Now that it’s official, that Zenyatta will be retired and sent to Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky to begin the 2011 breeding season, it’s time to begin debating where the 6-year-old Street Cry mare ranks among the all-time greats.
Certainly, she’ll be marked down by some because 17 of her 20 races were run over synthetics, even though she likes dirt better. And some will deduct points because of campaigns that might have been conservative but at the same time undoubtedly were a huge factor in her longevity.
While we were all applauding Rachel Alexandra’s camp for taking on all-comers in her brilliant 2009 season, there’s little doubt now that it was a major reason why she didn’t even make it to the end of her 4-year-old season. She was never the same filly after the Woodward.
Complain all you want about the “conservative” manner in which owners Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs managed Zenyatta’s career. By bringing her along slowly and having her at peak efficiency for the Breeders’ Cup the past three years, it allowed us to enjoy her for an extra year or two.
So, now that the ride is over, how do you think Zenyatta’s 19-1 career stacks up with the rest of horse racing royalty?