Zenyatta Is Back: Making Horse of the Year Unimportant

George MalletContributor IJanuary 18, 2010

She is a rippled mass of muscular, thoroughbred perfection. 


She has never been beaten, not by the girls or the boys. 


She is unflinchingly professional.


She won The Breeders Cup Classic after a lousy start by exploding down the homestretch past the best, most experienced and classiest male horses in the world. 


Zenyatta isn’t just Horse of the Year, she is one of the greatest thoroughbred athletes of all time.


But this isn’t my case for Zenyatta as Horse of the Year. 


That planned essay was trumped by the news that owners Jerry and Ann Moss plan to allow this great, dark bay goddess to continue racing. 


The Pegasus-like daughter of Street Cry will be back on the track this year and could give thoroughbred racing a much-needed shot in the arm. 


A meeting between Zenyatta and 2009 star Rachel Alexandra would surely attract the attention of the mainstream media and bring eyeballs to a great sport that has suffered in recent years.  


Let’s put this in perspective: Let’s make her a tennis star. She is late in her career. She has won every Grand Slam event she’s ever entered against the other women. She just put a shocking stamp on that career by defeating Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. 


The truth is, there isn’t a comparable case of dominance anywhere else in sports.  She is that good.


If my tennis analogy doesn’t resonate with you, let’s stick with horse racing. Not only did Zenyatta win The Breeders Cup Classic, she defeated the most talented field ever assembled for that race. She won the race in awe-inspiring fashion, coming from the back of the pack and picking off horses when she looked to be cooked at the top of the stretch. 


Goose bumps?  You bet.


2009 will go down in history as the year of Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra. Tonight, one of the talented fillies will be named Horse of the Year. I don’t really care which one wins because 2010 may also be the year of Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra. The two horses who achieved perfection last year could well meet on the track in 2010.


Here’s to hoping that Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra headline a talented field somewhere this spring or in the BC Classic this fall.  The only horse racing story that could surpass such a race would be a Triple Crown winner!