Diary Post #229

YEAH…IT’S MY PAL, EL VINO, SAYING HELLO! Photo by John Shirreffs


I hope all of you had a great weekend. The Preps really put everything into a BIG UNKNOWN for the Kentucky Derby! It will be interesting to see how it all plays out during the next few weeks! This is such a FUN time of the year!

Yesterday was very exciting! EL VINO, my gallant workmate for many of my pre-race workouts, is now having a fun time on the track and winning his own races. He was such a great sport last year and really worked hard to assist me with my racing career. Now he is having his own success. I AM SO PROUD OF HIM!

When a horse is preparing for BIG RACES and competing on a very high level, the workouts need to be challenging and solid to substantiate the preparation. One needs to be extremely fit and ready for competition. In 2010, I ran in all Grade 1 races. As this is the highest level we have in our sport, my pre-race workouts were very important to my success!

EL VINO really helped out with this part of my training program! He was the horse who set the pace for me in many of my works. He was also part of the team drills John would orchestrate to often prepare me for my Grade 1 races. Words truly can’t express how appreciative I am of his efforts. As a matter of fact, John often said he deserved an AWARD of his own for being a fabulous SUPPORTING PLAYER!

EL VINO looks so comfy, cozy and happy back at the barn relaxing after yesterday’s victory. It was his second WIN in a row! Sunday was a rather warm day in Arcadia, so Frank and Ruben very safely set up a nice big fan by his stall to really help him enjoy the moment!

On his stall door, there is also a yellow sign which says SECURE AREA…DETENTION STALL…DO NOT APPROACH! In California, it is absolutely MANDATORY that this sign be posted by the stall of every single horse who is running that day…a minimum of 4 hours before his/her race. This sign is meant to indicate several things to everyone: 1) this horse is ENTERED TO RUN ON THIS DAY 2) the stall is MONITORED and SECURE and 3) this horse is not to be touched or bothered by anyone before the race except the immediate barn staff who will need to put the equipment on the horse and take he/she over to the paddock to run. This is one of the many industry precautions taken to protect the integrity of our SPORT. These rules are essential and extremely important!

I must say, it is deeply touching to see EL VINO again! I am so happy for him! Dottie was telling me that several people stopped her at the races yesterday and commented that ‘he had cotton in his ears’ just like ME…and they bet on him because he was my WORKMATE!

She also mentioned while in the Winners’ Circle, EL VINO literally bowed his head 3 times towards the camera when posing for his picture. It was as if he was sending ME one great big…”YIPPEE, Z, I DID IT!” This is TOO CUTE!

With Love,
Hugs to All~


  1. Hi Zenny. What a sweet El Vino!! He was telling you how proud he was to win. Just like you did. How are you beautiful girl. Have`nt had a chance to write to you lately but I`m back. The Kentucky Derby is one BIG mystery!! I`m going for Nick Zito`s “Dial In”. He usually knows exactly what he is doing. Unfortunately, he ruins chances for alot of winning horses to win. Example, 2004 SMARTY JONES. We could have had a triple crown finally. BUY Zito races Birdstone and that was that. he knows when to use the amunition… Well love you. Lots of Big Hugs and Kisses to you!!!! ALENE :-)

  2. My beautiful Zenyatta~ What a fantastic ambassador you are…not only to racing but many other causes as well. I lost my Dad to cancer in 2000 and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of him. He was my best friend. Thank you for all you do!
    @Kirren~ Your video is one of the best I’ve seen. I had to watch it 5 times to see it through the tears. Zenyatta is no doubt God’s gift. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful work.
    Zenyatta’s @1 fan in Montana!

  3. @ Cynthia Holt- you are a gifted writer….and a wonderful friend I am still sobbing tears of joy because of your kindness. A huge tearful…joyful..congrats to El Vino and all of Team Z-…I hope All of you fell the love…and JOY!!

  4. I bet on him, but unfortunately coupled it with a selection that didn’t go as well! My bad. Next time, just him!

  5. Marilyn Morgan, thank you for your kind words! I don’t mind if you share it on your page. :)

    Kimberly Potter, thank YOU for your kind words as well! They mean a lot to me!

  6. Shari Voltz: I’m so sorry the video wouldn’t open for you to show your class! Let me know if you continue to have problems with it.

  7. Aww Zenny you’re such a great friend! I’m so glad El Vino is doing well!

  8. Zen, your workouts with El Vino had paid off and are now paying off for him. Thanks for sharing this info and for giving your workmate due recognition.

  9. Looks like El Vino is trying to follow in your hoofprints. :)

  10. Dear Kirren -The video was wonderful. I have been avoiding Facebook but again, Zenyatta has given me the reason to join and share in all things Zenyatta. I was so fortunate to see her at Hollywood Park, Santa Anita and Del Mar – but not in the “backside area” I didn’t know that much about just going back there. I loved seeing the little orange kitty out on the little patch of grass that belonged only to Z. Mario and Z -his look of devotion and protection is so touching to see. Must put El Vino in my virtual stable. He is a handsome boy.

  11. Way to go, El Vino!!!

  12. Hooray for El Vino!

  13. I know just what you mean about El Vino Zen. When I was at Barn 55 not too long ago dropping off an oil my sister had painted of you I got to meet El Vino and take some pictures of him in his stall. He has the sweetest face. I’ve been watching him race at Santa Anita and am so pleased to see his success. I think he had a great role model in you to emulate don’t you?

  14. Delrene, thank you so much for your kind words! I also was fortunate enough to see Zenyatta at HP and SA. Visiting Z on the backside was a time I will never ever forget. Watching Mario interact with Z was always amazing, wasn’t it? I have video of the two of them under their tree, when everyone else was on the other side of the grass, and you can see him talking to her constantly. He has a lot of love for the Queen, and it was always evident.

  15. Zenyatta, good luck to your buddy El Vino. I’m sure that almost everyone is supportive of the rules for not disturbing the horses before a race except for barn staff and racetrack staff-not just in California, but everyplace. I’m sure this helps the horses in the long run.

  16. 12th♥. You are not now, and never can be forgotten. My heart has bled-out.

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