Zenyatta Delivers Her 2nd Foal on Her 9th Birthday

Carlos TorresContributor IApril 2, 2013

Zenyatta (photo by Zenyatta.com)
Zenyatta (photo by Zenyatta.com)Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Champion mare Zenyatta delivered her second foal late Monday night at her boarding home at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky.

The word from the official Zenyatta webpage was:

She delivered a healthy colt by Tapit at 11:47 pm EST on Monday April 1. Estimated at 145 lbs, he is a leggy chestnut with a white blaze similar to Zenyatta’s. Eager to start his new life, he was standing on his own by 12:18 am and nursing within an hour.

The handsome colt is Zenyatta's second foal. Her first was a dark bay colt by Bernardini born on Mar. 8, 2012. This colt is by Tapit, one of Kentucky's preeminent sires, who currently sits in fourth place on the 2013 Leading Sires by North America Earnings list, according to bloodhorse.com

Zenyatta won the Eclipse Award for 2010 Horse of the Year and was the champion older female in three consecutive years—2008-10. She captured the attention of thoroughbred fans all around the world during her illustrious 20-start career, of which she won her first 19.

She won the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic in dramatic fashion after being swung around the field at the top of the stretch and driving clear to the wire for the win. Her last race was her only defeat—a heartbreaking loss by a head to Blame in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.

She had also won the 2008 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic, giving her the distinction of being the only horse to win two different Breeders' Cup races.

She is owned by Jerry Moss and his wife, Ann. During her racing career, she was trained by John Shirreffs and ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith on 17 of 20 starts. Her lifetime record was 20-19-1-0 with earnings of $7,304,580.

Tapit is a son of Pulpit out of the Unbridled mare Tap Your Heels. In 2004, he rallied from last place to win the G1 Wood Memorial by a half-length. On his next start, he finished a disappointing ninth in the Kentucky Derby, 15.75 lengths behind the winner Smarty Jones as the 6.40-1 third betting choice.

He didn't race again in the Triple Crown, and his next race happened to be his last race. It was in Sept. 2004 when he finished ninth in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby, 17.5 lengths behind the winner Love of Money as the 3.30-1 favorite.

Tapit's lifetime record was of 6-3-0-0 with earnings of $557,300. He entered to stud at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Ky., in 2005, and his current stand and nurses fees are set at $125,000—he is fully booked for this year.

As a sire he has produced 11 G1 winners, headlined by Hansen, the 2011 Eclipse Award winner as the champion two-year-old colt and winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile that year.

His progeny also include the multiple G1-winning filly Stardom Bound; G1 winners Careless Jewel, Zazu, Laragh and Tapitsfly; and recent G1 Santa Margarita Stakes winner Joyful Victory. His success extends also to Japan, where he is represented by Group 1 winner Testa Matta.

Both Zenyatta foals have been to the sire family of A.P. Indy, sire to Bernardini and Tapit's grandsire, which seems to be preferred by the Moss family. Both sires are bred on a similar A.P. Indy-Fappiano cross.

From what we can see from Tapit's progeny, he tends to put a decent amount of speed into his foals, but they can also route. Given that Zenyatta was a deep stretch runner, in theory, the foal would get some speed to go with her natural stamina.

Another interesting fact to consider is that Tapit has produced three juvenile champs. The precociousness transmitted to his foals would also be an interesting cross, given Zenyatta's late development. 

Theoretically, you would expect more productive longevity from the foal. 

Last, but not least, physically, Tapit has good size to go in combination with his strength. Zenyatta is a big mare, standing 17.2 hands, so size-wise this seems like a good complement.

For now, all we can do is wait and see for the colt's development and continue to play the guessing game. We'll make our predictions on what it could be, and hopefully, we get to see greatness from him just as we saw from Zenyatta during her career.