Zenyatta can forget being the Susan Lucci of horses. On her third nomination in a row, Zenyatta finally was named “Horse of the Year” and received the recognition she deserves as one of racing’s greatest mares ever.
Zenyatta won 19 of her 20 races, and lost by only a nose her last race, the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. (Yeah, yeah, some revisionists say it was a head. But watch the race yourself. It was a nose.)
That nose happened to belong to a colt named Blame, the other leading contender for Horse of the Year, but Zenyatta received 8 more votes than he did.
Fortunately, horse voters don’t think like Top Chef judges. They considered Zenyatta’s long and glorious career, not just her last near-miss.
At 6 years old, Zenyatta was only the second mature horse to win the title, joining Cigar who won it in 1996.
So the crown of 2009’s Horse of the Year, Rachel Alexandra, passes to Zenyatta.
Zenyatta is retired now at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky, where she’s waiting to hook up with a great guy so they can start producing the next generation of champions.
Blame and Rachel Alexandra are also retired. It’s a shame that race horse careers are so brief. Just when we grow attached, they’re gone.