We have not been following Zenyatta’s breeding career. We report this because we recently heard of the struggles she has been experiencing delivering a full term foal, yet they go on and on with it.
Zenyatta’s first two foals, the 9-year-old Cozmic One (Bernardini) and 8-year-old Ziconic (Tapit), both raced, but never won and are not retired, enjoying new careers as show horses. Her 2014 War Front filly died and she was not bred back for 2015. The four-time Eclipse winner’s 2016 War Front colt also died and her 2017 filly Zellda (Medaglia d’Oro) has yet to make the races. Zenyatta aborted her 2018 Into Mischief foal, but produced a Candy Ride (Arg) filly named Zilkha May 17 of last year.
Zenyatta won her debut in 2007 and continued, undefeated, for 19 consecutive victories, losing her final and 20th race by a nose. Winning 13 Grade 1 races, she broke the record for number of consecutive Grade 1 victories, then broke the all-time North American record for number of Grade 1 stakes wins by a filly or mare.
During her reign from 2008-2010 she infiltrated the imagination and touched people in an almost spiritual-like manner never seen before in Thoroughbred racing [in the U.S.] An Amazon of a mare who was a fierce warrior on the battlefield, she was like a lap dog in the friendly confines of her barn.
Wouldn’t it be so very lovely if they would let her retire in peace. No more breeding. No more aborted foals. Hasn’t she done enough?
Before we go . . . .
Strong willed lady
“Zenyatta detested synthetic surfaces, and had such a dislike for Del Mar’s Polytrack, she refused to even gallop over it, which is why trainer John Shirreffs kept her stabled at Hollywood Park to train over the dirt training track. The fact that Zenyatta won the Clement Hirsch Stakes three times at Del Mar, struggling each time to win by narrow margins, showed how great and competitive she really was,” the article states in Blood-Horse magazine.
Great, yes. Competitive, definitely. “Struggling each time to win by narrow margins,” shows what racehorse connections like this trainer are like. It doesn’t matter whether the horse is a claimer or a superstar. It is always about the owners and trainers, and not the horse . . . even with a great a horse like Zenyatta. Read on.
“Each time after she won the Clement Hirsch, she refused to train at Del Mar,” Shirreffs recalled. “We would take her out to the track and she would gallop about a half-mile and pull herself up into a jog, then jog to the nearest gap and go off. There was no sense going on with her. We would take her out there every day and say, ‘OK, let’s see how far she wants to gallop today.’ And every day that’s as far as she would gallop. What are you going to do, hit her with the stick to try to make her go? She just hated that track. She tolerated it in a race, but after she ran she was done with it. So, each time we shipped her back to Hollywood Park and trained her on the dirt.”
This is horse racing.
“The Sad Tale Of Zenyatta’s Little Brother“, USRacing.com »
Featured Image: Zenyatta. 2008. © Sarah K Andrew.