You know thinking about Horse of the Year and how that at the end of the year, one of leading contenders will be retired got me thinking, Zenyatta should not be retired. Think about it, yes, she is five years old, but she started her career in November as a three year old, meaning she raced for a total of 24 months, only a two years and two months. Rachel Alexandra, our other leading contender started racing 18 months, and will continue to race next year. That will give her a grand total of 30 months. Over her 24 month career, Zenyatta has raced 14 times, Rachel has done the same with six less months.
Every time I look at one of Zenyattas' start, she never looks fully extended, crossing the wires with her ears pricked. Jerry and Ann Moss say that she deserves to be retired, and just be a mother, but I don't buy into that. In her last race I watched Zenyatta close like a freight train, with barely any urging, again winning with her ears pricked. This mare loves to run, it is evident in the way she runs and the way she carries herself.
A tired horse, an over the hill horse, would not be winning like she does if at all. A tired horse would be flattening out in deep stretch, not performing up to their normal form. Does anyone think this description fits Zenyatta? A horse that doesn't like it's job, would turn track sour, probably be miserable in the stall and on the track. Does this description remind you of Zenyatta? If it does, you might just need to get your eyes checked. Every time she steps on the track she plays to the crowd, doing her little dance moves, pawing the ground, looking every bit the magnificent champion that she is.
Jerry and Ann Moss even said that this years she had grown and had even gotten better since her four year old season. She proved that with her win in the Classic, where she swallowed the competition like she had done to every field she had previously faced. Who is to say she won't be the same if not better as a six year old? In other sports that is considered YOUNG! That age is of a horse who is in their prime, and considering that she has been lightly raced throughout her career, why should she be tired for another go around.
I hear people say she has nothing to prove, that is a lie, this mare has a lot to prove. Her win in the Classic did not exempt her from going farther, in fact, it proved that she should have been racing with the males all year long, instead of racing a relatively weak group of fillies and mares that ran in California. As a six year old she could come back to race in the races she should have been in as a five year old, she can come back and make even more history, and prove to the world her greatness is not just that of a synthetic specialist.
Another thing that could be done if she decided to come back is the dream match up we all have been waiting for, a Rachel vs Zenyatta race. She and Rachel could meet multiple times even, since Rachel will be out in open company and will most likely be pointed towards a start in the Breeders Cup Classic. The return of Zenyatta would not only be good for fans, but the sport of racing itself.
As you can see there is no reason for Zenyatta to retire, other than to keep her perfect record safe and protected. She loves to run, she is nowhere near past her peak, and despite what some say she still has much more to prove. The fans would love the return of the champion, and the prospect of a match up with her main competition Rachel Alexandra. So, Mr. Moss, if you are listening, please forget the perfect record, come back and show what a great mare you have. She is not ready to retire, she wants to run, all you have to do is point her in the direction and she'll go. Please, give her one more year.