Zenyatta is to retire from horse racing, two weeks after narrowly failing at the Breeders’ Cup Classic to log her 20th straight win.
The 6-year-old mare is expected to arrive at Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Kentucky, next month. Breeding plans have yet to be completed.
“Zenyatta was one of the most memorable thoroughbreds ever to grace the American racing stage,” Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive officer of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said in a statement. “Her record stands on its own merits, as does the impact she had on millions of fans all around the world.”
Zenyatta earned more than $7.3 million, a North American record for a filly or mare, in winning 13 Grade 1 stakes. She also was named champion older mare in 2008 and 2009 and ended her career tied with Peppers Pride, who was undefeated as she won her 19th and final race on Dec. 14, 2008.
Zenyatta was the first mare to beat a field of male contenders in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic. A match between the mare and Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra was planned several times in 2010, although the race never happened before Jess Jackson’s thoroughbred retired.
Zenyatta’s owner Jerry Moss, the founder of A&M Records Inc., brought the horse out of retirement for the 2010 thoroughbred racing campaign.
Zenyatta, going for a perfect record, lost the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by inches to Blame on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
“It was an incredible sporting gesture for the Mosses to race Zenyatta again in 2010 and to share her athleticism and charisma with the world,” said Breeders’ Cup President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Avioli in a statement. “For our sport and for the Breeders’ Cup, in particular, she was a transcendent figure whose impact was felt far beyond her on- track performances, as brilliant as they were.”
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