Horses

Celebrating Zenyatta: 2010 Horse of the Year enters Hall of Fame on Friday

Champion Zenyatta is surrounded by fans and media upon her arrival at Churchill Downs for the 2010 Breeders’ cup World Championships.
Champion Zenyatta is surrounded by fans and media upon her arrival at Churchill Downs for the 2010 Breeders’ cup World Championships. Lexington Herald-Leader

This Friday, Racing’s Hall of Fame will open its hallowed doors to two of the greatest female runners ever to grace the sport when 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta are inducted. The two never met on the racetrack but debates still rage among their fans over what might have been had they ever shared a starting gate.

With her come-from-behind running style, Zenyatta succeeded in stopping hearts and leaving a sport breathless during her near-perfect career. The four-time Eclipse Award winner became a national darling with her charismatic pre-race “dance,” and her 13 career Grade I wins were each a mini-masterpiece to her tremendous heart and turn of foot. She remains the only female runner to capture the Breeders’ Cup Classic, having won the 2009 edition of the race. Even though she was defeated in her final career start, Zenyatta’s career mark of 19 wins from 20 starts and $7,304,580 puts her in the discussion for greatest distaffer of all time.

Friday’s induction ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It will be streamed online at racingmuseum.org and will be broadcast live on the Horse Racing Radio Network.

Alicia Wincze Hughes: 859-231-1676, @horseracinghl

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