Secrecy surrounds the first mate for Zenyatta but it’s rumoured to be champion sire A P Indy.
The Street Cry mare flew from Southern California to her new home in Kentucky last week and, on the way to Lane’s End Farm, she stopped off to parade at the Keeneland sales pavilion. More than 1,000 fans braved the frigid cold to welcome Zenyatta and they travelled from as far as Michigan, Ohio and New York.
Zenyatta was brought into the show ring by groom Mario Espinoza. Owners Jerry and Ann Moss were on hand, along with jockey Mike Smith and trainer John Shirreffs.
Keeneland officials presented Zenyatta with a gift basket filled with her favourite treats including mints, pears and Guinness beer. “We were honoured to have her here,” Keeneland President Nick Nicholson said. “We wish Zenyatta all the best as she begins the next phase of her career.”
Zenyatta’s appearance at Keeneland was something of a homecoming. She was a $60,000 graduate of the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale.
An Eclipse Award winner in 2008 and 2009, Zenyatta has a stranglehold on a third straight title and she is once again a candidate for Horse of the Year.
Zenyatta lost the 2009 USA Horse of the Year award in a controversial decision to Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d’Oro) who will be bred to Lane’s End Farm stallion Curlin in 2011.
Lane’s End based A P Indy is one of the world’s great stallions and is now an increasingly important sire of sires. An A P Indy – Zenyatta foal would be completely free of Northern Dancer blood.