Diary Post #308

Off to DEL MAR! Photo by John Shirreffs

Happy Friday, Everyone!

Wow, it has been a very busy week in our industry. There is so much going on that I want to share with you.

First of all, I’d love to congratulate FRANKEL (GB) on his success in winning the SUSSEX S. (G1). He is now undefeated and has a race record of 8 for 8. FRANKEL (GB) is truly a sentimental favorite in my camp as he is named for a very dear friend. Jay Hovdey, in the DRF, wrote a special piece on all of this in a recent article. Dottie and Bobby were very close friends for years. Ruben Loza, who now works as one of MY JOHN’S assistant trainers, held the same position for Bobby for 25 years. Jose Luis….who currently grooms MR. COMMONS and STAR BILLING for My John…was a long-time groom for Bobby. “Chuma” (as he is known around the barn) is also such a hard-working gentleman. He has groomed so many other wonderful horses during his career as Medaglia D’Oro, Sightseek, and Intercontinential to name a few.

So, it was with great joy and pride that MY TEAM watched FRANKEL(GB) win #8 on Wednesday. A heartfelt congratulations to his owner and breeder, Juddmonte Farms, his trainer, Mr. Cecil, and the entire team who works with this exciting colt!

I’m sending him a special HIGH HOOF for a job well-done!

Both of the SUMMER MEETS on each coast are in full-swing….and this weekend, Monmouth Park has a wonderful stakes program including the HASKELL. This should be a very exciting race!

Then at Saratoga, several big stakes races are taking place including the JIM DANDY and THE THE RUFFIAN. These should be great to handicap and enjoy. At Del Mar, we have some very accomplished sprinters competing in the BING CROSBY. So much action!

From all reports, the dirt surface at Santa Anita is terrific! This is fabulous news. In California, they now have Santa Anita open for training in addition to Del Mar. Hollywood Park closes for the next 5-6 weeks to allow the maintenance crews to completely clean out the barn area and freshen up everything that needs to be repaired and painted. The track crew, headed by Dennis Moore, is given the opportunity to work on the track and the surface to get it freshened up for the upcoming year. This is traditionally done in CA each summer…one year Santa Anita is closed to accomplish these maintenance needs and the next Hollywood Park. This alternating system works out quite well for everyone and it really helps to keep everything in the best possible shape.

Thus, since nothing can be left out at Hollywood Park for this big clean-up process to take place…everyone and everything needs to be out of Barn 55. My John and his crew did a great job getting this organized and properly storing everything that was in MY STALL. It was all safely packed for the future!

So all of my horse BARN 55 friends had to relocate as well for the summer. They were split between Santa Anita and Del Mar. In the photo above, you see STAR BILLING on the left and EBLOUISSANTE on the right getting ready to travel. They are loaded on the van and on their way to Del Mar. They are comfy, cozy, the windows are open just right…and these girls are READY TO GO TO THE BEACH!

I gather “E” wanted to snack along the way.

The TOO CUTE part of all of this is that “E” is in the same exact stall on the van I always used. In California, I shipped on Vida and David Randall’s Ranch Runner’s van. That was MY STALL! They even put a plaque on the side of this stall with MY NAME on it. So, I guess for all practical purposes, I still get to travel right with them…..in spirit!

Have a FUN weekend…and enjoy RACING!

With Love,
Hugs to All~


  1. For those who would like a Morning Prayer:
    O worship the king, all glorious above;
    O gratefully sing his power and his love;
    Our shield and defender, the ancient of days,
    Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.
    O tell of his might, O sing of his grace;
    Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space;
    His chariots of wrath the deep thunder-clouds form,
    And dark is his path on the wings of the storm.
    This earth, with its store of wonders untold,
    Almighty, thy power hath founded of old;
    Hath ‘stablished it fast by a changeless decreee,
    And round it has cast, like a mantle, the sea.
    Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite?
    It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
    It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
    And sweetly distils the dew and the rain.
    Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
    In thee do we trust, nor find thee to fail;
    Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
    Our maker, defender, redeemer, and friend.
    ………………….Robert Grant 1830

  2. @Karen Gogue- I just did it yesterday. Nothing Zenny gets past out JAG. I was coming here to post it now and saw your comment. I hope you like what I did. I was going to add credits to those who wanted it added. Some people prefer that I not mention their name and link all these sites together with their real names. It was inspired by Zenyatta and the friendships we have made because of her. Also,your act of kindness and others as well as your pictures. Karen’s are the ones with the date stamp….All pictures are from Zenny’s diary and FB unless the have pro stamp…
    @Dottie- Thank you for the Z-Diary. It is such a blessing.
    @Please read Description.

  3. To Kari B: Once again, your tribute is just fantastic! Thank you! I felt so happy watching it!! I especially enjoyed Zenyatta sharing the beer out of John’s Stein. I have that Stein too… wish she could have a sip from mine :)

  4. Zenyatta, you make our hearts smile:)
    @Kari B: and you do too! Thanks for your latests creation. It is funtastic!

  5. very cute! FROM YOUR BIGGEST FAN AMY.

  6. Zenyatta, another great picture of your sister and a buddy of yours. It’s really amazing that your sister occupies the same spot in the horse trailer as you did. I am very happy for Frankel winning his race. I’m very sorry that I missed that race. This ensures that the legacy of Bobby Frankel lives on. It’s also amazing that one of John Shirreffs’ assistant trainers was an assistant trainer for Bobby Frankel for a long time. It’s an interesting process by which they close down a racetrack for a certain period of time in order to clean up everything and repair what needs fixing, such as what is currently being done at Hollywood Park. Zenyatta, all of your buddies and your sister being moved out of barn 55 will all find safe homes, I’m sure. I saw a few races and missed a few, but I heard about a couple of them that I missed.

  7. Hollywood Park is only a 2-hour drive from my home, and it was because of the “Kennedys in San Diego”, frequent bloggers on this site, that I began visiting Barn #55 to see the beautiful Zenyatta. Among her great talents, Zen was also a lady. My favorite picture (of me) is of the day she allowed me to kiss her on the muzzle. I was in the stands when she ran undefeated against Blame, and lost by a nose. Trevor Denman was calling the race, and his voice became very subdued when he had to say “and Zenyatta came in second.” One of my saddest moments was to watch her leave the track that night, gradually disappearing into the darkness, and realizing that an era had ended. But Zen lives on in my heart. I will never get over her.

  8. Thank-you, Zenny and Dottie, for letting
    ALL of us “travel with YOU in SPIRIT”…
    it’s been a wonderful journey!!
    Hugs to all. Fondly, oraJean

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