What does it take for a champion racehorse to be captured in bronze forever?
Is it the number of races they win?
The historical significance of those races?
The depth and quality of the competition?
By the many accolades from an admiring industry?
The adoration of a doting public?
What if a horse embodies all of these
-the money, the record, the fame-
with a career that comes as close to perfection as possible?
It sounds unlikely, even unbelievable. Yet there was such a racehorse, and this is her story.
Zenyatta became the first female to win the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic and the first horse ever to win two different Breeders' Cup Races.
At the Clement L. Hirsch Handicap, Zenyatta broke the world record (set by Rock of Gibraltar) for consecutive (8) Grade/Group I victories and tied the legendary Eclipse with 18 consecutive victories without defeat.
Zenyatta amassed more than 7.3 million during her four year career with 19 wins in 20 starts.
Zenyatta won Eclipse awards for 2010 Horse of the Year and Champion Older Mare for 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Zenyatta was top leading North American earner in 2009
Zenyatta was the inaugural winner of the Secretariat "Vox Populi" Award, which recognizes the "people's choice" for Thoroughbred racing's most popular equine athlete.
Zenyatta finished second in the voting for the Associated Press' Female Athlete of the Year in both 2009 and 2010. She was runner-up to tennis star Serena Williams (2009) and Olympic snow skier Lindsey Vonn (2010)
Zenyatta became the first horse to win the William H. May Award. The award honors an individual or group that has provided "meritorious service" to the industry.
Zenyatta set speed records in the 2008 El Encino Stakes (1:40:61) and the 2008 Lady's Secret Stakes (1:40:30).
Zenyatta was selected three years in a row (2008–2010) for NTRA's Moment of the Year Award, for her 2008 Ladies' Classic victory, historic 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic victory, and narrow defeat in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.
The 2010 Apple Blossom Handicap marked her 16th win in a row, tying the record held by Citation and Cigar for consecutive victories in unrestricted races.
She is the first mare to win Vanity International Handicap, Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, and the Lady's Secret Stakes for 3 consecutive years.With her win of the 2010 Vanity International Handicap she broke the all-time North American record for consecutive wins in unrestricted races (17 wins in 17 starts).
She was named by Oprah Winfrey to the 2010 “O Power List” in O Magazine.
Zenyatta holds both the speed record and record for most wins in the Lady's Secret Stakes. Her connections Ann & Jerry Moss, John Shirreffs, and Mike Smith hold records for most wins (four) by an owner, trainer, and jockey respectively.
Zenyatta was the first horse to receive an Honorary Membership to the San Pedro Assistance League.
In a storybook beginning, “the Queen” of racing was bred in Kentucky by Maverick Productions. Although a promising Street Cry foal, she was sold to Jerry and Ann Moss for a humble $60,000 at the 2005 September Keeneland Sale. Their new yearling's name was inspired by the album Zenyatta Mondatta, by the rock band The Police whom Jerry Moss had signed to his A&M Record Label.
Under the patient training and care of trainer John Shirreffs and racing manager Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, the impressive 17 hand bay filly began her racing career as a 3-year-old in late 2007 at Hollywood Park and was undefeated over the course of nearly four racing seasons. With Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith at the reins, Zenyatta became one of Thoroughbred racing’s brightest stars and highest achievers. During her stellar career, she amassed more than $7.3 million in earnings and a record of 19 wins in 20 starts. Among her many achievements, Zenyatta was the first filly or mare to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Now one of the industry’s most sought-after broodmares, “The Queen” continues to enjoy the devotion of a legion of fans.
Steve Haskin, The Bloodhorse
The video reveals this amazing horse in such detail, while telling every aspect of the Zenyatta story, you will walk away privileged to have witnessed it, whether on TV or in person.
Zenyatta endeared herself to millions of Americans and helped raise the profile of racing in the same way that Seabiscuit and Secretariat did before her.