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Vic Zast

From the perspective of being an owner, an industry pioneer in corporate sponsorship, a track president and fan, Vic Zast writes the "Destinations" column for The Blood-Horse. His five-star ratings of international events have shed light on racing in all corners of the globe - from England, Australia, Hong Kong, Dubai to Japan.

Vic is a regular contributor to MSNBC.com, a columnist for the Illinois Racing News and has written on racing for ESPN.com, National Public radio and The Age, Australia's leading daily.

Vic makes his home in Chicago and lives in Saratoga Springs in August.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010


On the Third Day of Christmas, Another Zenyatta


(CHICAGO, IL – December 15, 2010) It’s not often that a horse with Zenyatta.s charisma and accomplishments comes along. With the way she greeted her fans by dancing the fandango to how she finished her races with a breathtaking flourish, the near-perfect mare truly captured the hearts of the horse racing world with a passion not felt in decades.

What, above all, was the reason? It’s that she stuck around when she could have easily passed out of sight, following the path that so many before her have taken. No horse commanded the spotlight as long as she. Yes, of course, the Sport of Kings has had stars. Rachel Alexandra was Horse of the Year and a captivating presence. There was Barbaro, Big Brown and Smarty Jones – colts that emerged with their records intact as they won the Kentucky Derby. And, for a totally different reason, who will ever forget Funny Cide?

Each of these horses threw off heat that was keen as mustard. But Cigar, Seattle Slew, Sunday Silence and Affirmed never approached matching her, Secretariat, Seabiscuit, Phar Lap or Man O’ War in causing goose-bumps. Such was her effect; so is her legacy. The sport was blessed to have her as a bright light when darkness descended. More like her would put horse racing in the fun business.

The gamblers will say that Zenyatta’s devotees don’t bet money. Form watchers note that her campaigns were carefully managed. Eclipse Award voters are lining up to embarrass her a third time in the Horse of the Year voting. She may likely suffer her fourth career defeat when they add up the ballots, although only one will appear on her resume.

Horse racing is an emotional playground. Hearts beat fast in the sport. Heads swim. People get lost in the moment before, during and after the experience. Better than winning one more trophy would be having another Zenyatta emerge so that everyone would recall the original.

If you’ve missed the “Second Day of Christmas,” you are still able to read what’s been asked of Santa by linking to http://bit.ly/fjv0wT. Return to TrackWords for a new Christmas wish daily.


Written by Vic Zast

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