Terrell Owens, the star wide receiver of the Cincinnati Bengals, was a visitor to Hollywood Park and took advantage of an opportunity to visit the undefeated 6-year-old mare at her home in the stable of trainer John Shirreffs.
“I’ve been following a lot of horse racing,’’ said Owens. “I’ve been to the Kentucky Derby and visited Three Chimneys Farm (in Midway, Ky). I’ve been hearing so much about Zenyatta. I thought it would be great if I was able to see her.’’
Owens, who played with San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas before joining the Bengals this past off season, was not disappointed in the experience.
Shirreffs escorted Owens to Zenyatta’s stall, where she was being tended by groom Mario Espinoza. When Espinoza led the daughter of Street Cry out of her stall to graze outside, Owens’ eyes widened. “Man, she’s big!’’ he said.
Shirreffs’ answered a question from Owens as to why Zenyatta was wearing standing bandages, then the six-time Pro Bowler fed the 19-for-19 superstar a couple of carrots.
Informed that Zenyatta is remarkably gentle around the barn, a contrast to her being highly competitive on the track in the afternoon, Owens smiled. “So, she’s like me: kind off the field , but somebody who shows a lot of passion on it.
“She’s a beautiful horse. She is a big girl.’’
Owens also took some time to visit the jockey’s room and was part of the winner’s circle picture with trainer Barry Abrams, jockey Matt Garcia and the owners (Madeline Auerbach LLC) after Butch Marino’s 11-1 upset victory in the sixth race.