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Over the years I've watched some really superb fillies and mares; Rachel Alexandra, Beholder, and Songbird come to mind. However, each one seemed to lose a step or two the year after their most dominant campaign. I'm sure it is not easy keep breathing that rarified air. That makes me gain even more respect for Zenyatta. She was able to keep that same form throughout her career. I don't know if it has something to do with her racing style. Each of the aforementioned three horses were known to do most of the heavy lifting in their races, running their opponents off their feet and into the ground. "The Queen" employed the "Pepe Le Pew" style. Those of you from my generation can remember those cartoons where the amorous and relentless skunk, would gallop the object of his affection into submission. After all these years, my respect for, and awe of her amazing consistency grows!
Depending on speed figs would not turn up a horse like Z.
Like I've said in the past, if you go look at her early races, she was quite a capable sprinter. That is clear in those early races if you look at her splits.
Later on, she was able to use her sprinting ability to "sprint past" other horses in the stretch, using her come-from-behind style.
The point is that she HAD real sprinting talent....yet was a classic distance horse. Beyer never really seemed to pick up on this.
She had a flair for the dramatic, and would beat you by a length whether the race was 6f or 10!
Has anyone come up with a plausible reason for the "dance" Zenyatta did pre-race, and is it common?
at about 1:32 they show a lot of her moves
She only cost $50,000 !!! Moss has a good eye. She is 17-1/2 hands so that is about $2,800 per hand :)
I think she knew she was about to race, and she was getting excited and anxious. Maybe the way a human runner shakes their legs before a run, she was loosening up? More like an individual affectation?
I love this compilation...........her winning 14 races..... seeing her just run 'em down every time is so fun! Seeeing her run down Gio Ponti (one of my favorite horses of the decade) and Summer Bird was super fun.
In her last race, she was 20+ lengths behind.....where she ran past Lookin at Lucky, was taking a ton of dirt in her face.... and then Blame beat her by about a nose....
She'd be 5 or 6 wide, and she would still run 'em down. Didn't seem to matter. That wingspan she had, huge stride. Breeding.
I'm surprised Mike Smith didn't retire after her.
OTOH, perhaps we are underestimating the Guinness? LOL I bought a 6 pack for both her breeders cup races. I rarely if ever, drink alcohol.
From an interview:
But there is something that she does after her workouts - she drinks Guinness with her trainer, and you can actually go out in YouTube and watch this. She has a little plastic bowl and she'll drink a pint of Guinness after her workout. She seems to love it. She slurps it right up. Maybe that's the secret to winning 17 races in a row.
I don't know Winter...I've been drinking Guinness for a good few years and I would lose to a tortoise lol
It seemed to be more idiosyncratic than functional to me. I think she was a smart horse with a unique "personality". She loved to run, and was cocky. She knew she was the baddest thing out there, and was basically strutting out there.
As for her cheap selling price, I think there was some doubt that a mare that big, would ever be coordinated enough to be a good runner. Her enormous stride worked in her favor. I had a cousin that ran track. He was 6' 2''(all legs) to my 5' 11", and every time we raced, I would get out in front. Every time, I would hear him coming with those huge strides, as he passed me as if I was standing still. It was kind of like when you are on the freeway and you see that semi in your rear view mirror. As it passes you, you hold on to the steering wheel with both hands as the draft shakes your car.