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Race fans in SoCal say goodbye and thank you to Zenyatta

December 5, 2010 |  6:07 pm

They leaned on railings, climbed walls and chanted "Zenyatta, Zenyatta, Zenyatta."

Race fans at Hollywood Park saluted the retiring 6-year-old mare on Sunday, one day before she boards a plane for Kentucky to begin broodmare duties at Lane's End Farm.

There were signs being held seemingly everywhere to go with an outpouring of love and appreciation for a horse who won 19 of 20 races and provided great entertainment in every race, going from last to first except in her final one.

Her owner, Jerry Moss, gave a hint of the stallion who could become Zenyatta's mate. Asked if Lane's End Farm's top horse, A.P. Indy, might be Zenyatta's breeding partner, Moss said, "He's got the inside track."

Zenyatta's jockey, Mike Smith, spent close to two hours signing dozens of autographs among the crowd of 11,216 on Zenyatta Appreciation Day at the Inglewood track. Her trainer, John Shirreffs, was beaming with pride.

And Zenyatta was her usual playful, calm self, enjoying every minute of the star treatment that she truly deserves.

-- Eric Sondheimer