Sunday, December 5, 2010
Thank You Zenyatta, for the Ultimate Ride
Turning 7 next month, ( but really not till April 1st), the Big Mare has taken her family, friends and fans on the most awe-inspiring , drama filled, extraordinary ride. For me, it started as I watched her very first race, Thanksgiving 2007. Her breeding caught my eye and when I saw her presence in the paddock, I was even more interested. When she broke from the gate, I immediately thought, “hmm…no speed, well she needs to go long, anyway”, but by the ½ mile pole, I started to see her stride grow longer and stronger, her momentum building, and I thought,” this could turn out better than I thought". At the top of the stretch and in the middle of the racetrack, her big ears flopping, the big filly cruised effortlessly towards the wire, passing all her opponents like it was a walk in the park. I immediately put her in my Virtual Stable, though I knew the cat was out of the bag, for whoever saw this performance would not soon forget it. My ride with Zenyatta had begun.
Then I started to ask myself…Who IS this horse “Zenyatta?" Where has she been all year? How good could she be? When will she run back? All the things that go through your mind when you think you’ve found the next “big horse”. One of the things that is so exciting about the horse business is the anticipation of finding “A Saturday Afternoon Horse.” It’s the hope, the dreams, the optimism that fills you up when you breed one, buy one, claim one, race one, or even bet on one. That day in November 2007, I knew I witnessed something very special. Did I know she was a star in the making? Yes, but I did not know the magnitude of how illuminating that star would be.
And the rest, as they say, is history.What Zenyatta has done for racing is immeasurable. The Zenyatta phenomenon, the excitement and positive energy that has surrounded her has been astonishing. She is a legend and we will never see anything like her again. You can absolutely bet on that.
So this is my heartfelt thanks to her owners, her trainer, her riders, her groom, her hotwalkers and all of her family of caretakers and friends who have allowed us to share this phenomenal journey with the great Zenyatta.
But most of all Thank You, Zenyatta, for taking us on the ultimate ride. It’s been a blessing and a privilege and one we will never, ever forget.