05/27/2015 2:33PM

Zenyatta in foal to War Front for 2016


Champion Zenyatta was confirmed in foal to Claiborne Farm stallion War Front on Wednesday, carrying what would be her fourth foal. The official Zenyatta website reported that the 2010 Horse of the Year was scanned 36 days in foal after an April cover.

The foal will be the second between War Front and Zenyatta, an 11-year-old Street Cry mare, after first producing a filly in 2014. However, that filly was euthanized at six months old following a paddock accident. Zenyatta was not bred for the 2015 foaling season.

Zenyatta resides at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky., where she has been boarded since her retirement in 2010 for owners Jerry and Ann Moss.

Her first foal, the Bernardini colt Cozmic One, made his first start on April 17 at Santa Anita, finishing last for the Mosses and trainer John Shirreffs. He and the mare’s second foal, the 2-year-old Tapit colt Ziconic, are currently in training at Belmont Park.

War Front has emerged as one of North America’s most popular commercial sires, standing at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky. for an advertised fee of $150,000 for 2015.

The 13-year-old son of Danzig has sired six crops of racing age, highlighted by Grade/Group 1 winners Declaration of War, The Factor, Warning Flag, Jack Milton, Data Link, War Command, and Summer Soiree, and Grade/Group 2 winners Lines of Battle, Departing, Summer Front, War Dancer, Soldat, Pontchatrain, and Bashart.

In total, War Front has sired 183 winners from his first six crops for combined progeny earnings of more than $27.9 million. He is the sire of 37 stakes winners.

Through May 25, War Front ranks 48th on this year’s North American general sires list, with 24 winners and combined progeny earnings of $1,579,457. His runners are led this year by Jack Milton, who won the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes at Keeneland in April.

While the Mosses are likely to keep the foal and campaign him or her as a homebred, as they have with Zenyatta’s previous foals, War Front has proven to be a highly coveted sire at auction.

His 21 yearlings sold at public auction in 2014 brought an average price of $543,457 and grossed $11,412,604. Five of those yearlings hammered for a seven-figure price, led by Air Vice Marshal, a colt out of the Arch mare Gold Vault who sold to M.V. Magnier of the Coolmore partnership for $2.2 million at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

War Front won four of 13 starts over three seasons, earning $424,205. He scored his signature victory in the Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap in 2006 at Saratoga and also placed in five graded stakes that season, including runner-up efforts in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes and Grade 1 Forego Stakes. Out of the stakes-winning Rubiano mare Starry Dreamer, the stallion is a half-brother to multiple Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Teammate, multiple Grade 3 winner Ecclesiastic, and stakes winner Riviera Cocktail.

Zenyatta, the 2010 Horse of the Year and champion older female in three consecutive years, won 19 of her 20 career starts, including the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic and the 2008 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. She won 13 total Grade 1 events and retired with earnings of $7,304,580, making her the all-time leader among North American females.

The mare also hails from an extremely productive female family. Her dam, the winning Kris S. mare Vertigineux, is the dam of five winners from six starters, including multiple Grade 1 winner and millionaire Balance and stakes winner Where's Bailey.

Vertigineux is a half-sister to stakes winner and producer Restrained; stakes winners Blash and National Service; Group 2-placed On the Staff, who is also a stakes producer. Their dam, the winning Forli mare For the Flag, is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner and stakes producer Helenska and to Miss Reality, the granddam of Canadian champion Sweetest Thing. It is the family of Kentucky Oaks winner Sweet Alliance, champion Shareef Dancer, and Grade 1 winner and successful sire Mizzen Mast.

Through the end of May, War Front had sired two foals of racing age out of Street Cry mares. Both have raced, and one is a winner, for combined earnings of $17,334.