Zixty minuteZ

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:48am

Unbeaten racing superstar Zenyatta will be featured on CBS television's 60 Minutes on Oct. 31, the Sunday night before the Breeders' Cup championships are held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. The appearance on the highly rated, long-running news magazine is the kind of exposure that few human athletes ever receive, much less a horse racing star. Whether Zenyatta wins or loses in her final career start in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 6, the industry and the Breeders' Cup surely have to be ecstatic that Queen Z's connections brought her back after almost retiring her last year. Her appearance means tremendous exposure for horse racing and the Breeders' Cup. 60 Minutes has averaged 13.7 million viewers per episode this year, according to USA Today.
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Following are the press notes from the Oak Tree Racing Association at Hollywood Park about Zenyatta and 60 Minutes (You can also read more at Fanhouse.com)


Superstar mare Zenyatta galloped on the main track under exercise rider Steve Willard Thursday in preparation for her finale in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on November 6.

A crew from the long-running, weekly “60 Minutes” television show has been following the 6-year-old mare this week for a segment to air October 31. Zenyatta, who has been based at Hollywood Park with trainer John Shirreffs throughout her career, remained unbeaten in 19 starts with a victory in the Lady's Secret Stakes over Cushion Track on October 2.

Zenyatta is scheduled for her next-to-last work for the Breeders' Cup Friday. She will be shipped to Kentucky on November 2.

  • Lost In The Fog

    This kind of exposure for Z and the sport of horse racing is priceless! Wonderful news.

  • Andrew A.

    Even money she’ll be even money in the Classic. That’s way too low for me.

  • DickHertz

    Great, exposure in a show that is watched by 83 year olds. Racing’s only thriving demographic. LOL

  • Ray Paulick


    The average age of a 60 Minutes viewer is actually about 61, which I guess means that for every 31 year old there must be one 91 year old. The show does attract older viewers. So does racing.

    I realize we’d be better getting some promotion on the Jackass 3D movie, but I don’t think it hurts for Zenyatta to be featured on one of the most popular and critically received shows in television history. Besides, CBS humps 60 Minutes heavily during the week, and especially during the NFL games on Sunday.

    Go Zenyatta Go.


  • RipVanWinkle

    Thanks to the Mosses for keeping Zenyatta in training and for Mr. Sherrriffs and his crew for keeping her happy and able to deliver her best 19 times in a row. The racing industry and BC will be receiving millions in free advertising.


    5 Grade One Wins

  • Mondatta

    Good one, Dick.

    Maybe we should just skip the 15 million viewers and the positive piece on racing because the audience skews older. Sheesh. Talk about glass half full.

    Up against college and pro football, the World Series and the start of the NBA season, it is a miracle the Breeders’ Cup gets any coverage at all.

  • What is really sad for Zenyatta and for racing is that this wasn’t happening a year ago.

    A year ago, she was unbeaten – and in the same style that she’s unbeaten today.

    A year ago, she was dancing in the paddock to everyone’s delight, she was playing carrots with her visitors, was photogenic, was physically and emotionally awe inspiring.

    A year ago, she was favorite for the BC Classic against the best in the world that showed up.

    I guess it takes a while for racing to catch on, and realize it finally has something worthy of more general interest.

    Way to go Zenyatta – against all odds, you finally caught their attention.

  • Glimmerglass

    Right, 60-Minutes is seen by just two guys in a room at a nursing home. Give me a break.


    Primetime Broadcast Network Total viewing (all ages) for the week ending October 17, 2010:

    #11 60 MINUTES

    For October 17, 2010:

    60 Minutes
    – 12.826 million viewers
    – 8.3/14 HH
    – 2.2/7 A18-49

    So mocking a reach of 2.2 million 18 to 49yr olds – which is more then the BC on ESPN and in person at Churchill and at OTBs across the nation – is of value why?

  • joe

    That strange sound comes from hardcore Eastern racing guys banging their heads against the wall while wondering how a CA horse can steal all media attention. They still plan to vote for any East Coast horse as HOTY though because geography matters more than perfection. :)

  • fairway

    Joe #9— The east coast lads are still scratching their heads about Sunday Silence over Easy Goer. I might add that Sunday Silence became Japan’s super stud with progeny earnings over 500 million in U.S. dollars.

  • thebigdog

    even money – that’s simply nuts ! she almost got beat by Swift last start in a heart-stopper. If Swift was in the race, she would be 99-1 !!! Please everyone, bet the grand old mare so I can get a price on either Blame or Quality Road. Mr. Sheriffs, there is still time to eneter against the “girls”

  • Michelle

    I just wish this media attention would have happened sooner, instead of at the end of her career. But at least its happening!

  • Anne

    Welllll about time someone is noticing this story and this mare outside of the racing public. No matter who has watched this show, you are right Ray, It might be too much to grasp by the Jackass group, her fans WILL be tuning in and taping, DVRing…whatever they have, to keep this piece in their racing archives. Too bad the sport itself didn’t promote her the way she should have been marketed when it was finally determined how good she really had become. But… never too late in my book. We will be spreading the word about her coming out party on the 31st. and who knows, it might be the number one show of that week. She will always be special in my heart along with her other fans.
    It was Switch not Swift in her last race.
    Deep closers will always have more problems ahead of them than a front runner or one that is close up to the pace. When to move on these horses, is also dangerous. This mare usually goes very wide which also hurts her chances in winning races. She just amazes me on her courage and determination. As Jerry Bailey was just quoted, “horse races are 90% horse.”
    The piece was written about her TV apperance and not whether you like her or not. It is a shot in the arm for horse racing which we should be happy for not complaining about who watches the show or who doesn’t. Or whether you like her or you don’t. Be proud it is one of our own and one who has given us some exciting moments in racing for the past 3 years. This of course, not counting her personality, that gives us all a thrill besides lighting up the You Tube site constantly.

  • Noelle

    thebigdog – She ALWAYS almost gets beat. Most of her races I’ve seen have been heart-stoppers. That’s the way Zenyatta runs. That’s how she won the BCC last year. I’m thinking – she can’t do it, she can’t do it – and then she does it.

    As to 60 Minutes – better late than never. Zenyatta’s finally commanding the level of national attention she’s long deserved just as she’s about to leave the stage.

  • MyBigRed

    Congratulations Team Zenyatta !! This reminds me of the days of Secretariat :) I watch 60 minutes every week & I’m not in my 60’s nor in a nursing home either!! I think it is GREAT news for Horse Racing Fans & The Breeder’s Cup. Hopefully 60 minutes will do a follow up story after Queen Zenyatta whops the boys :) You GO Girl !!

  • TheMightyCurlin

    YAHOO !! My Favorite Girl on 60 Minutes!! Now, how about Zenyatta on “Dancing with the Stars” ?? We all know she would win!! Zenyatta has more moves than most professional dancers & she doesn’t even have to wear a skimpy outfit!

  • MyBigRed

    Congratulations Team Zenyatta. This reminds me of the days of Secretariat. Not everyone who watchs 60 minutes is old. All of my brothers & sister watch it & we are not in our 60’s nor in a nursing home !! I think this is great for the Horse Racing Fans & The Breeder’s Cup. I hope 60 minutes will do a follow up story after The Queen, whops the boys. You Go Girl !!

  • ljk

    Assuming the attention draws a couple new fans to the BC broadcast, let’s all hope the track comes up fast so Shireffs doesn’t scratch the mare like the last time they went to Churchill.

  • Flame2005

    For post no. 11 – “thebigdog”

    LOL. While you are bashing Z and her connections, why not try getting your horse’s name correctly? It isn’t “Swift”, Mr. Brilliant. It’s “Switch”. Love it when people think they have some clever blurb to add and then lose the entire thing by not knowing what or whom they are talking about. Keep up the good work.

  • DickHertz

    I guess nobody read the LOL !

    It was a joke people. Time to turn the sensitivity meter down a few notches.


  • DickHertz

    Glimmerglass, each 18-49 rating point equals about 1.3 million people so a 2.2 rating is more like 3 million total adults in that demographic. The 2.2 is rating not a total number of viewers.

  • John

    Now perhaps Oprah’s producers pick up on this and schedule a special about Zenyatta in the week leading up to the BC…

  • thebigdog

    Swift , Switch, or Mr. Ed, she’s going to to burn more money than Bernie Madoff !
    Stick with the girls and let the BIGDOGS play Miss Z.

  • Tiznowbaby

    ljk, at least get your criticism correct. She was scratched because the track was SEALED, not because it was off. This has been trotted out over, and over, and over again.
    I think it’s fantastic. She’s an excellent ambassador.

  • Vicki

    I’ve already put my 2¢ in to the Oprah producers to add Zenyatta to their guest star line up in the near future, after all she was on Oprah’s Top 20 power player list. I guess CBS gets the jump on ABC this time around. Zenyatta looked really full of herself in her workout aired on TVG this morning. I’ve got to hand it to TVG they jumped on the Zenyatta bandwagon from the beginning, bravo for them. Go Zenyatta!

  • Bonnie

    So 60 mins. has a high age viewing? Do older people not enjoy the races? Do they not have children and grandchildren to share this with? My grandfather was the one who introduced me to racing and it’s because of him that I’m in love with racing. He would’ve loved Z. I think it’s awesome!

  • DonW

    It’s great that Zenyatta and the BC will be featured on 60 Minutes. The other night, my wife and I were in line at the theatre, buying tickets to see “Secretariat”. There was a family behind us, with two children. We were chatting and I asked the parents if they ever heard of Zenyatta or the Breeders Cup. They had not. But after talking with me, they’ll be watching.

  • LJBroussard

    How exciting that the lovely Zenyatta will be featured on 60 Minutes. Thanks for publicizing this, Mr. Ray and Paulick Boys; I wouldn’t have known to watch the show otherwise.

    Go Zenyatta go!


    P.S. Mr. Anonymous Dick Hurts, try to remember that not everyone spends his life on line, so not everyone knows what “LOL” means. URAD. FIS2U. WASF. GAPA. WAD. SUM. PED. SEP.

  • DickHertz

    I’ve seen LOL more in my lifetime via text than on the internet, it’s pretty common. And if you do not know who I am then you may be the last person on the planet earth who does not. I’m hardly anonymous.

  • s/s

    A year ago the RA touts were up in arms about a match race. Don’t seem to hear much from those kind anymore. Crickets.

  • DickHertz

    s/s – it’s amazing how much difference a year can make. Fate wasn’t on racing’s side I suppose.

  • Ida Lee

    So Zenyatta on 60 Minutes…OK that means I’ll be watching 60 Minutes for the first time ever but only her segment because I just don’t like those people, I don’t like the station, I don’t like the stories, I don’t like anything about them EXCEPT I LOVE ZENYATTA and I’ll watch just about anything to see my beautiful Queen being given the attention she so rightly deserves from outside the equine world. May I say that it’s going to break my heart when my beautiful boys (Quality Road, Blame, etc) get their butts kicked in the classic. I hope that just getting a view of that beautiful butt going by them will be enough to sooth their male egos.

  • race

    Hey everyone–Can we just all FOR ONCE BE HAPPY ABOUT SOMETHING?–Giminee, i’ts not about getting a price on another Horse in the Classic, it’s not about making fun of the viewers of 60 minutes, hey look in the mirror–wouldn’t you all just be happier if she won the damn race and retired Happy?–r

  • joe

    Hey race:
    HAPPY is the most important lesson the horse world can learn from the Zenyatta Experience. It is rewarding to keep horses happy.

  • LyndaP31

    This is great! But I can’t help but wonder, why do they have to wait until the end of her career to do something like this? People will watch 60 minutes, then watch the Classic, then she wins and people get excited, then BAM she’s retired. No time to enjoy her and she becomes a passing fancy, a day’s excitement. To them, a quick flash in the pan, even though she has been around for a few years. I have this feeling that horse racing just won’t ever get it.

  • markinsac

    BIG DOG, going into last year’s Classic, you could have said, “She only beat Anabaa’s Creation by a head, Anabaa would be 99-1 in the Classic, bet against Zenyatta, please!” If you watch the video of her last training session, you can see how they train her. Get up at the wire, no matter who it is. In her workouts, she beats the stable maiden horse by a neck. He’d be 999-1 in the Classic! I remember last year handicappers bemoaning her 5-2 odds. They said she’s not worth 5-2, even though she’s 13-13! Now she’s 19-19 and not worth 1-1? In the mathematics of horse racing, if you consider she’s 19-19, is the defending champion of the race, and her winning margins on dirt are more than twice as big as on synthetic, SHE MIGHT BE THE BEST EVEN-MONEY SHOT IN HISTORY!

  • markinsac

    One more thing, she’s on 60 minutes, instead of analizing their ratings, we should be celebrating the exposure we’re getting! Who cares if people are old or their hosts are older. Zenyatta is on a popular news program. Ive never hears so much whining over a good thing. Last time I checked, horse racing is on life support and you guys are complaining about the doctor.

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