Let’s Go for a Ride on Zenyatta, shall we…?!

For those of you who are not aware of Zenyatta, let me give you the Cliff Notes.

First of all SHE — which is a big deal in horse racing —  remains undefeated in all of her 16 starts which ties that record with Cigar and Citation.  Wow.  And, this filly didn’t make her debut until November of her 3rd year, which is very late and almost unheard of in racing.  Good for them!  Finally, my favorite fun fact about Zenyatta, she was voted runner-up to tennis player Serena Williams  for the 2009 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. Wahoo!  You go, girl!

How did she get her name?  Well, that is another interesting story.  Zenyatta was purchased by Jerry and Ann Moss as a yearling for $60,000 at the Keeneland Sales in September 2005. She was named after Zenyatta Mondatta, an album by The Police, who were signed to A&M records by Zenyatta’s owner, Jerry Moss.

I think it is very cool that she is owned by one couple and not a syndication.  Although I know nothing about the the Mosses or their dynamic with their horse, the fantasy I have in my mind is that this filly is their baby.  I have an image that they know her personally and spend time with her.  Of course, I have no idea whether that is true or not… But, in this video, you hear a man’s voice asking Zenyatta to work for “Daddy”. I don’t know who “Daddy” is referring to, but the voice was sweet and loving.

Anyway, I need to be honest… I’m not a fan of racing for my own reasons.  You probably know them all and I don’t have to rehash them today.  Having said that, I cannot ignore such a stellar filly.  No matter what the industry does or makes people do or dictates that people should do… I cannot deny a lovely career and astronomical accomplishments.  She is quite the athlete.

OK, so onto the video.  Mike Smith, her jockey, strapped a camera onto his helmet for this training run.  The first part is just them walking out to the field with their catch rider, Freddy.   I think it is so funny that Freddy’s horse keeps looking back at Zenyatta with his ears pinned as if to say, “Hey, back off woman, quit pushing me!”

I also think it is quite impressive that Zenyatta and Mike start out at a gallop with their catch rider still attached.  That initial slow “just getting to the track” pace would send you or me into a dither.  Yet, Mike can still speak clearly and has all of his wind.  Just another day in the life…  Finally, Mike says, “OK, you can turn me loose, Freddy” and  OFF they go!

I also wanted to note that the camera hardly moves… this indicates how the jockey is holding his head.  Obviously, he is standing in his stirrups and remains evenly weighted.  Very cool.

Enough of my blahblah, here is a link to the video.  Enjoy the ride!


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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

4 comments have been posted...

  1. Linda Fernandez

    Hi Dawn! check out local Tucson artist, Carol Andreen-Harris – she has paintings of
    Zenyatta: andreenharris.com


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