Time to focus

November, 3, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Today we watched Zenyatta go to the track, and it was great. We got up to watch her train at about 7:00 a.m., got to Churchill Downs a little after 8:00 a.m. Just to see all the people gathered around her when she left the barn, it was wild. To see everybody following her and taking pictures of her was a blast. Of course she did a little dance for everyone and she seemed to really enjoy it. And the greatest thing about the whole thing was watching her train over the surface. She was really aggressive, but happy. She wanted to get over the ground, she wanted to do more, which was important. To me that means she was happy out there and she liked the footing, she liked the track. Steve Willard, their gallop boy, was really happy with the way she went. He said she went over the ground really good so that's definitely a plus.

Earlier in the morning, before they took her out, [trainer] John [Shirreffs] got tired of walking her so I walked her for a few rounds. She stood and posed for pictures with all the photographers for about two or three seconds and then we went on our way again. I'm usually not a hot walker so that was amazing. She was so excited just to see everybody, but we hung out for a little bit. She knows I'm here.

That's the great thing about Zenyatta: Everybody loves her, from 3-year-old little girls to 80-year-old men. She's loved by all, and that's pretty neat.

Today at the barn, Pat Day stopped by to check on Zenyatta and say "hi" to me. Back in the day, he'd have been trying to take her from me. We were joking about it, I could have ridden her 10 times and won on her 10 times, but back in his reign, he could have walked into the barn before that 11th race and gotten on her. He was strong that way. But now I'm blessed, I'm at a place in my career where I don't ride many anymore; I just try to ride quality and I'm blessed to be riding for people like the Mosses and John. It's just a great place to be and it was great to see Pat -- and Angel Cordero Jr. this morning, he stopped by the barn, too -- wishing me the best. You know, I was like their little mascot at one time, they kind of raised me, and I can see it in their eyes and their faces that they're proud, and that means a lot to me.

Today I worked out, got a massage, relaxed. I had dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Moss tonight, and tomorrow we have a satellite media conference from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Then we're going to pretty much shut it down, no more interviews. That's our time to focus, to get ready for Friday and Saturday. But I'll still keep you updated through this blog, and I'll have thoughts to share about what it's like to ride Zenyatta as the time gets closer. Thanks for all your words of encouragement, they mean the world to me. Two more days!



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