11/19/2009 1:00AM

Zenyatta team garners honor


The Turf Publicists of America has named the human connections of 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Zenyatta as the recipients of the organization's Big Sport of Turfdom Award, the organization announced on Thursday.

The recipients will include Zenyatta's owners, Jerry and Ann Moss; her trainer, John Shirreffs, and his wife, Dottie, who is the Mosses' racing manager; and the mare's jockey, Mike Smith, the publicist's group said. Zenyatta raced five times this year and won all five starts, culminating with the Classic win over 11 male horses on Nov. 7 at Santa Anita. She is being retired with an undefeated record of 14 wins and career earnings of $5,474,580, a record for a filly or mare.

The Big Sport of Turfdom award is given annually by the Turf Publicists of America"to a person or group of people who enhances coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with the media and Thoroughbred racing publicists" The organization had previously given the award to the human connections of a specific horse in 1996, when it designated "Team Cigar" for the award. Cigar was a two-time Horse of the Year campaigned by Allen Paulson, trained by Bill Mott, and ridden by Jerry Bailey.

The recipients will be presented the award on Dec. 8 at a luncheon held in conjunction with the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing in Tucson, Ariz.