Diary Post #421

GIACOMO....cuddling up to a friend! Photo from Geri Bidwell's files


What a sweet photo this is! Our pal, GIACOMO, is now residing at Magali Farm in California. Here he is cuddling up to a friend of ours, Geri, who was recently visiting the farm with her family.

Can you imagine what a lovely and dear horse he is! As a stallion, “G” is so warm and friendly. Geri commented to Dottie, “you can tell he has had a great deal of handling and love during his life.” “G” spent his entire racing career at BARN 55, then started his stallion career at Adena Springs in KY, and now he’s at Magali.

I know GIACOMO was adored at BARN 55! MY JOHN spoke of him often with great love and respect. To this day, “G’s” photo crossing the finish line and winning the Kentucky Derby is on his stall door of his home at the barn. Everyday when I’d walk around the shed row either getting ready to go to the track or cooling out afterwards, I’d walk by his stall with see his photo on the door! It was very inspirational!

While at stud at Adena Springs in KY, Bill, in their stallion division, did a video showcasing Giacomo. It illustrated so many of his special qualities. In this presentation, Bill commented “G” was a stallion on their tour that he could always count on to entertain the fans, run with joy around the paddock for them, and even stand there politely and let young children pet him. (He adores peppermints!) Now, at Magali, he continues to demonstate these same genuine and loving qualities!

There is no blanket statement about stallions that one can make …but overtime, it has been noted that a stallion can often become very independent and quite aloof. It is just the nature of many stallions. That is why it is especially endearing to see “G” interact with people with such affection.

Per Geri, “he worked his way straight into my heart….he is a very special horse.”

It is amazing how GRAY horses often turn SO WHITE as they get older. GIACOMO is getting lighter and lighter each year. ZAZU, another one of my MOSS pals, is also “gray”. She has just arrived back to the track from her RNR…and from all reports, it appears she is getting to be quite ‘light’ in appearance. I can imagine that those colored saddle towels will look FABULOUS on her when she returns to the races!

All BLESSINGS to GIACOMO at Magali! It looks like he has settled in beautifully!

Giacomo running around the paddock in his new home! Wow…he's still got a great turn of foot! Photo by Emily Shields

With Love,
Hugs to All~


  1. He sure looks happy. So handsome!!! It is a beautiful day in Socal today. A bit cold but nice. Hope you and Dottie have a great day. Enjoy the day everyone!!!

    1. So glad you were able to be first.
      Thanks so much for your wonderful posts.

      1. Thank you Signofthetimes you are very sweet. Hope you had a great day.

    2. Is G retired? If not, is there any hope he will make it to Old Friends? I know the Mosses have helped the rescue and have sent a couple horses there.


      1. G is standing at stud at Magali Farms.

        1. Why did he go from Adena to Magali?

    3. What a beautiful boy. He looks so happy. I have no doubt that you, Beautiful Queen Z, were his inspiration when he was racing. I love you so much Z.

      1. “G” was retired from racing before Zenyatta ran. So it would be the other way around.

  2. He looks so very handsome indeed. The kindness shows in his face. P.S. Love Geri’s scarf. Hope you are keeping warm in Kentucky, Zenyatta. March is rapidly approaching. Can you believe we are already more than halfway through January!

  3. hi Z! I love the photos of Giacomo!!! He is sooo handsome;) I’m happy he’s doing so well at his new home in CA! Love YOU gorgeous mama! Have a wonderful day with Tasty!!! xoxoxo

  4. “G” you are my Bucket List, Sweetie! I’m scheduling a visit by Springtime for sure! XOXO I can’t wait to see you in person ~ I love the “grays”

    1. “on” my bucket list LOL

  5. Dearest Z, it is so good to see Giacomo. He has always been a favorite of mine. His warm gentleness as a stallion is a tribute to the loving care and affection he received at Barn 55. That is a little unusual, I suspect, for a stallion. But as you know, Zenny, your John and everyone else working so lovingly with the horses lucky enough to spend their racing careers at Barn 55 apparently have an incredible knack for bringing out not only the best, but the genuine “good” in the Barn 55 horses. You, after all, are the primo sterling example. Not only your incredible racing career, but your unique and lovable demeanor off the track has always been a source of warm delight. We have been so lucky to be here in your time.

    You and Tasty have an exuberant day, but don’t overdo it. You are both traveling for two – as we patiently (or not) wait.

  6. Awesome Photos!!! G looks great!!! My nickname is also “G”.

    Enjoy the day – can’t wait to see ZaZu this year.

  7. WOW!!!! He is somethin’else, love him mucho and much thanks for the latest news as to how he is doing. Love and kisses to you Queen Z and also to Tasty.

  8. G is quite a handsome and talented fellow! Loved watching him race and wish him the best always!
    Take care pretty girl, it is getting closer to your delivery day!
    Love you!

  9. Giacomo looks so happy in his new home! I hear he recently did some paintings to benefit CERF and The Second Race, so he is obviously having FUN! I am hoping to get up to the Santa Ynez valley in March during my spring break to visit him. I can’t believe how white he has gotten!

    Thinking about all the great horses who passed through the recieving barn at Santa Anita yesterday started me thinking about some of the things that I miss from the “old days”:

    The CLYDESDALES pulling the starting gate. I loved to visit them in their stable area before the races and it was always amazing to stand near the starting gate and HEAR them dig in to gallop away with the gate. The sound of harness jingling and huge hooves pounding the ground was incredible. The tractor isn’t quite the same ..

    Parking at GATE 7 (now the horsemen’s lot) and walking past the barns to the entrance gate at the west end by Clockers’ Corner. There was always at least one pony tied outside a barn to say hello to through the fence :)

    Turkey sandwiches at the WINE SHED in the infield! Those were the BEST sandwiches I have ever eaten; for some reason the carved turkey sandwiches in the grandstand/clubhouse are just not quite the same.

    The FLAG MAN standing in front of the gate. I miss the announcment “The flag is up!” which meant the horses were ready to break out of the gate.

    EQUEFEST in the infield during the OAK TREE meeting. They did this for a few years in the late 80’s and early 90’s and it was amazing. All sorts of different breeds of horse were on display and they had performances of the many riding disciplines. It was a wonderful way to learn about horses and horse sports. That is where I first saw a cutting horse, Icelandic horses doing the tolt, Friesians doing dressage and more. John Henry even came out from Kentucky to be the Grand Marshal of the first Equefest!

    1. Julie – I love your descriptions about the “old days” at Santa Anita. They are great!

      1. Julie, I agree with everything you wrote. I wish the current “powers that be” would reinstate some of the lost traditions you mention, plus more.

    2. Julie, the “old days” sound wonderful. Thank you for sharing some of your memories.

    3. I’m glad you all liked my reminiscing. I can’t believe that this fall will mark 30 years since I first visited The Great Race Place!

    4. These are truly wonderful memories. I remember the huge Belgians, which pulled the gate prior to the instigation of the Clydesdales.
      And then there was the beautiful training track (now the Westfield parking lot), located right off the corner of Huntington and Baldwin. One could see the horses working from the street, as one passed.
      I recall a time when the Seabiscuit statue was not the main attraction in the paddock, but was located in the east paddock gardens, and in its place was an elegant obelisk with a stone circular bench surrounding it, which one panicked patron tried to climb one day, when a frightened horse got loose in the paddock.

    5. My family had racehorses, so I ‘grew up’ at the 3 So. Calif. tracks. Just an amusing note about the food in the Turf Club. Harry Curland, who sat in the row right below us, had the catering concession for S.A. & Hollywood, but not Del Mar. So during the Del Mar season he would ‘brown bag’ his lunch.

      At that time no ladies could wear any type of pants—-except for Liz Whitney. She always did & nobody ever told her ‘No’.

      It’s rare for a stud horse to be as placid as Giacomo. Seen a lot of them who were polar opposites.

    6. Julie Devall; I loved your description that I wish I could have experienced it!!

  10. He’s a beauty! Love you Zenyatta!

  11. Giacomo is a sweet boy for sure! I hope he passes his disposition on to his offspring. I think stallions are just like other horses, or humans for that matter. There is a lot of variation in temperament. You’ve got your Dynaformers on the one hand, and your Giacomos on the other, with a lot in between.

    Speaking of pleasant stallions, Marquetry at Old Friends has been turned out into his paddock again, per Michael’s Old Friends update that he sent out yesterday. (Marq has been recovering from colic surgery.) He is the sweetest boy. Patton’s another one. Patton is so calm and non-territorial toward people, you’d think he was a gelding.

  12. I love the grays too. Giacomo looks so happy where he is and that’s wonderful to see. I’ve got a whole list of favorite grays.
    Take care all!

  13. Dearest Zenyatta,

    What fabulous pics of G! Thank you so much for posting them. He definitely looks handsome and very loving. My husband and I have owned horses all our lives and we’ve decided they are pretty much like people. Some are loving and friendly while others are grouchy loners. How great that G is like you—a loving soul. :) As for Zazu, I can’t wait to see her on the track again!

    Hope the winter weather is passing you by and leaving warm blue skies for you and Tasty to graze under.

    Hugs and kisses,

  14. Such a beautiful horse! Great memories!

    Here is an interesting story on Amazombie, his halter, & superstition.
    ‎Thursday, ‎January ‎19, ‎2012
    ARCADIA, Calif. – The champion sprinter of 2011 has a slight identity problem around the Bill Spawr stable at Santa Anita.
    The nameplate on his halter has read AMAZOMBEI for months and not AMAZOMBIE. When the error was noticed, Spawr and his team were offered a revised halter. It was not allowed under the shedrow. Blame superstition, but Amazombie has had too much success with the misspelled halter.
    “They brought a new one with the correct spelling,” Spawr recalled last weekend. “We said, ‘Oh, no. We don’t want it.’ ”

    1. Keta; Oh, wow, now that was interesting!

  15. What a sweet boy! So happy to see how Giacomo is loved and shows affection in return. You have such a beautiful extended family. Joy to all.

  16. Dear Zenny,

    How many of G’s offspring are currently residing @ Barn 55? I know that G Ten is one of them. Are there any others? Perhaps Dottie could post a picture of him. Do you think that one day you a G will have a “date”. Also, could you ask Dottie to let us know how your former barn mate Tiago is doing. I hear that he is recovering from surgery and might miss the 2012 breeding season.

    Warm Regards,

  17. Thank you, Z, for sharing news about “G”. He looks fabulous and appears to be happy to have company. He is very beautiful, too! Be good and watch over things at LE with Tasty my queen. Love you.

  18. Giacomo will always have a special place in my heart. My dear nephew, Jack, was born right after G’s KD win. Jack got his nickname, Jackamo, from this gorgeous stallion. I’m so glad to know Giacamo is happy, healthy and still getting the attention he so obviously loves. Thanks for posting.

  19. Oh what a sweet post….I think it is all that special and loving care the horses get at Barn 55 that makes them so special and friendly. I did read one time that Roy Rogers said that his famous horse, Trigger was a stallion and he was never mean or aggressive …was gentle with the grandchildren. Roy also said that in 2000 shows Trigger never fell or caused Roy to fall ….never any accidents…..can you tell Z that was one of my favorite shows….telling my age….they are showing old Roy Rogers shows on RFD right now…and it is so much fun to see them again….brings back wonderful memories. Hope you and Tasty are having fun Z…..hugs to you and Tasty!!!

    1. Mary – How fun to read about Trigger and Roy Rogers. I catch some the old movies periodically. They are fun! Trigger was wonderful!

    2. Mary, I don’t know if you saw the Rose Parade on TV this year, but Trigger and Bullet were on one of the floats; the wonders of taxidermy. Good thing it was another rainless parade.

    3. It is also a fact that Trigger was never used for breeding, as Roy felt that his first obligation was to the children who were the fans, and if Trigger were used for breeding he might become studdish or aggressive… very commendable reasoning, of course, but wow, what wonderful foals he could have sired!!! Good dispositions are both born and made… a riding-horse-breed colt foal should be taught gently and firmly from his first moments how to behave around humans— most TB foals are handled daily from birth, and know the rules, but some are given more leeway than others.

      For myself, with horses that have to be around people of all ages, and all degrees of experience (or not) with horses, good manners are imperative, and it does nothing to dampen their competitive energy or spirit, and sure makes things a bit safer. Though one should NEVER turn one’s back on a stallion, the worst bite I ever got was from a gelding! Just as in my many years working with dogs of all breeds and sizes, the worst bite I ever suffered was from a Chihuahua! Nearly ripped my thumb off. And I have worked with plenty of Dobes and Rotties and other large “working” breeds.

      It was a thrill to see Trigger on that float, but at the same time it was (and is) very concerning to me, as it CANNOT be good for what remains of Trigger to be exposed to all the dampness and sun of a California January morning, and all the other weather and atmospheric things… to me it seems a bit disrespectful. I saw Roy and Trigger many times as a kid, since I lived in southern California for a time… as well as the other “Triggers” used in appearances. And Roy and Dale would come to our schools for personal appearances and talks etc.

      Zenny, I cannot imagine your foal being anything but sweet. You have had such wonderful, expert care, and the Mosses will make sure that continues for your babies as well. You, and we, are so lucky.

      BTW Giacomo and Tiago are half brothers, having the same dam (and different sires). All good thoughts for Tiago’s swift and complete recovery.

      Now, my Z friends and Dumplings, I have a small request for you. My beloved youngest brother is battling major pneumonia, improving, but in the course of tests they have now found that he will need a quadruple bypass (scheduled for next Monday), and a possible heart transplant in the future. So please include Jon in your thoughts and prayers…


      1. Thanks for sharing your lovely memories of Roy and Dale and Trigger – how awesome to have seen them come to your school! My thoughts, prayers and best wishes for your brother in his illness and surgeries.

      2. Patricia I will gladly include your young brother in my prayers, hope surgery goes well and they find a heart for him. Keep us posted.

      3. Your baby brother is in my thoughts and prayers!

      4. Certainly, Patricia, we will inlude your dear brother Jon in prayers for his return to good health.

      5. Patricia, we will keep your brother, Jon, and you in our prayers.

      6. Patricia; I will definitely say a prayer for your brother Jon, for all he will be going through, for God to keep him under his watch.
        On another note, I go back too when watching Roy Rogers with Trigger and all the cast, including Nellie Belle, was a very important show to me. Trigger was just so beautiful. I watched his every movement. I wanted a horse!!!

    4. Roy bought Trigger from the studio that made Robin Hood, with Errol Flynn. Trigger can be seen as maid Marian’s mount in the film.

      1. Terry – I have that Robin Hood in my movie collection. I will definitely be watching for Trigger the next time I watch it. Thanks!

        1. Your version is far superior to any remake, in my opinion. Basil Rathbone, who also played Sherlock Holmes, had to be a great actor to lose a sword fight to Errol Flynn. He was an expert with the blade.

    5. Mary; I go back in time too. Roy Rogers was a must to watch!! Trigger was so beautiful. I drooled over him. I had a Roy Rogers two gun holster, Rog Rogers hat but a Dale Evans black (with white fringe) skirt. But, I had a Hop-a-Long Cassidy decorated shirt!! I can not remember his gorgeous white horses name. I draw a blank
      Remember all those neat programs, such as Cisco & Poncho and Gene Autrey too?
      They all rode cool looking horses, but Roy’s was the most awesome in my book.

  20. Katie Clawson (future jockey), Did you see the many birthday greetings for you on #419?

  21. March 9th……………………………………………. (wink wink wink wink!!) ;-D

    1. JAG you have me so “won over” for a March 9th delivery; I am going to be soooo disappointed if it doesn’t happen. LOL.

      1. Especially Horses
        :-)))) thanks! I think I will fall over if she actually delivers on the 9th! John Henry will be grinning from ear to ear!!! He would love to be an “Uncle John” to Zenny’s boy or girl……
        Judy G

        1. I think he will be “Uncle John” no matter when she delivers :-)

        2. Sandy (Northeast Ohio)
          True! John Henry “adopted” Zenyatta as the sister “ne never had”, so he will become an Uncle regardless of when Z delivers!! :-)

  22. Everyone here in California is hoping YOU also return. I’m sure YOU would love being at Magali with GIACOMO! Come home to us, Queen Z!

  23. I hope one day Zenyatta will go home to CA to be with the Mosses. :) But not until I get to meet Z, first!! Love her.
    And Giacomo is just beautiful. What a beauty. Good for him.

  24. Handsome, handsome boy, that Giacomo is! ;) Thanks for posting the wonderful pics
    of him Zenny and Dottie. It is appreciated. Hope to meet that sweet boy someday, now
    that he is back in California. :) How blessed Geri and her family were to spend time with
    him and share it with us all.
    Sending peace and prayers to all in the Zenyatta Nation!
    Kathy from SoCal xoxo

  25. Wow ZEnny and Dottie – thanks so much for providing us with a fabulous update on G; I have always loved him and his story. Here is a great video that really captures alot of what he is about and stands for – Long live G!


    1. Linda – I had watched this video before, always love seeing him running in his paddock and listening to Bill talk about him. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Thanks for the link to the video! Giacomo is such a beautiful boy and he sure seems to like rolling in the dirt, too – I love those shots of him with his mud coat on – lol! :)

    3. Linda~ thanks for sharing this video of Giacomo! What a beautiful and sweet boy he is!

  26. Awww…he’s so beautiful Dottie!!! I went to see the Police perform several years ago at Churchill Downs where sweet Giacomo won the Kentucky Derby which I thought was a very fitting tribute. Sting talked about it from stage and commented that Giacomo was named after his son.
    It is no surprise to me after visiting Barn 55 that any horse that was lucky enough to live there during their race career is kind and affectionate with humans. That is all they are ever shown. The best team in the business :)
    X Candace

  27. He is so sweet looking and beautiful, yes even a man can be beautiful, and look at him in the paddock, looks like he is barrel racing. Oh what fun he is having, he still has “it”.
    Z you and TT have a fun day and stay healthy. It won’t be long now.
    Can’t wait.

  28. Giacomo is certainly a fine looking stallion. I hope he has great success where he is now. I know what you mean by colors. Gray horses do tend to turn white. As for myself, I am getting grayer. @Rosemary McCauley, Denise in AZ and Diana S, charter members of the Arizona/New Mexico chapter-You might be a redneck if the contents of your fishing tackle box is worth more than your house. @signofthetimes, president of Texas chapter-You might be a redneck if your grandma got into a fight over a handicap parking space. @Debbie G, president of Kentucky chapter-You might be a redneck if you wear cowboy boots with bermuda shorts. @Judy Berube, president of New England chapter-You might be a redneck if you think suspenders are a type of shirt. @Marshall, president of North Carolina chapter-You might be a redneck if your stretch limo has a greyhound painted on the side. @Darlene Daniels, president of Indiana chapter-You might be a redneck if your retirement plan is to but more lottery tickets. @Stephanie in San Diego and Vicki B, members of California chapter-You might be a redneck if you told your husband to move over in bed so that the dog could have more room. @Brenda S, president, and Abigail in Montreal, member of Canadian chapter-You might be a Canadian redneck if you have a hook in your shower to hang your hat on. @Sue Fredrick and Sally B, charter members of Wisconsin chapter, presidency to be determined-You might be a redneck if your family’s number one enemy is revenuers. @Susan in Tn and Kari Bussell-You might be a redneck if you’ve never stayed at a hotel without stealing something. You might be a redneck if you and your dog have the same name. You might be a redneck if you think that another name for a pay toilet is Johnny Cash. You might be a redneck if you think that the Indy 500 is 500 Indians running down a hill. You might be a redneck if the entire police force of your home town knows you on a first name basis.

    1. Thanks, Terry! I especially like the one about “cowboy boots with bermuda shorts”. Easy to picture.

    2. Terry, Some of your jokes hit a little close to home. LOL

      I thought of you earlier when I was watching tv ( do I dare admit to watching reruns of Bonanza–daily ) There was a commercial about a show titled something like, “My Big Redneck Vacation”. I was also working a crossword puzzle at the time, so didn’t really catch it all. If I see it again, I’ll take down all the pertinent information and pass it along.

      I do have a joke to share. It’s hard to believe I actually remembered one:
      Wanda’s dishwasher quit working so she called a repairman and set an appointment for the next day. Since she had to work, she told the repairman she would leave the key under the mat and for him to fix the dishwasher and leave the bill on the counter and she would mail him the payment. She told him not to worry about her dog, Brutus, he would not be a bother. Then Wanda warned the repairman to NOT, under Any circumstances, talk to her parrot. She repeated her warning to not talk to the parrot!!
      When the repairman arrived at Wanda’s the next day he found the key and let himself in. He discovered the biggest, meanest looking dog he had ever seen. But, the dog just laid on the carpet and watched the repairman work. The parrot was another story. He yelled, cursed, screeched incessantly and drove the man crazy. Finally, the repairman couldn’t contain himself any longer and yelled at the parrot, ‘Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird!’ To which the parrot replied, “Get him, Brutus!’…….

      1. Marty-Great joke. We don’t yet have a charter member from Colorado. Are you willing to serve in that capacity?

        1. Terry, I would be honored.

      2. Marty~ LOL, awesome joke!

        1. I agree, truly worthy of redneck status. Marty R is now the president of the Colorado chapter. Kimberly-Are you willing to serve as president of the Montana chapter?

    3. TERRY! I love ALL of your CANADIAN REDNECK jokes — I check for the latest every day now. You are a RIOT!!!!

      1. Thank you, Abigail. Coming from a canuck, that is a real complement. I read somewhere that one of the provinces had the choice of being either a part of Canada or the US. Is that true?

    4. Love today’s joke; still laughing and what
      A day brightener. Thanks.

    5. Terry Crow, ha ha Johnny Cash. Indians running down a hill————what a stitch!! You are one of a kind. ha ha
      White is pretty. I would not mind getting white hair but my hair dresser said I had a host of all colors; namely what I call dirty dishwater blonde! ha She said I would not get white hair. Greys distinguished too! You just might get some white later on.

    6. LOL I definately have had the hubby move over for the dog!! hee hee
      Thanks for the giggles today, as always!!

  29. Dear Zenyatta. Thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures of my dear friend, Giacomo. I never missed going out to see him at Adena Springs and I made sure I had plenty of peppermints in my pocket. He is so very sweet and lovely to look at with his beautiful grey coat and glorious white flowing tail. When I would pet him, it was always great to think “I’m petting a Kentucky Derby winner”, that is very special!! I am glad Giacomo is loving his new home and getting lots of visitors. I have to say that I also enjoy seeing Bill at Adena Springs. He is great, always taking time with the fans who visit!! I am glad to see that Tiago is under the care of Adena Springs back in Kentucky. I know they will take great care of him. I pray he continues to heal. Ask Dottie to let us know his progress if you can, Zenny. Welcome back to Zazu. I hope she had a great RNR and is ready for racing again this year. Another very talented female! Say hello to Tasty for me. I love you very much, Zenny!!!! Sweet dreams. Hugs and kisses. XXXOOO

  30. I have always loved the grays, as well, and was so glad when the Moss’ finally got their Derby with Giacomo. And I am not surprised to hear of his gentle nature after spending all of those years with YOUR JOHN. I think he could even have improved the temperment of John Henry!!!

    I remember doing some research a long time ago and realized that the first gray horse to ever win the Kentucky Derby was in 1954 (Determine) and that happened to be the year I was born! So maybe I was destined to follow the grays.

    Finally received my copy of the “25 Most Intriguing……” yesterday and wish I had ordered 2 copies so that I could cut out a few of the fabulous photos of Z to have framed out of one and keep the other copy intact.

    Have a wonderful day, Our Queen, and take care of The Little One.

    1. Hi Judy: I love those greys as well. My Grandmother always used to say bet on the grey if there is one in the race.

      What a beautiful boy G is and love the picture that shows how loving he is.

      I also got my copy of the 25 Most Intriguing and was so happy to see Winter Memories listed I have followed her and think she is beautiful

    2. Judy-Determine has a special place in my heart as he was the first California bred horse to win the Derby. As it happened, the second was the very next year, Swaps.

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