Undefeated superstar mare Zenyatta, who was retired following her brilliant last-to-first victory against males in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, will make her final race-day appearance at Santa Anita on opening day, Dec. 26, prior to shipping to Kentucky to begin her new career as a broodmare.
All fans in attendance will receive a beautiful full-color poster of Zenyatta, courtesy of HRTV, and will be treated to a winner’s circle ceremony honoring the mare, which will be emceed by HRTV’s Kurt Hoover.
Although retired, Zenyatta, who is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and was trained by John Shirreffs, is currently engaged in an all-out head and head battle for 2009 Horse of the Year honors with the brilliant 3-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra.
“We are thrilled and very honored to have Zenyatta return here to Santa Anita one final time,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles. “This will be great for all of our fans as well. What she accomplished here in the Breeders’ Cup Classic is something that none of us who witnessed it will ever forget and to have her with us as we celebrate our 75th anniversary is very special.
“On behalf of everyone here, we want to thank Jerry and Ann for allowing all of us to get close to her and to enjoy Zenyatta this one last time. For her to be able to return to the scene of one of the greatest moments in the history of American racing is something that I think everyone is going to cherish.”
Zenyatta, who retired with a perfect 14 for 14 race record, won a total of five races at Santa Anita, all of them stakes.
Along with the Mosses, Zenyatta will be accompanied on opening day by Shirreffs and his wife and racing manager Dorothy, regular rider Mike Smith, exercise rider Steve Willard, and her husband and wife groom and hotwalking team of Mario Espinoza and Carmen Zamora.
In addition to the Zenyatta poster, fans attending will also receive Santa Anita’s traditional wall calendar, which this year will feature dramatic photos chronicling some of the greatest moments of the past 75 years.
First post time on opening day is 11:30 a.m., PDT with the $300,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds highlighting a 10-race program.