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 Zenyatta...Horse of the Year

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Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Zenyatta...Horse of the Year   Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:28 am

The ultimate parallel to a bull test winner;...much as I admire her, I`ll lay, in horse racing terminology, 8 to 1 odds, she never produces a stakes winner. mk

There's something about Zenyatta
By Joe Drape at 12:00am on Jan 17, 2011 — New York Times News Service Modified at 11:13am on Jan 17, 2011

Related Stories
Eclipse Awards, 6 tonight (TVG)
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Zenyatta has had her nails done and been visited by Capone, a teaser stallion with a not very romantic name. He will never have her, though. She is destined for a more pedigreed mate and, as in all arranged weddings, the days before will be fraught with the anxiety and stomach-turning expectations usually directed at the union of British royals.

Who it is might be known as early as Monday, after the award for Horse of the Year is announced and Zenyatta's owners, Jerry and Ann Moss, tell the equine world which stallion is Mr. Right.

How Zenyatta will fare in her new career as a broodmare at Lane's End Farm in Versailles is anyone's guess. She was a once-in-a-generation princess on the racetrack, winning 19 of 20 starts, with her lone defeat coming in her final race and against males in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. It was a heart-stopper. After spotting the field 20 lengths, Zenyatta bounded down the stretch, only to come a half-head short of catching the colt Blame.

Breeding, however, is more magic than math. For every Personal Ensign, a mare who retired undefeated in 1988 after 13 races and became even more appreciated for her knack of passing on her talent to a bevy of high-class stakes horses, there is a Genuine Risk. She won the Kentucky Derby in 1980, one of only three fillies to do so, but produced just two named foals, neither of which made it to the racetrack.

The Mosses and the people they have entrusted Zenyatta to know that the odds of coming up with another horse like her are long. They have been encouraged, however, by how Zenyatta has adjusted to being just a horse since arriving at Lane's End a little more than five weeks ago.

The way that she crunches through the snow like a downhill skier — a really big one — it is hard to imagine that she has spent virtually all her life in sunny California.

Zenyatta, 7, is healthy. She has put on about 100 pounds without losing her muscle tone, and her winter coat is growing in with luster.

"Maybe most important of all, she has two healthy ovaries," Lane's End farm manager Michael Cline said, "especially with mares that have been at the racetrack as long as she has."

She is also, well, frisky.

Zenyatta has enjoyed her daily, though fleeting, flirtation with Capone. He ambles down the broodmare barn about 7:30 each morning with the sole mission of getting Zenyatta and the rest of the mares revved up and continually interested in male horses.

Still, they are not leaving their chances to nature. Lights in Zenyatta's stall are left on until 10 p.m., partly to spur an amorous mood, or at least to fake spring. Mares are warm-weather lovers: their 21-day cycles of heat come more easily in spring and summer, but breeders prefer mating them in February.

"She is in her stall, but we let her get nose to nose" with Capone, Charles Campbell, the broodmare manager, said. "She's really interested in him, and that's not always the case with successful race-mares, especially ones as big and imposing as her."

Just as casual horse fans were seduced by Zenyatta's prerace dance steps and charismatic bearing, the seasoned horsemen here have been mightily impressed by her gentle nature and outsize personality.

Bill Farish, who runs the farm founded by his father, Will Farish, a former ambassador to Britain, has been around champion horses all his life. Walk 40 yards in either direction from Zenyatta's stall to Lane's End's stallion barns, and a virtual who's who of modern racing's superstars stand ready for duty — the great A. P. Indy, the fashionable Smart Strike and the strapping Curlin are among them.

Still, Bill Farish is dazzled by the mammoth 17-hand, broad-bottomed mare who can flash footwork as delicate as a ballerina's.

"She's a one of kind," Farish said. "She's intelligent, and everything she does is so nice."

No one here is taking any chances with Zenyatta. Her trainer, John Shirreffs, grazed her outside his barn at usually sunny Hollywood Park for up to five hours a day. It's a different experience to be turned loose in a 15-acre field in freezing temperatures.

For the first two weeks in Kentucky, Zenyatta was walked by Lane's End employees who cordoned off a smaller area beginning at 8 a.m. and passed her off to one another until it was time to return to her stall at 3 p.m.

Who inevitably gets the first dream date with the big girl remains a guessing game among the hardboots in the Bluegrass as well as more than 58,000 Zenyatta followers on Facebook and the multitudes more who hang on her daily diary at

They have their opinions and well-wishes, and they offer them up by the screenful after each bit of news. Zen yatta's jockey, Mike Smith, insists there is not a stallion out there worthy of the best horse he has ever ridden.

In reality, there is a short list headed by a couple of superstars that live at Lane's End. Will the Mosses pay $150,000 to mate with the proven stud A.P. Indy or offer up a mere $40,000 for the up-and-comer Curlin? If the Mosses choose to sell the baby, which is doubtful, it could fetch several million dollars.

No one is talking, of course. The Mosses, who live in California, were planning to visit Zenyatta on Sunday before heading to the Eclipse Awards in Florida on Monday.

"Everyone back there misses her," David Ingordo says, confesses, not trying to hide his melancholy.

He is the son of Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, who is the Mosses' racing manager and Shirreffs' wife. Ingordo also is the bloodstock agent who had the foresight to pick out Zen yatta at a 2005 sale for a bargain-basement price of $60,000. He is the only member of Team Zenyatta based in Kentucky, and he keeps a close eye on the prize mare.

Zenyatta, however, is hardly alone. She has a new posse, three other broodmares by the names of Alyce, Pirate Queen and Sea Gull, who share her pasture. Unlike the racetrack, where she famously liked to be at the back of the pack, Zenyatta is the front-runner here, leading the girls all around.

Star mare looks for one more win: Horse of the Year

The Eclipse Awards, the Oscars of the racing world, will be handed out Monday night in Miami, and the Zenyatta is up for Horse of the Year, an award she was denied the past two years.

This year Zenyatta is up against Breeders' Cup Classic nemesis Blame, the only horse that ever beat her.

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Mean Spirit

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Join date : 2010-09-26

PostSubject: Re: Zenyatta...Horse of the Year   Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:19 am

This one never won a bull test but turned out alright:

1 start, no wins, no places, no shows, total winnings $0.

When I worked as a horse doctor in central Virginia, I worked on what used to be meadow farm. I also worked on an old palomino gelding who was widely rumoured to be somethingroyal's last foal, sired by a little teaser stallion at meadow farms named "Pal". Never could fully confirm this, but i could confirm that there was such a palomino teaser stallion at the farm. The gelding was, of course, a fine old man who did what geldings are supposed to do for a very long time-- I think he was getting a little heavey in his old age.
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PostSubject: Re: Zenyatta...Horse of the Year   Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:01 am

Louisville biotech firm's drug could improve a broodmare's chance of pregnancy on the first date
By Janet Patton —

Posted: 12:00am on Feb 14, 2011; Modified: 3:51am on Feb 14, 2011

Story Photos

Animal husbandry 101

When it comes to farm animals, beef cattle and chickens are the most likely to breed through live cover. Commercial turkeys, pigs and dairy cattle are usually bred through artificial insemination.

At Valentine's Day, the Thoroughbred industry's thoughts turn to the breeding shed, where farms try each year to create another Kentucky Derby winner.

This year, Louisville biotech company CreoSalus is shipping out a new drug that could help increase a mare's chances of getting pregnant on the first attempt.

With modern stallions sometimes booked to 100 broodmares or more, a mare might not get a second date with a top sire if the first "cover" doesn't work.

In the Thoroughbred world, all horses born in the Northern Hemisphere turn a year older on Jan. 1, so it pays to be born as closely to that date as possible. Horses have an 11-month gestation period, hence the traditional start of breeding season on Feb. 14.

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug SucroMate Equine to help horses ovulate. One shot, based on the hormone deslorelin, could greatly increase a mare's chance of getting the crucial timing right.

At a potential retail price of $30 to $40, the drug could save breeders big money, said Dr. Barry Simon, its developer and co-founder of the company, which began as Thorn BioScience in the late 1990s.

"It's hard to put a price tag on it, but for the price of about one day's board, you're giving the shot," said Simon, a veterinarian who also formerly managed operations at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Versailles, which stands some of the busiest stallions in the business.

Typically, farms monitor mares to know that an egg follicle is maturing. As the mare comes into heat, they call to book a session with their first-choice stallion.

"You call on a Monday and want to come on Wednesday and Thursday," Simon said. With the new drug, "you book your spot and give the shot. About 85 percent of them will ovulate within 48 hours."

That could help breeders maximize efficiency because if the mare gets pregnant, they don't have to wait another month for her to come back into cycle and book another van ride to the stud farm.

There are few other options. A previous version of the drug, marketed by Fort Dodge, was withdrawn a few years ago because it delayed subsequent ovulation if the mare didn't get pregnant. Some veterinary pharmacies also compounded their own version of the hormone.

In 2007, CreoSalus received $750,000 in economic incentives from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The company was able to complete the federal trials, and now CreoSalus has the only FDA-approved version for use in horses.

But the company has its sights set on the much bigger meat market.

According to Les Anderson, a University of Kentucky expert on cattle reproduction, about 90 percent to 95 percent of dairy cattle are bred by artificial insemination.

AI is much less common among beef cattle, except among pure breeds such as Angus, which often ship semen from top-quality bulls around the country, he said.

Anderson said the artificial-insemination rate for pigs is about 85 percent to 95 percent.

"The finite lifespan of an egg is six to 12 hours, so timing between release of eggs and sperm deposition is critical," Anderson said.

Anderson said he thinks horse and dairy farmers would be quick to adopt such a drug but that beef farms, in which cattle are often spread over large pastures in smaller herds, are more likely to stick with live cover.

"They just turn the bull out," Anderson said. "They can't overcome the hassle."

Price, he said, will be crucial. "With dairy, there's opportunity. But we're not looking at $40,000 progeny," as with Thoroughbreds, he said. "Our margins are just slim."

CreoSalus sees its next big opportunity in pigs.

"Thoroughbreds are great, but for us the bigger market is sows," said Jim Geisler, CreoSalus' chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

About 300,000 horses of all breeds are bred annually in the United States, Geisler said. But there are 5.8 million sows, and they usually breed twice a year.

The company already is working on FDA approval of a swine version, with a bovine version likely to follow. The standard for approval of drugs used in food animals is higher than for non-food animals, but CreoSalus hopes to get the pig version to market in three years, Geisler said.

Most large-scale swine operations use an "all-in, all-out" production, with whole barns of sows impregnated and birthing on the same schedule, Simon said. A pig version of the drug would allow farms to accomplish that more easily, with only one artificial insemination.

"About half of the labor on swine production units is tied up in heat detection, and they have to do multiple AIs," he said. "We've shown you can pretty much circumvent all those costs."

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PostSubject: Re: Zenyatta...Horse of the Year   Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:52 pm

Date with Zenyatta - YMCA Auction - $3000 (Kentucky)

Date: 2011-02-16, 5:45PM EST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]


2011 High Street YMCA Silent Auction
February 21 - 28 (Ends at Noon)
All proceeds benefit the High Street YMCA Annual Giving Campaign

“Date with Zenyatta” Information:

Package Details:
- A once in a lifetime opportunity for a morning or afternoon visit with Zenyatta for up to 6 people at Lane’s End Farm. Personal pictures will be allowed. Pictures cannot be used for resale or publication in any form.
- Visit will occur during the summer months of June-August 2011 and the actual day is at the discretion of Lane End’s Farm.
- The High Street YMCA will include lunch at Woodford Reserve.
- This opportunity is not transferable or to be used for resale to another party.
- This item does not include travel expense or hotel accommodations.

Proxy Bidder Information:
In the event a bidder cannot be present they must establish a proxy by 10 a.m. on Friday, February 25 with the High Street YMCA. This proxy bidder will, in good faith, bid to the amount established between the bidder and proxy. This amount to be given to the proxy in writing. The winning bidder will have 48 hours to provide payment in full for the item. After that time the next highest bidder will be notified that they have won the bid.

“Date with Zenyatta” minimum bid starts at $3,000. Additional bids must be increments of $250.

"Date with Zenyatta" is only one of many different silent auction items available at the High Street YMCA Silent Auction February 21 - 28 (Auction ends at Noon)
Reply to post with any questions you may have regarding this particular auction item.

Location: High Street YMCA - 239 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507

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Tom D

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PostSubject: Re: Zenyatta...Horse of the Year   Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:34 pm

Anybody want to go in with me? Think we could get close enough to grab a tissue sample? $$$ Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Zenyatta...Horse of the Year   Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:54 am

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