Diary Post #231

It’s MY MIKE holding my reins…getting ready to select the FINAL 4! Photo by John Shirreffs

Good Morning Everyone!

This photo is TOO CUTE! It’s my guy, Mike Smith, who helped us select the FINAL 4 for our ZENYATTA BRONZE CONTEST! Mike stopped by Dottie and John’s last night and held my reins in his hands…just like he did when we were racing. I think this definitely got him IN THE ZENYATTA MOOD to select our Final 4! This photo brings back great memories…for both Mike and I! We had lots of great times together!

The names of the FINAL 4 will be given…along with the thoughts each person expressed as to what I meant to he / she. Go to the bottom of this diary post and click the button next to the person whose entry you think deserves to win. Click the Vote button, and you’ll see the current results.

We will allow the voting to take place for one week. The winner will be announced next Wednesday, April 27th. John will look at the polls before he leaves for the barn that morning (5 o’clock in the morning, CA TIME) and the winner’s name will be posted.

The poll has been moved from the Facebook page to this website so that non-Facebook users may vote!


ENTRY #1…..VICKI L. VINSON……APPLE VALLEY, CA I knew Zenyatta was “one” special horse the first time I saw her in person. She came over to me and stuck her nose right in front of my camera. That was before the ’08 Lady’s Secret. Little did I know that a year later she would become the best medicine in the world, in helping me through the worst time of my life. I’ll love you forever Zenyatta!

ENTRY #2…..VALERIE FRANKLIN….DAVISON, MI Zenny, you have made people believe in horse racing again. Our sport has suffered so much tragedy and in this time of economic disaster and with Barbaro and Eight Belles so fresh in our minds, you have given us a chance to escape and to dream. We love you more than you could ever quantify.

ENTRY #3…..GEORGIA HARPER…..BELLEVUE, WA My obsession began half way through your first year and such enthusiasm could not be ignored by my husband. After 49 years, my husband and I have become such good friends but are so busy with work and family we don’t always take time to actually think about one another. As a gift for our wedding anniversary last August, I received an email at work from my hubby with an itinerary attached for San Diego saying “Tickets for my queen to go see the Queen”. We not only had a wonderful day at Del Mar, never leaving the paddock and visiting with so many young people who had been there to see only you but we really enjoyed our time together. I’m not sure what we will do for our 50th this year, but I don’t think it will compete with the happiness we shared last year watching you come across the finish line and celebrating as best friends enjoying not just a horse race but watching the most magnificent thoroughbred ever. We miss you, we love you, and look forward to cheering on your foal.

ENTRY #4…..DAWN CONRAD…..CEDAREDGE, CO Dearest Zenyatta. “Why are you special to me?” Is it the stately stature of the Queen like carriage? Is it the glistening brown coat with the diamond dapples? Maybe it is the dance or those still moments with your head held high? Is it your intelligence and fathomless brown eyes? Was it your first run free or perhaps a camera-ride on the back of Pegasus? Is it posters in the stands, a warm crowd on a cold Kentucky night, the excitement you bought back to racing? Your place in its history and future, the Breeders Cup, 60 Minutes, Horse of the Year, Vox Populi Award? A Fred Stone portrait, Jamie Corum lithograph, Nina Kaiser bronze? The cheers I shouted the tears I shed? Certainly your beauty, power, grace, breathe taking speed, final kick, heart stopping finishes and 19/1. Absolutely your gut wrenching, never give up, try! It is all of this, yet more. It isn’t only who you are, but what you mean to each of us. With Team Z, you are Jerry and Ann’s pride and joy, John’s soul mate and patient masterpiece, Dottie’s muse and she your voice. Mike’s talent, guidance and prayers brought you home safe each race. At Barn 55, you had care from Mario, workouts with Steve, walks with Carmen, loving star struck visitors and kisses from all. At Lane’s End, paddock pals, peppermints, pears and precious motherhood. Your family embodies the word generosity and together you have been transformative. You give pure happiness to thousands. You are a horseman’s ideal, a child’s dream, a friend to charities, a moment of healing to someone ill, a smile in the face of sadness, a sweet memory to all those you meet and a wish of all those that you haven’t “including myself”. While totally unique, I see in you the memories of my youth: the Black Stallion, Flicka, Secretariat and my Cinder (a gift from a brother leaving for Vietman), live again. There were endless summer days of best friends, bareback rides, Breyer’s horses on the bedroom shelves and glorious Triple Crown winners. With you, I am that horse loving girl again. What fun! I have my own challenges in life, as everyone does. While I seek to remain positive there are those moments. You are there to lift my spirits and touch my soul. Your diary is a place of remarkable civility where information, support and all things Zenyatta are shared and celebrated. Facebook, over 70,000 and still counting! The experience has been once in a lifetime and continues to be a magical ride. In the end my love cannot be fully explained, it is simply heart felt and joyful. It is no mystery why the word “angel” is used to describe you, for you are a creation of God, a blessing to us all and a remarkable gift. For everything you are and everything you mean, Zenny, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are truly UNBELIEVEABLE! As always, sweet dreams. Hugs and kisses. XXXOOO

Wow! I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I did! Dottie commented that she was literally in tears typing them for ME!

Vote for the ENTRY of YOUR CHOICE!

Blessings to All OF YOU who participated in this contest! I can’t THANK YOU ENOUGH for ALL OF THE LOVE AND KINDNESS you have shown ME!

With Love,
Hugs to ALL~


  1. @Jane in Seattle: Thank you for sharing what Jerry Bailey said about Mike & Zen. Everything and everyone associated with Zenyatta is pure class in the best sense.

  2. To those who posted about the play, War Horse that is being made into a movie, here is a link to the NYT review of the novel on which the play and movie are based. The cover is beautiful.

  3. Are the horses at Lane’s end Farm in Kentucky in danger from the tornados? Can you bring Zenyatta and the other horses to safety?? Please??? Jean

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