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Sep 14, 2012

Zenyatta to be honored with statue


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - She is considered by many to be arguably the finest female thoroughbred of the last 100 years and as a way of immortalizing her, Santa Anita Park will have a life-sized statue of former Horse of the Year Zenyatta unveiled on Sept. 29.

"The breadth of her accomplishments at Santa Anita alone is astonishing," said Santa Anita President George Haines. "She won a total of seven races here, all stakes and six of them were in Grade I competition. Her story will forever resonate with our fans and we know we'll have many thousands of people coming here over the years to admire her statue, which will be situated on south side of the Kingsbury Fountain, directly across from John Henry."

Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, Zenyatta won the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita and was 2010 Horse of the Year. She was a three-time champion as older female thoroughbred as well.

"Her win against the boys in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic is considered by many to be the greatest moment in Santa Anita history," Haines said. "We'd again like to thank the Mosses for running Zenyatta here and we look forward to welcoming them back as we again honor 'the big mare' on Sept. 29."

Trained by John Shirreffs, Zenyatta was ridden in her final 17 starts by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and won her first 19 starts only to have the streak stopped by Blame in a photo-finish in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

At Santa Anita, Zenyatta posted Grade I stakes victories in the 2008-10 Lady's Secret, 2008 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic, 2009 Classic and 2010 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap. The Lady's Secret has been renamed the Zenyatta Stakes and will be run the day of the unveiling.

Zenyatta finished her record-setting career with 19 wins and one second for earnings of $7,304,580.

The statue was sculpted by Nina Kaiser, who also created the statue of John Henry. The artistic project took better than two years to complete.

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