A year has gone by since we were all on edge - was Zenyatta going to make it three Breeders' Cup victories in a row? It wasn't to be.
What's most important is that, by all accounts, Zenyatta is healthy in her retirement at Lanes End Farm, KY, and is carrying a foal by the prominent young sire Bernardini. She shares a pasture with her BFF Tasty Temptation, who is in foal to Candy Ride (ARG). Both mares were covered on the same day, are having their first foals and sport matching baby bumps. According to Dottie Shirreffs, who was Zenyatta's racing manager and continues to coordinate all-that-is-Zenyatta, they haven't sex-tested Z's foal and the team is eagerly awaiting the surprise.
Just like the rest of us, Zenyatta is blogging.
I'm only going to write this once, I read her blog. That's how I learned that there is going to be a Zenyatta Celebration to kickoff the Breeders' Cup at the Kentucky Derby Museum, Churchill Downs, on Championship Friday, and that Z, herself, is the Official Hostess of the Breeders' Cup Word Championships. Go, Z!
"We're planning the event so that the Breeders' Cup Zenyatta Celebration is a wonderful activity for fans traveling into town for the racing. Zenyatta's fans are still a big part of her life and we want to honor them by having a place where they can meet, talk about racing and Zenyatta and have a comfortable, welcoming place to enjoy Friday's great program of racing," said Dottie Shirreffs.
"We continue to be overwhelmed by the love of Zenyatta's fans," said Ann and Jerry Moss, Zenyatta's owners. "She is truly a horse of the people, and we want the Zenyatta Celebration to be an event for everyone, from longtime racing fans to the casual fans drawn in to the sport by our queen. We are so thrilled and honored that Breeders' Cup has included Zenyatta in the official festivities, and we are determined to make the party as memorable and fun as the action on the track."
On Friday, November 4, the Celebration starts at 11:30 a.m. with the Zenyatta Reunion Luncheon that includes grandstand seating for the day's races including the Breeders' Cup Friday card, a Hospitality Retreat and a Post-Race After Party. For this Breeder's Cup event, the prices are reasonable keeping it accessible to all of Zenyatta's fans. Thus far, Zenyatta dumplings (Z-speak for fans) from 26 states and Canada have signed up. Options to participate in the Zenyatta Celebation include:
- Luncheon individually (includes grandstand seating ticket in the "Zenyatta Section") $95
- Hospitality Retreat individually $75
- Post-Race After Party individually $40
- All-Day Zenyatta Celebration (Luncheon, Grandstand Seating, Hospitality Retreat & After Party) $170
Via a live feed from Lane's End, Zenyatta will join her owners Jerry & Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs, racing manager Dottie Shirreffs, and jockey Mike Smith at Churchill Downs. There will be availability for autographs, meet and greet with the Z Team, a Zenyatta memorabilia display, a silent auction and a selection of Z's races will be shown. Money raised from the Celebration will benefit the Breeders' Cup Charities. In fact apart from this event, Zenyatta activities have raised $60,000 for the V Foundation, part of the Charities.
The site of the Celebration, The Kentucky Derby Museum, is convenient to all the facilities at Churchill Downs and is a short stroll to the Saddling Paddock where fans can see the horses, jockeys, trainers and owners prepare for their races. It's an electric atmosphere!
Here are some photos of Zenyatta and her team leading up to the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic: