Thursday, November 4, 2010

Zenyatta Fever!

I’m writing this post from an airplane bound for Lexington, Kentucky!

I’m also working on two posts (one on crafty/project ideas inspired by some of my favorite blogs and another on a desk makeover I just completed last night!) but I just have to let you guys know what I’m up to these next few days.

This weekend is the prestigious Breeders’ Cup at historic Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby.) The Breeders’ Cup is horse racing’s biggest event, consisting of 14 races worth more than $25 million dollars. I’m meeting up with several other horse racing friends/fanatics for a weekend of fun, and to cheer on this horse:

This is Zenyatta. Make that, Queen Z. :)

You may have heard of her. She was just featured on 60 Minutes this past Sunday, and was named one of the 20 most influential females of 2010 by O Magazine.

Zenyatta is a 6-year-old Thoroughbred mare who is a perfect 19-for-19 in three years of racing. She won the biggest race of the Breeders’ Cup—the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)—last year over males and she’s back to defend her title on Saturday. She’ll be facing one of the best fields in the history of the Classic and Horse of the Year honors will be decided by the outcome of this race.

Zenyatta is a diva, a performer, an entertainer and a running machine. This mare dwarfs nearly all of her foes at more than 17 hands tall (that makes her more than 5-1/2 feet tall at the top of her shoulder alone; she’s easily 7-1/2 feet tall at the tips of her ears.) 

She’s self-possessed, exceedingly intelligent and prances dramatically before each of her races, eating up the adoration of her fans and intimidating her competition. 

Her come-from-behind running style is sometimes panic-inducing (will she get there in time?!?) and always thrilling because she has managed to find the finish line first every time. No matter what challenge faces her, whether she has to go very wide off the final turn to make her, dodge traffic in the stretch, or chase down a loose-on-the-lead pacesetter trying to sprint away, she ALWAYS gets to the wire first.

In an era where most top-class Thoroughbreds race for a year or a year-and-a-half tops, and where it’s common for them to make fewer than 10 career starts, Zenyatta is an anomaly for her longevity in the sport and for her continuing durability. (Much credit obviously goes to the horse for her talent, but also to her owners, trainer, groom and other connections, who have done everything to keep her healthy, happy and fit.) And of course, there’s the undefeated record. Should she complete a repeat in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday evening (check it out on ESPN at 6:45), she will retire with a perfect record of 20 wins in 20 starts. No American Thoroughbred racehorse, racing at the top of the sport as Zenyatta has done from the beginning of her career, has put together such an impressive record in more than 100 years. Even 20th century greats like Secretariat, Man O’ War and Citation, couldn’t avoid the taste of defeat in their illustrious careers.

So, here’s to Zenyatta in her quest for perfection!


  1. I watched the race with my family yesterday and we thought she had it. We were so worried in the beginning when she was dead last.


  2. I thought about you when we watched the race!


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