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Zenyatta Arrives in Kentucky

The great race horse will be residing at Lane's End Farm.


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California girl Zenyatta left her sunny home track, Hollywood Park this week to arrive at a snowy scene and sub-freezing temperatures at her new home in central Kentucky.

Hollywood Park gave the six-year-old mare an official retirement ceremony on Sunday where her hometown fans had a final chance to see her in person. The ceremony also recognized the people involved in Zenyatta's record-breaking career, including her owners, Jerry and Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs, jockey Mike Smith, racing manager Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, exercise rider Steve Willard, groom Mario Espinoza and hot walker Carmen Zamora.

Zenyatta was loaded onto a plane on Monday and arrived in Lexington, Kentucky around 6:00 p.m. She and Smith, Shirreffs, Espinoza and the Mosses made an appearance at Keeneland Race Course for hundreds of admirers who had come out in spite of the bitter cold to catch a glimpse of the great mare. She was led around the show ring behind Keeneland's sales pavilion, the same venue where the Mosses purchased her as a yearling five years ago.

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Zenyatta in Kentucky Mike Smith, Zenyatta's jockey
Zenyatta in Kentucky Zenyatta in Kentucky

Nick Nicholson, president of Keeneland, presented the Mosses with some special treats for Zenyatta, including carrots, pears and a few pints of Guinness. 

With 19 consecutive wins, Zenyatta shattered the record for most consecutive wins and won the 2009 Breeder's Cup Classic, becoming the first mare to do so. Her spectacular career and charisma drew throngs of fans from outside Thoroughbred racing's notoriously shrinking pool of loyal followers. Although she missed the 2009 Horse of the Year title to Rachel Alexandra, she is a likely candidate for this year's award. 

Zenyatta will be moving on to a relatively quiet career as a broodmare at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. According to, she will be bred in 2011, but the identity of the chosen stallion still remains the subject of much speculation.

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Zenyatta Arrives in Kentucky

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Fran    Fresno, CA

12/8/2010 12:06:26 PM

Great article about Zenyatta. Jerry and Ann Moss and John and Dottie have been simply outstanting to share Z with all of her fans. Allowing everyone to take pictures, feed her, and to simply touch her has been so very touching. When, in past history, has this happened? Thank you to all of Z's connections for allowing Z to have so much fun with her public. She is definitely the Queen!

Mya    Cookeville, TN

12/8/2010 6:45:31 AM

I will miss you Queen Z. I will miss seeing you run, But I can re-create races when my Breyer version of you arrives. But it just won't be the same.... BEWARE Z MARE!

Aimee    Hudson, OH

12/8/2010 2:32:34 AM

Good Luck Queen Z in your new life!

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

12/7/2010 11:53:23 PM

Sounds a bit like a boring life after such excitement on the track. I would hope that being a broodmare could be combined with a second riding career.

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