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Zenyatta's Next Mating: Tapit

Tapit Photo: Gainesway

Jerry and Ann Moss announced today that 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, who foaled a colt by Bernardini (TrueNicks,SRO) on March 8, will be bred back to Tapit (TrueNicks,SRO) in 2012.

The Mosses already have some familiarity with Tapit, having raced 2011 Lady's Secret and Las Virgenes (both gr. I) winner Zazu. Out of the Mr. Greeley mare Rhumb Line, Zazu is the most successful racehorse to date bred on the cross of Tapit with mares by Mr. Prospector and his sons and grandsons—the cross that Zenyatta's Tapit foal will be bred on.

In terms of stakes winner strike rate, this cross is in line with average for the sire and the broodmare sire line (TrueNicks C rating). There are 59 starters by Tapit out of Mr. Prospector line mares, getting 40 winners and four stakes winners, including the aforementioned Zazu, grade II winner Headache, listed winners Bandbox and Never Right Joey, and grade II-placed Tempted to Tapit and Tap for Luck.

Click to view the TrueNicks report for Tapit-Zenyatta

A winner of the grade I Wood Memorial (video), Tapit was the third betting choice behind Smarty Jones (TrueNicks,SRO) and Lion Heart (TrueNicks) in the sloppy 2004 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He retired the following year to Gainesway for a fee of $15,000.

Tapit wasted no time establishing himself as one of Kentucky's preeminent sires. From his first crop came 2-year-old champion filly Stardom Bound, who helped propel him to champion first crop sire honors over Lion Heart, Candy Ride (ARG) (TrueNicks,SRO), Medaglia d'Oro (TrueNicks,SRO), and Speightstown (TrueNicks,SRO). Also in Tapit's first crop were grade I-winning fillies Laragh and Careless Jewel, and Japanese group I winner Testa Matta.

Tapit's latest success is champion 2-year-old colt Hansen (TrueNicks), who will make his next start in the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. Other top offspring of Tapit include Tell a Kelly, Concord Point (TrueNicks,SRO), Joyful Victory, Tapitsfly, Tapizar, and Trappe Shot (TrueNicks,SRO). Tapit currently ranks second behind Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO) on the 2012 general sires list and stands for a $125,000 fee.

Zenyatta and her 2012 Bernardini colt Photo: Mathea Kelley and Team Zenyatta

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49 Comments:

Did the Moss' provide any explanation for "why" they chose Tapit?

DanC 23 Mar 2012 11:19 AM

DanC,

In the press release they said they liked the A.P. Indy sire line for Zenyatta (obviously they went with A.P. Indy's son Bernardini last year), even though the Pulpit/Tapit branch of A.P. Indy is looking quite unique.

Other than the fact that he's one of the best KY stallions, my guess for why they liked him is that Tapit tends to put a fair amount of speed into his foals, but they can also go long. Judging by Zenyatta's size and racing style, you'd want to give her some speed and precociousness without trying to neutralize her stamina, and Tapit would be a sire that would do this.

Physically, he'd seem to complement her well. He's good-sized with lots of length (he's big enough for her). With Z's size, you don't want to breed to a small stallion because you'd be concerned about getting an unbalanced foal.

Ian Tapp 23 Mar 2012 11:51 AM

Last year, Tapit arrived second in top-stallion honors, basically, because he didn't have all the benefice of those unusually high Yen purses his main winning rival had. Perhaps this year the same will occurr because Tapit is, foremost, a North American stallion. But one thing is quite clear: Tapit constitutes a new coat color stamping paradigm among the best breeding "grays" of all time. Not since the era of The Tetrarch,(let's bypass Mahmoud and Native Dancer), the Breed had witnessed such a powerful changing force in terms of phenotype influence. But his most important meritorious influence is his unparalleled ability to produce far superior healthy/sound runners out of any kind of mare. That's the reason why so many meritorious normal mares went to his court. That's why so many top-notch mares are now heading his way. And that's why the fabulous Zennyatta may probably produce another new "gray" foal from his cover. It is not exaggerated to predict that we are witnessing the new 21st century version of The Tetrarch.

Jorge 23 Mar 2012 12:05 PM

  Mr. Tapp,

Good analysis! The pedigree similiarities of Tapit and Bernardini have already been pointed out by others: both are bred on a similar A.P. Indy/Fappiano cross (Bernardini by A.P. Indy--out of Cara Rafaela, by Quiet American by Fappiano; Tapit by Pulpit, by A.P. Indy--out of Tap Your Heels, by Unbridled by Fappiano). In your opinion, what elements of Bernardini's stud performance and pedigree give him a much higher TrueNicks rating with Zenyatta, compared to Tapit with Zenyatta (A+ compared to only a C)? Is it simply that Tapit's line doesn't cross as well with the Machiavellian line of Mr. Prospector like Bernardini's, or are there other factors also at play?

Age of Reason 23 Mar 2012 12:06 PM

"An unbalanced foal"? Anyone remember "Northern Dancer", the foundation sire for the 20th century. Northern Dancer was diminutive by all accounts, including pictures.

I think the tactical speed remark was on the money, however. The one thing the great Zenyatta did not have was tactical speed. Imagine her brilliance if she had been on the Euro circuit with all those classic distances.

We all know what opinions are like, but I would still love to see Zenyatta go to "Giant's Causeway", or his brilliant son, "Eskendereya". Now there's some tactical speed. Without injury, I think the last two Triple Crown winners would have been Barbaro and Eskendereya. Tapits still a good choice.

Fraizer 23 Mar 2012 12:31 PM

Fraizer,

A horse can be both small and balanced, as Northern Dancer was. Breeding a huge mare to a small stallion (or vice versa) often results in unbalanced offspring (imagine a big barrel on short legs)

Ian Tapp 23 Mar 2012 1:00 PM

Age of Reason,

The TrueNicks rating reflects strike rate of stakes winners vs. starters. It answers the question "What is the likelihood of stakes success compared to the expected averages for the sire and broodmare sire lines involved?"

For the Bernardini-Zenyatta mating: A.P. Indy has two G1SW with mares by Machiavellian (sire of Street Cry) from only a handful of starters, so the high rating indicates that this is much better than expected.

Tapit-Zenyatta: Tapit has stakes winners from a variety of broodmare sire lines. Statistically he's not doing any better with Mr. Prospector line mares than he is with all other mares, hence the "C" TrueNicks rating, but when your average is as good as Tapit's average, this is quite good. Plus, with two graded stakes winners on the cross, it starts to look even more attractive.

Ian Tapp 23 Mar 2012 1:17 PM

what they did it is successful sires seattle slew to ap indy to pulpit to tapit then it's mr prospector to fappiano to unbridled which is why the choice is tapit a great choice

michael 23 Mar 2012 1:27 PM

I can definitely understand why the Moss family would choose Tapit for Zenyatta.  She was a late developing type and Tapit has a phenomenal record on putting out some quality 2 year olds.  It would seem that they would balance out quite well.

However, not for just selfish reasons, I would like to see them eventually find their way to Tiznow.  It shows as a B+ rating in Truenicks, but Tiznow has done quite well over Mr. Prospector including Bullsbay,  Gemologist, Tiz Miz Sue, and Lovely Lil amongst others.  Not to mention he would be a complete outcross for her as well.

It is fun watching the full lifetime careers of these equine athletes from the sales ring, to the track, and to the breeding shed.  Thanks for the forum!

TJLuvsTizs 23 Mar 2012 3:10 PM

Zenyatta is more of a grass bred mare. Next time I'd like to see her bred to Rock of Gibralter or Sea the Stars. I hope they breed her to a variety of stallions over the years......nicking patterns are to systematic for me..........Zenyatta don't need a system...she "is" the system!

tjconway 23 Mar 2012 6:21 PM

Jorge

 Had The Tetrarch been endowed with normal procreative powers there is no telling what he might have accomplished

as he was the sire of the brilliant Mumtaz Mahal,2000 Guineas winner Tetratema,and 3 winners of the St.Leger,Polemarch,Caligula,and Salmon Trout but from 1916

to 1926 he only sired a meagre total of 130 foals and indeed

in his final year at stud he sired only one foal.This is not

the case with Tapit who seems very virile and has shown some

good early promise at the stud and I think he is an excellent choice for Zenyatta.

John T 23 Mar 2012 9:22 PM

am i the only person disappointed in this choice?  besides more prominent stallions from which to chose, i oo am concerned about the balance of this foal. but who am i, in the end, to second guess?   good luck.

PomDeTerre 23 Mar 2012 10:49 PM

Love Zenyatta/ love Tapit...but this isnt to me a good cross...they are going to get one or the other;complete opposites..wouldve liked to have seen a little more thought on the breeding. i think a breeding back to Bernadini or a more similar bred stallion mightve been a better option in my opinion. Lets not just breed to popularity ..

quietamerican 24 Mar 2012 1:44 AM

The Queen deserves better than becoming a production machine. I would've preferred to see her run until she was 10, at least she did enjoy that. I doubt this is as enjoyable. The engine that ran Big Z was between her ears, and that trait is not likely going to be passed through the bloodline. Alot of horses have the physical ability to become champions, but few have the heart and will that separate good from great. Zenyatta's offspring have one tough act to follow. As Mike Smith put it, "No horse is good enough for her". I have to agree. She's in a league of her own. Tapit, Bernardini, it doesn't matter. It's a pipe dream to think you're going to end up with another Zenyatta.

ksweatman9 24 Mar 2012 3:47 AM

Jorge.,

The Tetrarch 'Grey colour' actually comes from his sire Roi Herode, also responsible for the Native Dancer grey line to Afleet Again and Icecapade.

The othere grey line in thoroughbreds is the Pepper & Salt branch, down via.. Djebe to Ruritania and the Vilmorin line to Zeddaan, Kalamoun, Kenmare, etc..

They all trace back to an obscure Irish horse Master Robert.

Hal Dane 24 Mar 2012 6:33 AM

Reasons for being happy with the choice are simply, Team Zenyatta has never made a wrong move with her. In the last breeding with Bernardini, in interviews, I believe it was David Ingordo, that said that Dottie's opinion is always the prevailing one when they are discussing bloodlines and pedigrees.  It was a short dinner conversation last time, and I'm betting it was even shorter this time! For me, I'm keenly aware that it will be near to impossible to hope for progeny with anything like what Zenyatta had on the track.  She is one of a kind, and we all are keenly aware of the odds against her being able to reproduce herself. It is fun to dream, though, that she might just be the one in a million shot at stud, along with her brilliant career on the track, and give us another champion!

Deltalady 24 Mar 2012 10:41 AM

Overall, seems to be a good mating for her. He's a proven top stallion and I can't come up with a better one for Zenyatta in the US. Doesn't, though, have the "feel" of a great mating-but there may not be a great mating for Zenyatta. Zenyatta's a bit "angular" ,and while Tapit isn't he can often sire a somewhat "weedy"-type, so I'd be concerned about the offspring's looks. On the other hand, while I haven't seen Uncle Sam's dam, her pedigree (admittedly unlike Zenyatta's) has the flavor of a Zenyatta-look and aptitude. Uncle Sam is good-looking, and has some talent, so she could produce one looking similar to Uncle Sam with hopefully even more ability.    

sceptre 24 Mar 2012 11:10 AM

For those worried about Zennie's health and being bred too often: in the wild, mares wouldn't get much of a break.  They would have a foal, raise it, wean it off and mostly already be in foal by the time that foal was off grazing with the other weanlings.  Their bodies decided if it was enough- miscarriage, the foal not taking at all...so to worry that she becoming a breeding machine is a little much.  And the Moss' seem like the owners that are genuinely concerned for Zenyatta's health so I am sure they will not let her become a 'breeding machine'

kjm0910 24 Mar 2012 11:35 AM

I'm not a fan of that much inbreeding to Mr. Prospector, no matter how far back it is, with a foal likely to be as big as it could be.  I don't like the physical match up. (Caveat: Based only on pictures) Tapit would not help there at all, IMHO.

I have and still like Hat Trick for her. (Based on pictures) He was a good miler, running style pretty much opposite of Zenyatta and would not shorten her up too much.  I also think (Based only on pictures) he would help in the conformation department.  I'm not saying Zenyatta is bad but I don't see Tapit helping where she needs it, in fact, I see him enhancing what shouldn't be enhanced.

Yes, you'd probably get a grass horse- but oh what a grass horse!  Take the result to Europe if you must.  This cross rates A+ and returns Halo and Hail To Reason in 3, 4, and 5.  Hat Trick is 16.2-1/2 hands if the stats are to be believed, so I don't think he's too small for her. Sure, he's not "proven" but he's and up and coming horse and helps lesson the influence of only two stallions in the TB- Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector.  It's getting to the point where we might as well rename the TB breed the "NoProspect" breed or something.....

Horsefirst 24 Mar 2012 1:19 PM

Well, if they want to stay with A. P. Indy sires, Mineshaft might be interesting, since along with that ever present Mr. Prospector cross, the 2nd dam is by Hoist the Flag.  Since they decided on Tapit, other sons of Pulpit to consider might be Sky Mesa or Parading.

Other non-A. P. Indy sires--Giant's Causeway or Tiznow?  And if you wanted a superior grass runner, how about Kitten's Joy?  He by El Prado out of a daughter of Lear Fan, so you'll get a double cross to Hail to Reason from the dam of Sadler's Wells and from Lear Fan that would complement what Zenyatta has from her damsire, Kris S.  One of the things I really wish they would have done is run Zenyatta on the turf before she retired, because I think she would have been even better on the grass, hard as that is to imagine.  Breed her to Kitten's Joy and send the baby to Europe to run......Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe anyone?

Deep in the Heart of Texas 24 Mar 2012 2:54 PM

and hit the "Submit" too soon......I thought the Australian miler Lonrho might be interesting as well.  Sir Tristam line stallion and his 2nd dam is by a son of Forli, the sire of Zenyatta's 2nd dam.  On paper it looks interesting.....just don't know about the physical matchup between the two of them.

Deep in the Heart of Texas 24 Mar 2012 3:00 PM

This is definitely an interesting cross. Tapit wouldn't be my first choice for Zenyatta (I think of breeding the queen to a much more regal looking stallion--Bernardini is definitely that). But I can definitely understand why: Tapit has some very precocious get and the Moss' have had wonderful success with Zazu (who's a beautiful filly on a similar cross, and a much lighter/racy-looking than her sire). While he's not exactly one of the stallions that's at the front of my mind for top tier Ky studs, I think his fee reflects quality and he has some really great foals.

Down the road I think it'd be interesting to see her bred to the likes of Giant's Causeway or Medaglia D'Oro. They've both established themselves as good sires and both are great physicals. I would lean more towards Giant's Causeway, while his offspring aren't the most precocious, he does have some serious distance influence and tends to throw horses with serious bone and muscle-tone. Iron horse possibly? And if Hard Spun keeps throwing good foals, that would be an interesting match (though admittedly, I was always a bigger fan of his than the other top 3yo that season and was incredibly disappointed they didn't run him as a 4yo).

Although conformation-wise, it would be a crap shoot, I think Afleet Alex or Fusaichi Pegasus would be nice. Both were a good classic horses, have good classic distance offspring and both are handsome horses. Afleet Alex has that more pretty/almost "cute" look to him as well as being very intelligent and Fusaichi Pegasus is very regal looking, charismatic and knows when he has an audience. While "personality" (forgive the anthropomorphizing) doesn't make a great racehorse nor always has a strong genetic connection, could definitely be interesting to see what two intelligent/charismatic horses could drop. I'm sure all the Z fans would love to see her foal be even more entertaining and human-like than she is.

I must say, it's too bad that Rock Hard Ten doesn't blend with her better pedigree-wise nor does he have spectacular/precocious babies. I've seen him in person and wow! What a beast (and so chill for a stud)! Talk about Iron Horse...those two would have a monsterous baby and a force to be reckoned with physically!

And to the person who mentioned Tiznow....physically a good choice, and I'm particularly fascinated with how out-crossings turn out, especially with so few out there.

ISU09 24 Mar 2012 4:03 PM

Agree with Ksweatman9, Zenyatta is not a breeding machine. I would have liked to see her given a rest for a full year after her first foal - being the Queen that she is she deserves a little more respect.  No there will never be another Zenyatta or a stallion quite in her league. I am surprised the Mosses are wanting so much more from Zenyatta after all she has given them already. Whose advice are they listening to I wonder!! Please cherish and love Zenyatta for the wonderful racehorse and mare that she is - she gave you her heart when she raced now she needs to rest a while.

whinnyforme 24 Mar 2012 5:02 PM

@ksweatman9:

What an odd comment, that she should have remained in training and racing until at least 10, with all the risks that carries; and with the natural loss of speed and stamina that age brings. Different breeds have different preformance ages; she is not a Grand Prix dressage horse which must be trained and schooled for 5-6 years to reach the top echelons (and usually doesn't start that until 4 or 5); nor is she a jumper who would not even start jumping until 5 or 6.

Of course she enjoyed her racing career. She was beautifully handled and conditioned, and raced in the best of company. If she raced until 10 she'd be struggling to stay sound, probably have some nagging aches and pains, and show the results of racing wear and tear. She'd probably have become crabby at the very least, tired of the work and pressure. She'd be competing against other older and probably far lesser-quality horses... maybe even falling into the claiming ranks (do you REALLY think the Mosses or John Shirreffs would allow this??)... it is just too hard to believe anyone would wish this on the magnificent Zenyatta.  

Horses DO have a limited "racing lifespan," and while Zenyatta could physically have gone on for another year or two, why should she? What was left to do or prove?

FAR better that she retired at the top of her powers and went to live the quiet, relaxed life of the broodmare, who is among the very luckiest of horses---- especially where she is at Lane's End. "Production machine" she is not. She is a treasured mare who will continue her contribution to racing and the Thoroughbred breed, just in a different format.  

The very happiest of horses is the broodmare. She lives a quiet, protected life, does not have to work, and all she has to do is have one foal a year and nurture it to weaning. It is the most natural life a horse can live. Most mares LOVE their foals. My mares would even adopt other mares' orphaned foals.

Horses aren't people; people aren't horses. And if someone is concerned about the number of horses being produced, DO something about it: go contribute money or time to one of the very worthy retirement or rescue organizations.

Sorry, but this just hit a nerve with me. If one has not been around broodmares and their foals (or horses in general) very much, one does not have the right to be critical. This one was just too unrealistic and too ignorant (in the sense of not knowing) to let pass by without comment.  

LRF

longtimeracingfan 24 Mar 2012 5:45 PM

Not impressed with the choice of Tapit for Zenyatta. But then, I wasn't very impressed with Bernardini either. The Moss's are breeding these foals to race, so, it's not as if they were choosing the most expensive and commercially successful stallions out there for that purpose. I don't get it. Tapits are precocious and early developing in most cases, and we have seen the Street Cry's can be late developers. In theory I see them trying to put some speed into her stamina but Tapit ? Really? A C nick ?

There are so many others I would have considered before Tapit. She's an A or A + with Medaglia D'oro if my memory serves. I also would have considered Eskendereya & Big Brown. Eskendereya is one of the most physically impossing young stallions on the planet, much like Bernardini in his althleticism. He has an incredible walk.  I can only say I am dissapointed and hope they see something I am missing. Oh well, It's easy to second guess when it's not your horse or your money paying the 150K stud fee.  

Any word on who Rachel Alexandra is being bred to this year ? Wanna bet it's Smart Strike ?

Criminal Type 24 Mar 2012 6:29 PM

Can't wait to see the Tapit x Zenyatta baby! Likely that baby would be gray (would be lovely!) Next Spring will give reason to wait for between Tapit x Zenyatta and Bernardini x Rachel Alexandra.

I wonder if they'd consider Tiznow, Distorted Humor, Medaglia d'Oro, or Giant's Causeway sometime for Zenyatta?

Tiz Herself 24 Mar 2012 6:35 PM

Although I am relatively new to this forum I have a couple of observations that may or may not have relevance.  It seems this particular discussion is focused on the stallion lines rather than the tail line.  Although I have lots of respect for Street Cry, my own personal belief is that Zenyatta's greatness really owes more to the maternal influences.  Not only does a foal get 50% of the "routine" DNA from the mother but 100% of the mitochodrial DNA comes from the dam. Therefore all mitochondrial DNA comes entirely from the tail line in every foal making the dam extremely important I persoanlly would love to see Zenyatta eventually bred to the great Galileo although I am not sure the Moss's would ever ship her to Europe and I don't see him coming to the US to stand at stud.

indra 24 Mar 2012 9:53 PM

I would agree with Tiznow. They have similar builds and the same determination. The only negative I could see with it is most of the Tiznows do better as they mature, which Zenyatta did as well.

Speaking of Tiznow, another match that would be interesting would be Giant's Causeway. His sire record has been outstanding and his offspring seem to develop a little younger that Tiznow's.

Karen in Indiana 24 Mar 2012 11:52 PM

Terrific if the result is a horse with her huge stride and powerful closing rush plus his precocity and tactical speed. But breeding opposites can go a different way. The result can be closer to the average. Or worse: as Nobel Prize winning playwright George Bernard Shaw said to the actress flirting with him: "Madam, what if our child had your brains and my beauty?" It will be interesting.

Brigitte 25 Mar 2012 1:17 AM

TJLuvsTizs,

There is an uncommon shared ancester for Zenyatta and Tiznow.  The St. Simon line French sire Worden appears in both pedigrees.  Worden was mostly known as a broodmare sire.  He had a great shoulder and was an influence for distance.  

Aluminaut 25 Mar 2012 11:41 AM

PomDeTerre, no, you're not the only one disappointed by this choice. Frankly, I was shocked when I heard it. I would have expected a truly upper echelon stallion.  I'll always wish Zenyatta and the Mosses well, but I'm quite disappointed.

Man o' War 25 Mar 2012 2:43 PM

Okay at least the name will be an eaisier choice....come on and zap'em "Zapit"!!!

I really like Tapit and I am very glad the Mosses decided to breed Zeyatta to him.

For future years some have already mentioned Medaglia D' Oro and Giant's Causeway and Tiznow which I think would all be great for her.

Motherhood for mares is natural there is nothing wrong with breeding a mare if the foals will be taken care of. Mares normally love their babies. Wild mares will have a foal every year unless their bodies say "time out" which they do occasionally.

I wished she could have raced longer myself but she is very happy now so go Zenyatta!!

Golden Gate 25 Mar 2012 4:36 PM

For those who do not like the choice of Tapit for Zenyatta, perhaps the Mosses will discuss their reasoning on the situation on their Zen website.

Criminal Type----Rachel Alexandra has been bred to Bernardini and has been pronounced in foal according to her Facebook page.

Karen in Texas 25 Mar 2012 5:02 PM

Karen, Thank you for the Rachel info. I seem to recall hearing that somewhere now that you mention it.  Bernardini is a very popular guy, First Zenyatta, now Rachel as well as Shared Account and La Ville Rouge.  

Several of you have mentioned Giants Causeway for Zenyatta, while I think his son, Eskendereya would be a better match for her because of size. Esky is nearly 17 hands, the same height as her. Eskendereye certainly had enough speed to make the cross interesting, and no doubt the resulting foal could run all day. Oh yea, the Nick is an A+.

Criminal Type 25 Mar 2012 6:19 PM

i thought it would it was going to be hard spun both hard spun and big brown would be great choices for zenyatta with the danzig line

michael 25 Mar 2012 8:01 PM

What about Cape Blanco -- bring the Galileo line in.

Marie 26 Mar 2012 1:28 PM

I'd have made a different choice, in that I like courage in a race horse and I think Tiznow (B+ nick), Big Brown (B+), or the new import, Lonroh (A nick) might have been a better choice. I do think that Zenyatta will have a good foal no matter what stallion it is. Over my many years, it sems to me the mare has much more to do with it than the stallion. I do like to see mares mated with sires of the same size, rather than big to little or the other way around. You seldom get one in the 'middle' and they don't seem to be outstanding. One of the reasons for Zenyatta's success was her size and the length of her stride. She had no speed and fast twitch muscles.  The other was her will to win. I wish the Mosses had continued on with those traits with sires who had those in abundance.

flysofar 26 Mar 2012 4:28 PM

Ian, What would the nick rating for a mating between Tapit and Rachel Alexandra be?   since he is a top sire.

And is it unusual that owners like the Moss's tread away from an A++ or A+ TrueNick rating for a pairing up (mating)?

since Tapit only gets a C for this mating with Zenyatta?

And a third question for you Ian,  How many top notch horses running today or in the past that recieved a C mating that became stakes winners or higher?

Guiness 26 Mar 2012 6:56 PM

Would be thrilled if Zenny goes to Galileo or the Euro champ, Sea the Stars! Pure class!

Khyle 27 Mar 2012 12:08 AM

I am fairly new to the breeding aspect of the sport but I find it rather comical that people are dissapointed with Tapit, and Bernardini...especially the latter.  I have talked to many experienced breeders who believe Bernardini is a stunning animal with great conformation....and for somebody to say that he was a bad choice is rediculous.  As for Tapit...there's a reason his stud fee rose to 150,000. He has proven to be a producer. Bottom line is, horse breeding is a gamble....there has been many champion mares who never amounted to anything as broodmares, as well as claming level racemares who became bluehens.  To say that no stallion is worthy of Zenyatta is rediculous.  She is a horse...not a person.

Brookhiser1 27 Mar 2012 9:55 AM

galileo sea the stars are turf horses i don't want a turf horse with her if we are talking about a over seas horse i would like to see empire maker but he's in japan so that won't happen

michael 27 Mar 2012 8:38 PM

If he proves himself worthy in the next couple years I'd love to see Colonel John chosen for Zenyatta. He has three crosses of Northern Dancer, a rather useful combination of Seattle Slew and Turkoman, comes from an outcross sire line, is well-sized and handsomely conformed, was a stakes winner at two on synthetic, won the mile and a quarter Travers on dirt, and ran like his tail was on fire at a mile on grass as a 4YO. But he has to prove himself first, ;)

Hope her next foal is a gray, like all the good Tapits are.

Justine 28 Mar 2012 10:52 PM

I would have preferred to see her mated to Bernardini three years in a row and then let her move on to Tapit. I think this would have given her a chance to produce the best foals possible.

Barry 02 Apr 2012 1:45 PM

Right on about broodmares, and I know the comments about not turning a horse into a breeding machine was not the smartest thing to say, but some people don't know that much about horses, as witness some comments made.  But your reply seemed kind of harsh.  A lot of Zenyatta fans jumped on the band-wagon because she is a charismatic horse, who had a wonderful racing career.  They stayed devoted fans because they enjoyed her personality, and if they read other things in that assessment, well, so be it.  Think of it this way - it introduced them to racing, and if they're learning lots about the industry, all to the good.  I know a lot about horses, and can tell people lots about them.  But I know next to nothing about breeding, and therefore don't presume to second-guess anyone's decisions regarding a choice of mate for Zenyatta next year, and if people who love her want to treat her more as a Disney character than a racehorse, that's ok by me too.  It's like all the people who went and saw the movie "Black Swan" and then turned into ballet experts overnight.  You should have seen those comments on the ballet websites.  Wow, made you want to pull your hair out.  Zenyatta has been a great ambassador for a sport that needed a hero.  Let her fans enjoy her without being lectured by people who may know more, but could stand to be a little less pompous about it.  Just sayin'.

Joyce D 19 Apr 2012 12:41 AM

Here's what i do know about racehorses.  Nature rarely repeats herself, and you would be hard put to find a superior racehorse who produced a horse who could beat him on the track.  Yes, there are exceptions, notably Man 'o War and his son War Admirable.  Hard Tack, and his son Seabiscuit, and although Hard Tack was a beautiful, beautiful horse, he had a miserable nature, and was difficult if not impossible to handle.  He was, however, fast as the wind, when he wanted to run.  It was the "when he wanted to" aspect of his personality that retired him to the stud early.  Seabiscuit didn't have his looks, but he inherited his speed.  Fortunately, he didn't inherit the nasty temper.  Secretariat is notable at the stud because he sired great broodmares, (i.e. Terlingua and others, but he never sired a horse that could warm him up,let alone beat him in a race. Except for Lady's Secret, who some consider the greatest racemare ever.  She was a grey, and her nickname was "The Iron Lady".   Breeding a racehorse is all a matter of chance.  Hence the saying, "breed the best to the best, and hope for the best."  Key word here is hope.  I'm impressed at the amount of knowledge about breeding displayed on this site, and convinced that the experts will get it right. Or as close to right as they can.  But its fun to imagine isn't it, what the end product would be if Zenyatta was bred to this one or that one.  Dream on I say, but only nature reigns supreme.    

Joyce D 19 Apr 2012 1:03 AM

Joyce D.  I agree with you on the fact that Zenyatta brought a lot of people into racing...and got them to pay attention to the sport.  I agree that she should have her fans because not only was she good...she spills over with personality...same way Secretariat and Seabiscuit appealed to the masses.  What I don't agree with is that some of these fans are being lectured...by others who are in the business and have more knowledge.  From my understanding True Nicks is exactly that...a blog for discussing the intricacies of horse breeding...hopefully by those who are knowlegeable on the subject. I think if her fans want to think she is a disney character...can blog elsewhere...where anthropomorphizing racehorses isn't viewed as harshly. I want to clarify that I don't mean this post in any disrespectful way....its just my humble opinion.

Brookhiser 1 24 Apr 2012 11:47 AM

I love Zenyatta, and I think her colt is beautiful, but I know that in the horse racing business looks don't always equal success on the track.  I believe the Mosses love Zenyatta and always would do the very best they could for her.  She will always be treated like royalty and have a great life.  Broodmares are made to be in foal each year, sometimes it is hard to get them in foal if they have a year or two off.  Her life really wouldn't be much better if she spent it without a baby.  I have bred and raised Quarter Horses and Paints for many years and sometimes you mate the best to the best and it's still a gamble.  With non race horses you breed to correct flaws.  I like Tapit's foals, Hansen, Stardom Bound, etc. so I think he is a good choice for Zenyatta.  Of course she might never be able to reproduce herself just as Secretariat never has.  But I've learned that mares often pass on their personality to their foals, so maybe we'll see some of Zenyatta coming out in her foals.  

Georgia K 08 May 2012 3:05 PM

Outside of the numbers and truenicks crap.  I feel an outside horse would definately have to be GHOSTZAPPER.  Although he hasn't sired anything to shake a stick at for now.  He was so big and strong, could go virtualy all distances and had the quickest first  burst of speed and the staying power to hold off contenders.  It was a joy to watch!!!!!!

michael 10 Jun 2012 12:08 PM

Thanks for reading, Michael.

Ian Tapp 10 Jun 2012 4:33 PM

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