THW: Zenyatta: Above the Law

THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 16 June 2010, Wednesday

Zenyatta: Above the Law

Racemare Zenyatta once more showed that ordinary rules don’t apply to her when she stretched her record to 17-for-17 after scoring a three-peat in the G1 Vanity Stakes at Hollywood Park last Saturday.

The 6YO Kentucky-bred campaigner broke several laws to achieve her statistic-defying feat, among them the Law of Averages, the Law of Gravity, and Murphy’s Law.

Trained by John Shirreffs, Zenyatta again proved to her owners Jerry and Anne Moss that she is one of their best investments, coming from behind under veteran jockey Mike Smith to win the 1-1/8 mile (1,800 meters) Vanity by a half-length over the plucky St. Trinians, clocking 1:49.01.

Zenyatta, with Mike Smith on top, edges past St. Trinians in the Vanity. Photo by benoitphoto.com found at Bloodhorse.com.

Extending her undefeated streak in defiance of the law of averages which states that the longer you play, the more chances you have of losing, Zenyatta raced wide at the home turn yet flew over the track to beat five other rivals in an amazing stretch run. Obviously she didn’t receive the memo on the law of gravity. Further, Zenyatta doesn’t seem to have heard of the saying “If something can go wrong – it will,” leaving the Philosopher Murphy no choice but to chalk her up as an exception to the rule.

The Bloodhorse.com’s Jack Shinar says this is Zenyatta’s “third straight win in the Vanity, and by far her most exciting.” Shiner says the victory boosts her career earnings to nearly $6.1 million, putting her close to overtaking the $6.33 million female earnings record held by Ouija Board, who retired in 2006.

By Street Cry out of Vertigineaux (Kris S.), Zenyatta trounced the boys in last year’s Breeders Cup Classic, proving that pedigree and performance, not gender, is what wins races. Or maybe the mojo comes from her fantastic name, taken from The Police’s ‘80s album “Zenyatta Mondatta”. It’s also the great training. Or could it be something in the water? Oh, yes, beer – her trainer has been known to add some to her bucket as a treat after workouts.

I’m grasping at straws here. I doubt if anyone can adequately explain the phenomenon that is Zenyatta. But do we have to? Analysis will only go so far. For the rest, the best thing we can do is allow ourselves to watch a superb equine athlete go the distance, cheering her on as she races her heart out, time and again.

What does this bode for Philippine racing? The first thing that comes to mind is, “Do we have that lineage here?” Philippine Racing Commission records for this year to date shows that we do have some Street Cry progeny already racing on our tracks. Three of them are imports – Raymund Puyat’s Fleet Street (out of Authoress), Tony de Ubago’s Pumatone (Armilla), and Tony Tan’s Street Song (What A Song) – while Mari Franco’s Street Vamp (Draculina) was island-born.

While these four haven’t made any big waves, they’ve made some large splashes that ought to send wider and wider ripples out into the local thoroughbred breeding and racing scene, as Street Cry’s offspring continue to surf their way to the top of the charts abroad.

Apart from Zenyatta and many other stakes winners in Australia and New Zealand, Street Cry (Ire) also sired Street Sense (out of Bedazzle), winner of the 2004 Breeders Cup Juvenile and the 2007 Breeders Cup Classic, with $4.38 million in earnings.

Street Cry (Machiavellian – Helen Street by Troy) stands at Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed al-Maktoum’s 4,000-acre Darley Stud in Kentucky. Unlike other stallions that were unraced or lightly-raced, Street Cry boasts of $5.15 million in race earnings, with purses from a 3rd-place in the 2000 Breeders Cup Juvenile and wins in Dubai.

Nice conformation shot of Street Cry.

His stud fee is $150,000, which is modest considering he has sired ten individual G1 winners. That’s too pricey for local breeders’ budgets, though I would love for someone to surprise me and shell out the bucks for a Street Cry mating. Our best bet is to continue securing his progenies via in-foal mares or indirectly through his sons who will stand at stud later on. When seeking to produce champions, it’s axiomatic to cover all the bases including pedigree.

But that’s for Philippine breeders to consider. I’ll volunteer to suggest names of power. You want more The Police albums? There’s Outlandos d’Amour, Regatta de Blanc, Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine…who knows, maybe we’ll come up with another horse like Zenyatta that’ll also break all natural laws en route to the finish line.   *** (Email: jennyo@live.com * Visit: http://jennyo.net)

The Police released “Zenyatta Mondatta”, their third album, in October 1980. Hits from this album include “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” and ”Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.

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2 Comments on THW: Zenyatta: Above the Law

  1. Michael Cunnison
    17 June 2010 at 3:18 am (2739 days ago)

    Nice Job with a insightful piece on the Queen Zenyatta…!!

  2. NiHAWmA
    18 June 2010 at 4:30 pm (2738 days ago)

    FYI, MAGICAL STREET (owned by Eric Tagle) is by STREET CRY out of MAGICAL PATH ( NASSIPOUR)

    Who said that Zenyatta is undefeated? ZENYATTA LOST TO SERENA WILLIAMS.

    Anyway, she was named for Zenyatta Mondatta, by The Police, A&M records by horse owner, Jerry Moss, who acquired Zenyatta as a yearling during the Keeneland Sales for $60,000.

    Zenyatta has a track record of 1:41.48 ( 8.5 furlongs). 1:15 Maiden (6.5 furlongs)