORM CAT!!!...ty...

20 Nov 2010 4:04 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

Fuzzy Corgi

  Funny, funny, funny. You're rehired as recess monitor. Word has it that you were also the one responsible for getting Zenyatta and Rachel fans to stop monkeyin' around on the monkey bars too. I got a bloody nose on those darn things in second grade. I sure loved kickball. Did you play that? It was like baseball but with a soccer type ball that you kicked, then ran around the bases. Had a pitcher that rolled or bounced the ball up to the plate. I think he was on the offense team. Fifty years ago. One teacher threw a metal whistle at kid's heads if they were out of line. If you complained about it you got sent to the Principal's office for the paddle. I never felt it but I was shown it once after a food fight at our Halloween Party.

20 Nov 2010 6:09 AM
jayjay

Thanks for yet again another great article.  She's starting a new life and I will be following her around.  The best part about Zenyatta (besides herself) is her connections.  I can only imagine how hard this is for them.  We as fans who doesn't spend as much time as they do with her are going bonkers about her going to KY, imagine how painful it is for Team Z.  And through it all, they still manage to think about us, the fans, trying to work things out with LE to make sure that they highly consider allowing fans to see the Queen.  That's class and that's the kind of owners who understands how to give back to the fans.

I appreciate it very much Team Z, that after all the accomplishments, you never forgot about the fans.  THANK YOU for taking care of her, putting her first regardless of the critics.  I hope they recognize your achievements and dedication in the Eclipse awards.

My top 5 (what I'll youtube when I'm missing her) :

2009 BC Classic (She beat the champion 3 yr old and dual champion older male, against a good european contingent)

2010 BC Classic (she showed that she can close regardless of how far back she is, her closing run was one of the all time best)

2010 Santa Margarita (never seen a horse make a sharp left turn and accelerate the way she did in this race)

2010 Vanity (Shorter race against St. T and she gave weight)

2008 Lady's Secret (against a tough speed HystericalLady)

Steve : Thanks for the tribute, and for writing the articles about her, allowing us fans to express our emotions.  Sometimes it hard to explain how I feel about Zenyatta to friends or family members because they don't follow horse racing.  Your blogs allowed many of us to express our feelings to people who understands it.  Thanks again.

20 Nov 2010 6:50 AM
Deacon

Dr. D:

     Mt Rushmore is a pretty good idea, maybe even a commemorative coin of some kind, and a stamp from the post office. Wh knows, we can dream.

My wife said some clothes designer should open a fashion line in Zenyatta's honor. I wouldn't know what to name, perhaps the ladies can come up with a name.

20 Nov 2010 11:14 AM
alphaecho

For what it's worth - from the horse's mouth - "I will bred to

A P Indy".

I wish them Good Luck and all the BEST - They deserve it.

20 Nov 2010 1:42 PM
Mike Relva

STEVE

I understand,but hope if the chance is ever present that you will consider writing a book on Zenyatta.

20 Nov 2010 2:22 PM
June Moon

That Zenyatta will be missed is an understatement. The void gets bigger with every other horse that retires She has brought more people into racing than we'll know. When's the last time a horse has been the subject of a NY Times editorial? Everyone should check out Maureen Dowd's column from 11/14/10. Of course no one capture's her allure better than you, Steve. Thanks for another great article.

20 Nov 2010 4:18 PM
Sara

@ Mike Relva,

Careful bud....I've seen you behave the same way on other blogs about that other filly who shall remain nameless.

Don't be a hypocrite. Be happy that people are taking the time to praise her, as she deserves it.

20 Nov 2010 4:28 PM
Freetex

Deacon, that's an easy one.

Forever Zen

20 Nov 2010 4:59 PM
Linda/Maryland

Zenyatta is the Horse of the Year.

Horse of the Decade.

The Greatest Horse since Secretariat. There will be many many years before we will ever see a horse like this, probably NEVER.

20 Nov 2010 8:03 PM
Nancy

I wanted her to stay in Cali with us so bad. We are so saddened that she is leaving her home where her heart is....I will go see her with a heavy heart at Hollywood for the last time. :(  Cali loves Z and will miss her very much.

20 Nov 2010 9:40 PM
sherpa

Personally, I wish the Moss's would buy a little CA farm just for Zenny, then let Bold Chieftain come visit her paddock and let nature take its course.

Don't laugh!  BC is as close to worthy as they could get.  And he needs a place to hang his hat - the farm where he was going to stand is shutting down, so he's back at the barn and may continue racing.  With his pedigree and stamina, I can't imagine why the KY farms aren't competing for his services.  

20 Nov 2010 10:53 PM
Slew

Deacon: Better yet...a quilting competition of horse blankets in Zen's honor that are then donated to Old Friends facilities.  It still gets pretty cold in KY and NY.  A clothing line would be too restrictive and have too narrow of an audience to be profitable for any length of time.  

21 Nov 2010 8:32 AM
Mike Relva

SARA

Are you serious? I've defended "the other horse" on many occasion. Why don't you read the many neg. posts that the individual blogged?

21 Nov 2010 11:29 AM
Deacon

Excellent idea Slew, along with everyone else. Look how much we all miss her already. I just believe that the Queen brings out the best in most of us. She transcends the sport. This 3 plus year story with her is simply amazing. Could anyone ever guess that a horse could have such an impact or hold on folks like Zen does. It just leaves me in awe.

Happy Holidays to all..........

21 Nov 2010 3:01 PM
Pat

It goes without saying that the best should write about the best, Steve. There is no more to be said about this great mare. I am just thankful that I was fortunate to live in the years that held Secretariat and Zenyatta, and that I was able to experience the words and photos of the likes of you. Keep it going, Steve.

21 Nov 2010 7:25 PM
jayjay

Anyone know any other ranch in Cali where Z can go to ?  I only know of Rancho San Miguel.  I don't think Team Z has many choices.  I personally would like for her to go to KY just because they have the best ranches over there and Z deserves only the best.  Team Z, specifically the Mosses will make sure that everything is taken care of as far as what she needs : Visits from her adoring fans, great food, a nice bedding to relax in, TVG/HRTV in the barn stall and a case of Guinness.

I hope when everything is settled,the Mosses and LE will make an announcement on how they plan to allow fans to visit the Queen.

21 Nov 2010 8:10 PM
NotRealQuiet

Maybe Z and Blame should get together and workout their differences in the bedroom. Why not Z and Blame? He's a beautiful horse, too. I wonder though if she is what the American Indians would have referred to as "a contrary." We had a contrary stallion in our barn for a short period of time--because the other stallions were obviously quite disconcerted by his presence. Nice horse though. In nature, there are contrary animals as well as in human nature. Well, I do hope for the best for Z--a long, healthy life for the Queen!

22 Nov 2010 2:17 AM
Riket

Thank you Linda in Texas for you kind words in spanish.

Zenyatta is horse of the year, she is for sure the MVP of horse racing; I think that this award should consider  all the things that involve a horse with the busisness;  Fans, Media, athletic ability, local exposure, internacional exposure, merchandise, gambling, attendance, feelings, sponsors, miracles, and much more.....she is simply all that.

22 Nov 2010 10:45 AM
racehorselover

Steve Thank You again for another wonderful piece on The Queen. I hope Lanes End is reading this and truely hope we will be allowed the Privilge of visiting Zenyatta in her new home. I hope those that cast votes for HOY realize any other horse would be a travesty. I pray  Zenyatta is bred to a horse that retired as happy and Sound as she did. Curlin maybe? Yes Steve you should write The book, being  one of the few writers that appreciates The Queen for who she is. We have all been Blessed from knowing Zenyatta, from far away or close at hand. God Bless the Queen may she live always in our hearts.

22 Nov 2010 2:21 PM
Linda in Texas

Steve, i wrote a comment earlier and i thought maybe everyone was as bummed out as i since no one had commented since the 20th and i deleted it.

I am admittedly suffering withdrawals from not having a Z race to look forward to.

I must admit though that i must reroute my thinking to newer and younger horses since so many of the 3 and 4 year olds are being retired. With LAL out, i can think of Jackson Bend and First Dude. I like The Dude a lot and Jackson Bend is a trooper.

Watched, as i am sure many of you all did, The Races at Delta Downs.

Gourmet Dinner did himself proud but Aces N' Kings i hope is okay, waiting and watching for his news.

Calvin will be testing out "Turkey in a Tube" and "Turkey in The Straw!" Just glad he was able to walk away from that issue. Hurry and get well enough to ride again Calvin.

The fillies are going to be fun to watch, just love them all, and so many new colts to admire as they mature.

And i would not want a Blame and Zenyatta match. That would be like me having to sleep with my ex husband! If he were still alive. And i think Blame's nose is not attractive either.

I have a feeling they already know  the choice and i bet is is gonna surprise everyone.

Just a hunch and i have no idea who it is either. It should NOT be a horse her size. She would have a terrible time physically trying to

foal. Just a thought.

It will be a good year for the horses and all of us. And my hopes are for everyone to have a  very nice Thanksgiving.  

Steve, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Please feel free to edit my comments. Just sometimes cannot help myself when a thought pops up.

22 Nov 2010 6:10 PM
jayjay

Steve (or anyone) : What do you think my $19 win ticket is worth now ?  Wondering what the price would be.  I'm thinking about putting it up in eBay but not sure about the rules if I decide not to sell it.

One idea about Zen at LE is for them to have a 24 / 7 streaming webcam to allow us to watch her in her stall.  I would love to see her prancing and playing around and see how she sleeps :)  I think that would be awesome, full access via webcam to the Queen!

22 Nov 2010 9:28 PM
ceil

Zenyatta is not going to be in a stall in the barn. She is going to live in a pasture with a group of other mares and (hopefully) her colt. This is what makes the logistics of trying to find a way for fans to see her so problematic. The safety of the mares and foals has to come first. And Blame is not a good match for Zenyatta. Too much Kris S. Also, you don't breed a maiden mare to a first-year stallion. One of them needs to know what's going on. I just wish her a long and happy life. I am really going to miss her.

24 Nov 2010 2:32 PM
seatariat

Steve,

As always your beautiful words have moved me although this time I wasn't ready to hear them.  Even though my head told me that this time they were going to really retire her my heart has been in denial.

I love Zenyatta along with a million other people and I didn't want to see it end. Yes, I'm happy she is retiring healthy and sound and it sounds like the team is doing everything they can to assure a peaceful transition and a happy life at Lanes End.  My worry right now is living a life as a broodmare for a intelligent horse like Zenyatta.  Years ago I helped a friend with a breeding, I held the mare, and it was not pretty for the mare.  I am having a hard time imagining that happening to Zenyatta and her reaction to it.  I found the video of her being sold at the auction hard to watch, you can see she is crying out. And yes, I think she will be a wonderful mother but how will she handle the weaning process.  When I was a kid we had a Shetland pony that we bred and we just assumed that the mare would wean her filly on her own.  Well it didn't happen and so when we finally sold them we insisted on selling them as a pair because we didn't have the heart to try and wean a five year old.  I was once at a farm that raised paints and they had separated the mares from the foals the day before and it was so hard to watch all the crying going on with both foals and mares that I had to leave.  I know..I know this is all part of the breeding process and without we wouldn't have racing but Zenyatta is different and I'm worried as to how she will react, I keep picturing it breaking her heart.  

In my perfect world I would love to see Zenyatta sent to the Kentucky Horse Park where she could be pampered and admired by her fans for the rest of her life.  You see there will never be another Zenyatta no matter who they breed her to . Steve, any encouraging words?

24 Nov 2010 9:12 PM
Mary

For myself, I am so grateful that God gave us Zenyatta and placed her with her "family".  I firmly believe had this not have happened we would not have seen the Queen of Racing!  I also am thankful that I got to watch her run from the start to finish.

I live in Oregon some 8 hours from Hollywood Park, if God would only see fit to send me to her retirement party, I would die a happy person.

May your retirement be wonderful and full of blue skies and bluegrass!

Thank you to Zenyatta and TEAM ZENYATTA

Mary

26 Nov 2010 7:39 PM
MIKE T.

  Long live the, The Queen. Zenyatta is the most impressive racehorses I have ever seen in my life time. Love you, and Good Luck.

26 Nov 2010 8:17 PM
Nancy J.

When I first saw Zenyatta's size, she reminded me of the large mare Manistique.  How could such a large mare have enough speed?! The dance moves were beautiful to watch, almost as if she was intimidating her opponents. Nervousness, or not, it made her unique. I think a Tiz Now

meeting would be an awesome match. A two time BC winner with a first and second place winner. Pedigrees on both sides were somewhat unknown.  I agree, too much Kris S. with a Blame breeding. You are asking for more nervousness in a foal. Afleet Alex might be an ideal second breeding for 2012.  He had wonderful swinging gaits.  Mike Smith you did a great job with her.  You performed your best.  When will be see another incredible horse?  On average, every 33 years.  Zenyatta,

Moss family, thanks for the ride.

27 Nov 2010 8:37 AM
Dragonfur

How about Curlin as a match for Zenyatta?  

I want to see her win Horse of the Year!  She won the Classic last year, but did not get the top honors.  She overcame a lot in her only race against Blame, to come up only a half-head short, and was obviously (to me, at least) the best horse, and moving fastest at the finish.  She deserves it, more than Blame, more than anyone in 2010.  Zenyatta for Horse of the Year!!!!!

27 Nov 2010 10:33 PM
markinsac

Zenny, you came along at a time when people are hurting.  It's tough to make a living right now. Thanks for cheering me up.

Your star belongs on Hollywood Blvd.

01 Dec 2010 12:30 AM
Criminal Type

If I was Zenyatta, I would be extremely humiliated if Curlin showed up in the breeding shed with amorous intentions (I like the sleeping with the exhusband analogy)...<shudder>...He is not even close to being worthy of her. She is royalty, He is a muscle bound street hustler. She deserves better. Can you imagine Jess Jackson as your kid's grandad? uGGG

01 Dec 2010 7:38 AM
Zen4Zen

Great posting, Steve; thanks!  One of your readers, "Slew," had a great idea: "a quilting competition of horse blankets in Zen's honor that are then donated to Old Friends facilities."  One doesn't have to wait, though, for an organized competition, let alone have quilting skills, to think of gifts to worthy charities in Zenyatta's honor.

Maybe you, Steve, along with Zenyatta's devoted owners, the Mosses, can think of a way to channel the charitable impulses of Zenyatta's many fans.  The Mosses did so much for charity in her name when she was racing that I'd be surprised if they don't continue the good work she inspires when she moves to Land's End.

06 Dec 2010 1:43 AM
Tina

Zenyatta the Great,

Thank you so much for the wonderful ride you took horse racing fans on. Has been so good to be inspired once again by an amazing gift of God. We are only allowed a few as great as you to make our hearts pound within our chests it has been incredible fun.

11 Dec 2010 7:09 PM
VizslaLady

Well Arts and Letters aren't you the smart one picking Bernadini.

27 Jan 2011 12:02 PM
jetgemini

     Ode to Zenyatta

"Bring me your best," said Zenyatta.

Your bright shining boys of the year.

Bring them all 

from north, south, east and west.

Bring them here.” 

I will dance for my people.

The crowd will roar.

They wait for the gate,

the slamming of the door.

My rider so sure, gathers me now.

Together we fly past the pretty boy crowd.

On and on in our flight,

like one beast of thunder.

A thing of beauty and of wonder.

For I am Zenyatta, the gypsy queen.

The mightiest mare there has ever been.

By  Jane Taylor

28 Jan 2011 12:31 AM

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