There is an old racetrack saying that a man has never committed suicide when he has an unstarted two year old in his barn. No matter how dire circumstances may seem, there is always the hope, however slim, that Lady Luck will at last bring success, because horseracing is a dream. When a foal first stands on shaky legs, the breeder and owner see in this foal a dream of glory. When the foal, now a two or three year old, breezes well for the first time, the trainer dreams that this may be “the one” who will thunder first to the finish line, and bring fame and glory to all. Statistically, horseracing is generally not profitable for an owner. Money is certainly a motivating factor, but most racehorses race because they are a dream for their owners.
Once in a long while a horse comes along that captures not only the dreams of its breeder, owner, trainer and jockey, but the dreams of all the fans who support this sport. Such a horse is Zenyatta. It is said that you cannot breed, buy or make a horse like Zenyatta. You just look up and there they are. Zenyatta is the greatest mare I have ever seen, and I doubt if I will ever again see another like her. Her connections have nourished and guarded her carefully, and the result is that Zenyatta has reached her full potential. More importantly, however, Zenyatta has touched the hearts of people who rarely follow horseracing. She has a mystique and an aura that makes her majestic, and yet gentle enough for a child to pet. That she is so is due in part to her own personality, but in equal portion to the love and skill of the people connected with her.
Horse of the Year will soon be voted upon. Due to the nature of the voters, there is a good chance that Zenyatta will not receive this honor. Zenyatta, now turned out in her paddock at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky will not care either way if she is voted Horse of the Year. There are thousands of fans throughout the country, though, who will care. These same fans left Santa Anita racecourse in tears after Zenyatta’s narrow defeat by Blame in The Breeder’s Cup Classic, marring Zenyatta’s perfect record of races won. Zenyatta is not just a horse to these fans; she is the heart and soul of dreams. Zenyatta is a Queen. In my heart she is the Horse of the Century.
Fate intervenes in Angel’s dream