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. Congrats to the final four!

  2. Good Luck to the final 4 — Just saw you in the May issue of “Readers Digest” — lookin’ gorgeous as usual — have a happy spring day!

  3. They are all wonderful. It’ll be so hard to pick just one! I love how the entries came from all over the country. I’m proud just to be a part of the contest.
    Blessings to all of Zenyatta’s connections for all you do.

  4. I really wish I had seen this ahead of time! I thought clicking on the highlighted names would show us what they wrote, but all it did was cast a vote. So good luck to Vicki, since you got my unexpected vote. :)

  5. Congratulations, you lucky final four ladies!

  6. Hey Zenny Mike looks fantastic with your reins in his hand. Hope you`re fine and healthy. I often think about you. Love you Zenny.

  7. Good luck to the final four. They are all wonderful.Thank You to all of Queen Z’s conections for keeping us informed on Gods gift to us.

  8. Z, the finalists comments are wonderful. It is very hard to pick just one. #4, now that could not possibly be on one post card, but it is absolutely lovely. I applaud everyone and wish that everyone could win. I have to think about this very carefully Z as it is an important decision. Have a great day Queen Z!!! xxoo

  9. This has been a great contest! I hope everyone had as much fun as I have….and SUPER CONGRATS to the final four! How great is it that Mike got to draw the final round? Thank you Team Z!!!!

  10. Dear Zenny – Mike is so cute in his picture. I am sure it was an honor to select the 4 finalists. Good luck to everyone and remember it is such an honor to be in the final four. Hope you are having a blessed day beautiful girl. Love you. GO LAKERS!!!

  11. Best wishes to the Final Four – love to Mike, Dottie, and the team- love you so much, Zenny! Have a wonderful day, sweetie-

  12. Oh My! They all speak the “Truth”…from the least of words to the most. Bless you all and good luck – you are all winners and have already been rewarded.

  13. I wish all 4 the best of Luck but I have to vote for Valerie because that is what Zenyatta did for me as well!!! Thanks Valerie for expressing my thoughts as well!

  14. Hi Zenny, Please tell Dottie a never ending flow of tears are coming from me too. Our love for you is immeasurable! Did you get some yummy treats today?

  15. Good luck to you 4. Yes your guy Mike is too cute. Had a hard time getting through the post cards. Love to you and all your fans.
    Love hugs and kisses Gorgeous one

  16. Each of these entries serve as an example of how much you mean to so many people! It’s impossible to explain, but obviously more and more people feel the same way as your numbers on facebook grow constantly. Good luck to each of the final four! Still would love to hear some news directly about you, Zenny! (thanks Dottie)

  17. DAWN–YOU ARE STILL RUNNING DOWN THE TRACK!!!!!!!!!! I am soooo very, very excited for you. Just think – MIKE picked your name–it’s almost like Zenyatta , herself, picked it. How special is this??? Big hugs.

  18. Good luck to the final four….and tell Dottie I had tears reading them. But I get tears all the time about you Z…you just warm the heart….and the tears are of joy thinking about you and all you have accomplished and all the people you touch. You are so special!!! Hugs to you Z….

  19. Zenny, Dottie and John, thank you for this wonderful opportunity for Z-lovers of all things Z! Best of luck to the Final 4. May the magic of Zenyatta’s reins bring us all a fabulous day! Love you, Ms. Zenyatta.

  20. It was so hard, to vote, but I felt Dawn did such an excellant job of explaining that…….. GOD BLESS YOU Z, and I do hope you and your family have a great day, finding out just WHO it’s gonna be. :) This is so fun, tell Dottie, John and the Mosses and Team Z – YOU GUYS are THE BEST !!!! LOVE YOU ALL !!!!! :)

  21. Good luck to you all. Dawn, You brought tears to my eyes. You write all the important things we feel & are not able to put into words.

  22. Yes Zenny he is your Mike. Can I borrow him sometimes, he gave me goggles…He is a very sweet man

  23. I can understand why Dottie was in tears as she typed. I was in tears as I read.
    Dawn, I wanted to thank you for expressing in words the thoughts and emotions I have been experiencing for the last three years.
    God bless you Zenyatta; you are the catalyst for so much love and goodness in our world.

  24. Wow ~ I can see why Dottie would be in tears as she typed these up! I am as I read along ~ I am hard pressed to make my selection but I will think about this for a little while. Truly wonderful – just like everything else about this entire operation :) ♥ Hugs & much love to the Queen & all of Team Z :)

  25. I agree they were all beautiful. And clearly Dawn’s evoked the most emotion, but the rules were a paragraph on a postcard. This did not fit on a postcard. I just feel this kind of puts the other 3 at a disadvantage.

  26. Wow, all 4 had such special thoughts; how can we vote for JUST one! (Dawn, how did you get ALL THAT on a POSTCARD!!!!) Mike Smith looks so happy – wish him lots of success at Hollywood Park this season and will be routing for him in the Kentucky Oaks as well!

  27. That is sooo sweet of Vicki, Valerie, Georgia, and Dawn! Congratulations ll of you! Love you, Zenny!

  28. Good luck to all the finalists!
    About Mike’s picture…I was watching HRTV and they ran 14th (or 16th) Breeders Cup Classic; Mike’s horse won. Boy, was he young in the film! But we were all younger then (hahaha).

  29. Congrats and Good Luck to the Final Four!!! Great picture of Mike!!!!

  30. Wow #4 must have written really small! LOL

    I think there should be prizes for all 4 finalists, even if only one can have the bronze. It would be sad to get this far to lose! Even a signed photo or something, don’t you think?

    CONGRATS to all the finalists, you’re all winners!!!

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