Sunday, November 8, 2009

Zenyatta, Perfect At 14 - 0

Yesterday was one for the ages. No, I'm not talking about the House of Representatives passing their Health Care Reform Bill. No, I will give you a break from the lunacy that is our Congress, one that passes a bill with little time for review thus resulting in Nancy Pelosi violating her promise of transparency. Big surprise. Not. And the cost of this bill? $1.2 TRILLION dollars. When we have staggering unemployment. What the hell is WRONG with these people?? Sigh.

No, no, I am not going to focus on their insanity this morning. Rather, the run for the ages was none of those things. It was the running of the 2009 Breeders' Cup, with a stacked field you wouldn't believe. There was Mine That Bird, with Calvin Borel on board, the little wonder horse who won the Kentucky Derby this year (and who had had a stellar career in Canada with rider Chantal Sutherland guiding him to a number of victories). And Summer Bird, the Belmont Stakes Winner of 2009. And yes, they have the same sire, Birdstone. The Preakness winner, Rachel Alexandra, with her historic win*, did not make the trip. Her owner and trainer did not want her running on the artificial surface of Santa Anita. Still, as I said, the field was LOADED with exceptional horses. A number of fillies have raced in the Breeders' Cup Classic, but none have ever won it.

There was quite a bit of drama as they were loading the horses into the starting gate for the Breeders' Cup Classic. The horse at the number 12 position (out of 13 horses), Quality Road, would not load. It was a tense few minutes as they tried to get him in. He was bucking, rearing, and would have none of it. They put a blindfold on and tried to trick him into going into the gate. They did get him in, but he freaked out again, scratching his hind leg, which meant an immediate scratch (while they were fairly sure it was nothing serious, they weren't going to take any chances). All of the horses had to be unloaded, and reloaded, into the starting gate, which makes for a tense situation for all of them, and can be quite confusing for the horses.

A little more about Zenyatta. Not only was she undefeated - 13 wins under her belt, but she is a beast - a huge horse at 17 1/2 hh. For comparison, the great horse, Secretariat, was 16.2hh (the same as my Jordan). She loves the crowd, and plays up to them, with a straight-legged front step and pawing of the ground. To say she rises to the occasion is an understatement.

And now, the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic - the culmination of the horse-racing season:

Amazing, right? Did you hear Mike Smith say he didn't even take her through all of her gears? (If she still has more gears to go, I'd sure love to see them. Wow - it's unimaginable.) How she slowed a bit to pose for the crowd as they roared? And how about her affect as she came back to the stands? Head held high, prancing for the crowd? What a champion. Undefeated, bad start out of the gate, wrong lead, and she STILL wins it against a formidable field. No wonder she is in the discussion for Horse Of The Year, against another amazing filly, Rachel Alexandra. But today was most definitely Zenyatta's day.

And watching the Breeders' Cup beats the hell out of having my head explode over the House of Un-Representatives...

*As a reminder, here was the Preakness with Rachel Alexandra going for the first win of the Preakness by a filly since 1924:

Amazing horse - definitely a Horse of the Year contender.


Logistics Monster said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THESE VIDEOS! After the freakin' insanity of our congress not even bothering to seem like they are paying attention to what we want, this was refreshing and it brought back great childhood memories!!!

Both of these horses are amazing - do you know if Zenyatta has bloodlines back to Man O'War? This race eerily reminds me of the stories I have read about that incredible horse.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, LM -

My pleasure. I'm not kidding, after the crapola of our Congress on Sat., the Breeders' Cup was a BLESSED relief...The only thing that could have made it better was if Rachel Alexandra had made the trip, and run against Zenyatta...

I'll see what I can find out abt her bloodlines, but yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean abt Man O'War. He was some horse, wasn't he? Wow...

And thank YOU for all you do covering these issues like the Healthcare Debacle. You must have a strong stomach, friend! :-)

Anonymous said...

What a thrill to watch these videos! I had to go back and watch Zenyatta again, just amazing.

I checked online and found the following bloodlines for Zenyatta (from an article posted 11/20/08):

Bloodline Trace for BC Ladies Classic Winner Zenyatta

* Zenyatta --- b. April 1, 2004
* (career) from 9 starts, 9-0-0, $2,144,580 ----- Street Cry (FR) b.1998--Vertigineux b.1995

Street Cry was sired by Machiavellian b.1987 and out of Helen Street b.1982; Machiavellian was sired by Mr. Prospector b.1970 and out of Coup de Folie b.1982. Mr. Prospector's sire and dam were Raise a Native and Gold Digger. Coup de Folie's sire and dam were Halo and Rasie the Standard.

Helen Street was sired by Troy b.1976 and out of Waterway b.1976. Troy's sire and dam were Petingo and La Milo. Waterway's sire and dam were Riverman and Boulevard.

Vertigineux was sired by Kris S. b.1977 and out of For the Flag b.1978; Kris S. was sired by Roberto b.1969 and out of Sharp Queen b.1965. Roberto's sire and dam were Hail to Reason and Bramalea. Sharp Queen's sire and dam were Princequillo and Bridgework.

For the Flag was sired by Forli b.1963 and out of In the Offing b. 1973; Forli's sire and dam were Aristophanes and Trevisa. In the Offing's sire and dam were Hoist the Flag and Mrs. Peterkin.


Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Thanks, SF! I saw that article. Man O'War was foaled in 1917, and I haven't been able to find anything - yet - that goes back that far.

Man O'War was 16.2hh - the same as my Jordan, btw - and Secretariat, as I mentioned. Those are big horses, don't get me wrong - Jordan's withers are higher than I am tall. Zenyatta is higher still - she is just huge!

And she can run even faster than we've seen!! HOLY SMOKES!! :-)

Don't you just love that second in their gallop when all four feet are off the ground simultaneously? Just gorgeous.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey -

I meant to add that Zenyatta cost all of $60,000 when she was a yearling. I'd say the Moss family made a mighty good investment, wouldn't you?? :-)

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

AHA!!!! Yes, she IS distantly related to Man O'War!!! I cross-referenced Man O'War's offspring: with Zenyatta's damsire, Kris S. it didn't take long to find a mathc - Flaming Sword. On her sire's side, Machiavellian, American Flag is one of Man O'War's offspring. Both of the offspring mentioned go WAY back to the 1930's.

Here's the link for the pedigrees:

You can put in whichever horse you want - it's pretty cool!

So, yes - you have to go back a ways, but she IS descended from Man O'War on both sides of the family! :-)

Logistics Monster said...

Rev - it was the "gear" comment. The same thing was said about Man O'War...and as soon as I saw Raise a Native in SF's comment I knew. Thanks for doing the research.

For almost ten years I wanted to grow up to be a jockey, and then in my 14th year I grew 8 inches in one summer...kinda put the kabosh on that dream.

You are welcome about the healthcare crap coverage - I needed a couple of days off after that...and now I have Camille Paglia making me feel all fuzzy inside.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, LM -

Amazing how Man O'War continues to influence racing, isn't it? Someone over at NQ mentioned a horse named Kelso from the '60's - a five time in a row Horse of the Year, and yep - had Man O'War in his pedigree!

Oh, dear - yeah, I guess growing 8 inches might knock you out of being a jockey. The same thing happened to the actress, Lauren Graham, too, btw.

Speaking of women jockeys, here’s something abt Mine That Bird, or rather, abt the jockey used for the Derby. I saw this on the Animal Planet show, “Jockeys.” One of the top female jockeys is a Canadian, Chantal Sutherland (who also happens to be model-gorgeous). She was the jockey for Mine That Bird, had been on him for all of the wins that got him to the Derby. The morning they announced the jockeys, she had been told by one of the owners, that it was going tp be her. A couple hours later, her agent called and told her it was Borel. Wow…

I don't blame you for taking a few days off. Good for you for engaging in some self-care!

Good eye on the horse, LM!! :-)