Captured to perfection in her signature post-race curtsy, head bowed
hoof pawing the ground, the mighty Zenyatta was unveiled in magnificent
bronze Saturday at noon before an enthusiastic coterie of fans in the
south quadrant of Santa Anita’s Kingsbury Memorial Fountain area,
directly across from a replica of another turf legend, John Henry.
Enduring uncharacteristically hot weather, the crowd roared its
approval when the life-sized sculpture by Nina Kaiser was uncovered, a
full 1200 pounds and 17.2 hands high, conforming with Zenyatta’s
“Fantastic” is one of the adjectives used by Jerry Moss, who
owns the 2010 Horse of the Year with his wife, Ann. “It’s absolutely
beautiful. We’re knocked out.”
Zenyatta won 19 straight races to start her career before losing
her final race in the Breeders’ Cup Classic that year. Among her
heart-pounding, come-from-behind triumphs was the 2009 Breeders’ Cup
Classic at Santa Anita, in which she became the first female to defeat
males in the championship event.
Retired as a broodmare at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky, Zenyatta,
now eight years old, currently is in foal to Tapit. In March, she
delivered her first foal, a colt by Bernardini.
“We don’t know who her next boyfriend will be,” Moss told the
throng. “We’re so grateful to everyone I can’t express it in words.”
Added Ann of the likeness: “She looks fantastic.”
Well after Saturday’s last race, as darkness enveloped the
statue, fans were still there, touching it and posing for pictures with
the Zenyatta that will be their eternal shrine.