Diary Post #144

THE ADORABLE SOPHIE SHIRREFFS…waiting for the rain to stop so she can go to Santa Anita, watch workouts in the morning, and play!…Photo taken by John Shirreffs

Good Morning,

Thank you so much for the kind comments about yesterday’s Diary. It was very special for me to write my thoughts on behalf of Marjorie and Abigail and the friendship they shared.

I had a bit of ‘video’ time posted for you yesterday. If you click on the FACEBOOK symbol located in the right-hand corner of my home web-page…it will take you to my FACEBOOK page. Then click on WALL and my video will be there.

Enjoy! Click on this FACEBOOK symbol often. We try to post things here for you to see and read as well!

ALSO…YIPPEE and CONGRATULATIONS to WRIGHT THOMPSON! It was announced yesterday that he won the 2010 Media Eclipse Award for Writing in the Feature/Commentary category for “THE LEGEND OF ZENYATTA”…which appeared on espn.com October 10th. Wright spent several days with us at the barn before doing the article. He was ‘one of the guys’…following John all day during training etc., jumping in the car with Michelle to go to Costco to buy my Guinness, helping with tasks around the barn, running for Starbucks with the staff after training hours…and just being one of us! He is a great guy and we are so proud and happy for him! This is a wonderful professional achievement!

You may find the article on line…http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/eticket/story?page=101104/Zenyatta

(Too cute, Wright emailed Dottie a few weeks ago…and he reads my Diary every day! He really gave me ‘several pats on the back’ for my writing skills. As he is a professional writer…this really made my day!)

In the I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY DEPARTMENT…this morning I wanted to share with you a photo JOHN took of my dear family member, SOPHIE! As you may know, SOPHIE is one of my very special friends. I’ve known her since she was a few weeks old and weighed 1.8 pounds. (John teased her then that she looked like a snowball in his hands.) Now she is a ‘big girl’…all 10 pounds of her!

As you know it has been raining quite a bit in CA for the last several days and it is very muddy and wet there. Well, our adorable SOPHIE wanted to go to Santa Anita and play! Often John and Dottie will take her walking there and she loves to go in the mornings with Dottie during workouts etc. Well, in the rain yesterday, she had to stay home. I know her so well after all of these years and feel like I can read the expression on her face. She is thinking…Hmmm, you guys, Zenyatta is out playing in the snow and having a GREAT TIME with P.Q. and I am inside…waiting for the rain to stop! Boo-hoo!

Dearest Sophie, I’m hearing the sun is out this morning in Arcadia…so you will be out playing soon. Great to see a photo of you again and touch base! Miss you!

I’m sending you and all my friends a big HUG! We’ll keep in touch!

Enjoy your day!
With Love,


  1. Well Zen, HOY is getting closer and I’ve been watching how the writers at DRF say they are going to vote and so far it looks like Queen Z. Horse racing should add the People’s Choice Award and guess
    who would win by a landside!! Happy New Year, 7year old mare and all of Team Z who have been so kind to keep up the daily posts, we can’t get enough of Zen!

  2. Queen Z you are one in a million!! Yesterday’s post was very moving. You are able to convey your everyday feelings to Dottie so well-your amazing!!! I think you excel at everything you do in life. Dear Sophie is probably missing the track & you-what a family you have!
    Thanks for tip on the article will look it up. Thank you again for your daily posts. You are so knowledgable I always learn something from you. Till tomorrow XOXO

  3. Congrats to Charles for winning the best in show! Also, John good luck this weekend to you and Harmonious! I was hoping to get out to Santa Anita but we are going to wait until it warms up a bit. Obviously not as cold as it is in Kentucky but my thinned out blood probably could not handle it! Ha! Ha!

    Queen “Z” Sophie is just adorable! I have two labradoodles that I am in love with! There is such a special bond we humans seem to have with our four legged friends! You included in that!

    Not New Years so I won’t wish you a Happy Birthday quite yet!

    Stay warm.

    Hugs and kisses.

  4. Today I have some news to share with YOU (and all your fans): I have created a photo book all about you (with a few pictures of your CA family as well) that can be purchased at http://www.blurb.com/books/1877933
    Proceeds from the sales of the book will go to The Second Race (www.thesecondrace.com), a network to help find homes for racehorses who are not as fortunate as you and your friends at Lane’s End and need to find new homes and/or jobs after they are done racing. The book is available in softcover and hardcover and I am going to be sending one to Barn 55 and one to Lane’s End so your friends and family can enjoy it.
    I hope everyone enjoys the book (or at least the preview online) and visits The Second Race website. My friend Sharla Sanders is doing a GREAT job with it and last year found homes for over 50 horses!

  5. Happy New Year Z. You sweet beautiful lady, you, worrying about Sophie. You are already displaying your maternal instincts. BooHoo, Sophie. Pretty soon you both will be playing together but just in different areas and times.

  6. Hi Zenny, You look beautiful as always.. Don`t want to miss a day talking to you.. Tomorrow is News Eve.. Have a wonderful holiday!! Thank you Dottie as always. Love you Zenny…Hugs and Kisses Alene

  7. Hey lady! Always happy happy to hear from you each day. As long as I hear from the Team, I will write back.

    It’s almost New Year’s Eve…what do you all have planned for Z? I see her with a teal and pink party hat on.

    Take care everyone out there…keep warm…nighty night…especially to Zenyatta.

  8. And only Zenyatta could have one of the ‘hottest horsemen’ at her beck and call. Good golly! And yeah…I think he’s quite hot.


  9. Yes it is no fun being cooped up inside! But is worse when it is raining, then it is miserable, hope it gets better. At least Zenyatta gets to go out and play … lol.

  10. Hi Zenyatta. We heard about Sophie not being able to go to Santa Anita when Dottie was being interviewed on HRTV. She was awesome, talking about you, the lounge at Santa Anita, Sophie, John and the late, great Bobby Frankel. We truly all miss him. He was such an animal lover and a great person. How fitting for him to request to speak with John right before his passing. He and John are so much alike, always putting the love of the animal first. I did read the Legend of Zenyatta through the Bloodhorse. It was wonderful and such a tribute to you and Team Zenyatta and all of the love that is shared between you all. And of course, all of your human qualities. I was fortunate to be at Oaklawn when you bowed when your name was announced. You are something. Love you Zenyatta; it is almost time for us to sing Happy Birthday to you on January 1. I look forward to reading your diary tomorrow – what will you and your BBF(s) be doing for the New Years? Talk to you tomorrow.

  11. Wanted to wish everybody a Happy New Year, won’t be near a computer until New Years Day! Love to you Big Girl and all your buds!

  12. Happy New Year and New Beginnings Zenyatta! I too am starting a new chapter in my life! I wish you many relaxing years at Lanes End! Lots of Love!
    Anne-Marie Power
    St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

  13. Cute photo of Sophie. Great post and thanks for the link to the article. Do you get an extra Guinness on New Year’s Eve? Love you posts Zenny.

  14. Zenyatta, you are simple amazing and truly are ‘The Queen.’ I surely do miss you watching you run on the track, you always had me on the edge of my seat as you effortlessly passed everyone up on the backstretch. I cannot wait to see what kind of babies you will throw, I bet they will just as awesome as you are. :)

    With love and admiration,

  15. Now if only there’s an Eclipse HOY award with YOUR name on it, that would make life sweet indeed….

  16. Darlin’ Zenyatta – I love reading your posts and I love you like crazy, but darlin’ girl, not all of us are on Facebook (many of us don’t want to be), so we’ll miss out on things that are posted there and we don’t want to miss a thing about you! So please try to post all your videos on this website – please? Janie in CA (who, by the way, was born down the street from Hollywood Park and lived in Inglewood near HP for the first 13 years of her life!)

  17. Thanks for the pic of Sophie…you have really really special friends…that’s what counts in life!! I read the article too and am so glad he won the award…it will be a piece of history too!!Plus you and Charles winning the “Best in Show” for Hotties!!
    Hope everyone there is doing well and again so appreicative of the diary updates and the videos are wonderful! Every time I watch a race..I see you..I will just never forget!
    I’ll be back to wish all holiday greetings…you have a peaceful night sweet girl…here with you..under the moon over Ky! I love you!

  18. Hi Zenny, Happy New Year!
    Guiness? I have heard it mentioned quite often. Horses like beer?
    Your friend Lynne from B.C. Canada

  19. Happy New Years EVE EVE big girl. Glad you are doing well today. Keep in touch. We love you so. Can not wait for tomorrow’s post. Hugs and Kisses

  20. Hi Zenny, Sophie is a cutie. I have never seen her before. Remrmber all the attention was on you while you were raceing. You are Queen Zenyatta. Sophie may have to wait awhile before going to Santa Anita. We are experienceing some pretty cold weather for California and it is suppose to rain again for several days starting Saturday nite. The snow on the mountains is down pretty low accounting for the coldness. I am not use to this crazy weather myself. John is doing pretty good with his new camera. I like all of his pictures. Keep us informed and keep haveing fun Zenny. Love you much.

  21. Zetty’s Gazettees’ read is again a winner!! ****
    And your video **** four stars again, totally movie star quality.
    Wow, what a spread for you, big girl, and your fav P.Q. buddy. It’s good to see you’re doing good, and enjoying the Christmas munchies. I hope you shared some with P.Q. & the others, you’re such a good girl, I’m sure you did. Sophie is just adorable, what a cutie!!! I know why she can’t go out, she’d get a tan (muddy) real quick. Always enjoy your up-dates, thank you to all the people involved.
    A sweet dream for you with mints, candy canes, carrots, apples, oatmeal cookies w raisins. Yum Yum. Sleep tight.

  22. Dearest Zenyatta –

    I didn’t want 2010 to come to an end before I could share a few of my thoughts with you and Team Z.

    You have come to mean so many things to so many people. You not only reached fans who had the good fortune to see you race in person, but also to those who watched you with the same excitement on their televisions. With each race your legend blossomed as did your legion of loyal fans. Love and admiration for you started with your very first race and eventually spread across the entire world. You became a star, nearly reaching heights like that during the days of Beatlemania – able to bring tears and screams of joy at the mere sight of you.

    Your athleticism on the track was a thing of beauty. Powerful strides lengthening as you picked up incredible speed coming around the far turn, your magnificent rippling muscles a sight of ‘poetry in motion’, your face a picture of courage, determination and utter will power. You won 19 races and to most, your final race and your only loss by a slim margin, ended up being your greatest triumph. It stamped your greatness forever, turning even some of the most grizzled race fans, as well as titans of the industry, into believers and in awe, exclaiming in admiration that they had never seen anything like you before. And this is true because there is no horse in the entire world who is like you.

    You have calmed and brought strength and courage and a ray of sunshine into the lives of those during sadness and troubled times. You have taught gentleness and kindness in a world which needs it badly. You have reached into souls with a spiritual connection that cannot be logically explained but is accepted as real and true. You have taught the will to never give up, to keep going even when the end seems far away and impossible to reach. You have given the gift of love and shown what the gift of love can do when shared with others. You have embodied all that is good in life. You have entered our lives and our hearts and our souls bringing joy. Your intelligence and intuitiveness are apparent when we look into your eyes or watch you gaze out into the distance with a thoughtfulness and sense of serenity and we feel at peace too. You make us laugh and smile with your paddock prancing and your post parade dancing. You are caring and you are kind and you have brought us all together as we pronounce our love and admiration for you. You are a champion with a champion’s heart. And you have dazzled us with your glorious beauty.

    How can a horse have such an impact on so many human lives? How can a horse be more than a horse, but more like an angel sent to earth to heal, to make happy, to bring joy into lives? A gift to us all. Does it really matter that this riddle is solved? No. All that matters is that you are here and that we are the lucky ones with whom you share your magic.

    While many have scoffed and ridiculed those of us who seem to idolize or devoutly admire you, we can simply say that we are sorry that they are not able to open their eyes and their hearts and see what we see. That you may not be justly awarded Horse of the Year will sting immensely. But your legacy and your name will be reverently repeated for years and years to come during races and debates and fond memories of your personality and incredible feats. You will be honored and admired and praised for the bar you set in racing. Your connections will also always be remembered by the standards which they set in understanding the importance of the fan and the fan connection to racehorses. They have always been down to earth caring and compassionate people as seen through the many charities and acts of kindness they have shown at every turn. To make a superstar horse like yourself available for numerous photo opportunities, kisses and hugs is unprecedented. It cemented the admiration the fans had for not only you but for Team Z as well. They have made fans feel that they share in and feel a part of an industry that is in terrible need of such things. A standard which could go a long way towards bringing in new and lasting fans for the industry of horseracing. They set the goal for other owners and trainers.

    I like many will cherish and love you Zenyatta for all of these things you have done for us. You will live on in our hearts as the greatest racehorse we will ever have the honored fortune to know intimately because we became a part of the Zenyatta experience.

    So I wish upon you all the joy you have given to us. Every happiness for the virtues and values that you have taught us. And all the peace and love that you have showered our lives with ten fold over. All blessings to you dearest Zenyatta.

    A loving fan – Dani Crawford

  23. here is a video of Z at her 2005 yearling sale for those who have not seen it. She is adorable in her youth, of course.


  24. Dani Crawford has certainly put into words what all your fans feel for you Zenyatta. Happy New Year dear one.

  25. also here is Z’s maiden race from you tube for those who might wish to see it or view it again. Really fun


  26. I love you Zenyatta. You never cease to amaze me…and bring tears to my eyes. Your #1 fan in Montana!

  27. Love the way PQ walks right by the camera…. But not Z! She walks right up to it ….a true star NEVER misses a photo op! :D

  28. Thats so sweet about the artical about you! you must feel very special! Love you Zenyatta! Thanks for keeping us posted! Stay Beautiful! :)

  29. Dearest Z–
    Good night, sweet one. My prayer for you in 2011 is for all the joy you and your team have given us fans to come right back to you! Oh, wait! I think that prayer has already been answered. Love you always.

  30. Z – Dani articulated so beautifully how most of us all feel about you and your team. My day is so much happier when I hear about a new story or video on you or your family (including Sophie). I so feel a part of your family now and truly wish all a wonderful 2011! Love you all:) PS – I just read the story about a thoroughbred horse named Dyna King/Gifted who was found near death in the desert on Dec. 12 and was rescued by an Arizona group named Heart. They are doing everything to bring him back to health and I just mailed a check to them. The article was in Bloodhorse under “In the Spirit of Christmas.”

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