Zenyatta, winner of the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic and Horse of the Year in 2010, will be remembered for all-time by Santa Anita Park when the track unveils a life-sized statue of the great mare in the Paddock Gardens area Sept. 29.
The unveiling will coincide with the first Saturday of Santa Anita's upcoming autumn meet. Additionally, the inaugural $250,000 Zenyatta Stakes will be run later in the afternoon. Formerly the Lady's Secret, Zenyatta won the race over three consecutive years from 2008 through 2010,
Zenyatta, now 8, is currently a broodmare at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky. Her statuary likeness will be joining two of the greatest horses of all-time, John Henry and Seabiscuit, adjacent to the track's grandstand.
Named after The Police's blockbuster album, "Zenyatta Mondatta," Zenyatta is owned by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jerry Moss and his wife, Ann.
"Like the song written by Sting and performed by The Police, everything Zenyatta did here will always be magic for the entire Thoroughbred industry," said Santa Anita president George Haines. "Her win against the boys in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic is considered by many to be the greatest moment in Santa Anita history."
The incomparable Zenyatta retired with a remarkable 19 wins from 20 career starts and $7,304,580 in earnings. Although she was defeated by a head in her final start, the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic, her stature as one of the sport's all-time greats remained undiminished as she was voted the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year for 2010.
"The breadth of her accomplishments at Santa Anita alone is astonishing," said 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 [the] south side of the Kingsbury Fountain, directly across from John Henry."
John Shirreffs trained Zenyatta, who was ridden in her final 17 starts by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.
Sculpted by Nina Kaiser, who also created the statue of John Henry, Zenyatta's likeness stands at her height of 17.2 hands, and weighs 1,200 pounds, which is approximately what Zenyatta weighed throughout her racing career. Commissioned by Santa Anita, the world-renowned Kaiser worked on the project for more than two years.
Santa Anita's 2012 autumn meet gets underway Sept. 28.