Jerry and Ann Moss decided at 3 a.m. on Jan. 16 to keep champion Zenyatta in training for 2010.
The Mosses said they decided to keep their Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner around for a 6-year-old campaign because she continues to be shine in workouts at John Shirreffs’ barn at Hollywood Park. The outpouring of good wishes from fans also contributed to the decision.
“She is radiating good health,” said Jerry Moss at Santa Anita.
“She’s having such a good time,” added Ann Moss.
“Everybody says how much she means to them,” said Ann Moss. “It’s wonderful to touch people’s hearts like that.”
“We get poems, drawings, and letters every day,” said Jerry Moss. The owner teared up when describing a message from one woman who always wanted “She saw Secretariat” on her tombstone but has decided to replace that with “She saw Zenyatta.”
The Mosses also decided to make the announcement before the Horse of the Year result is announced Jan. 18.
“I didn’t want the Eclipse Awards to be a factor,” said Jerry Moss. “Now we can go to the Eclipse Awards and whatever happens, happens. We’re going to have a good time.”
Moss said that the decision was made because of what is best for Zenyatta. Though they may meet Rachel Alexandra on the racetrack, that was not the reason Zenyatta will continue to race.
“We’re going to keep her in training, get her in really good shape, and look for a race. Our horse is going to run again, and we’ll pick our spots. The fact is that we’re fans of racing, and we want to see her run.”
“She loves racing,” said Ann Moss. “I look at her and I say, ‘You’re the best horse in the whole world.’ She stops every time and she goes, ‘Yep.’ If she’s walking around the barn and I’m standing there, she waits until I say that. She loves her fans. She stops and poses for them. She dances before and after.”
“We’re going to go race to race,” said Jerry Moss. “As long as she tells us that she wants to go on, we’ll let her go on. It’s up to her.”
Asked if Zenyatta would run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic again, Moss answered, “We would love her to run in the Breeders’ Cup certainly because we believe in the Breeders’ Cup. I believe we’d like to travel (with her). She travels really well.”
Now that she has defeated males, Zenyatta could race against the boys again. “We’ll run against anybody,” said Jerry Moss. “The gender is not a factor.”
Moss said he and his wife really didn’t sit down and discuss the possibility of Zenyatta racing in 2010 until recently. The Mosses were out of town and busy over the holidays. Finally, Ann said to Jerry, “What are we doing here?”
“She is having a good time,” said Ann Moss. “A horse will always tell you what they want to do.”
“I want this to be as great a year for John (Shirreffs) as it can possibly be,” said Jerry Moss. “He’s done an amazing job with this horse.”
The night before making the decision, the Mosses watched the Michael Jackson movie “This Is It.”
“He was a great artist,” said Jerry Moss. “That’s the way I think of her. We want to be able to enjoy her. We want to watch her. And I think the fans do too.”