Breeders Cup favourite Zenyatta Is Held Back Because She's Female

horse race

Zenyatta, the 8/5 favourite for this weekend’s Breeder’s Cup Classic, is a perfect 19-for-19 for her career. A win this weekend would give her the most wins in an undefeated career of any horse since 1874.

She’s won more than $6.4 million in prize money. She was named to Oprah’s 2010 Power List, had a song written about her, and might very well be the most valuable horse in the world right now.

But there’s one thing preventing her from being the most valuable horse ever: She’s a girl.

As big as prize money can be in major stakes racing, the real money in horse racing is breeding. Unfortunately for Zenyatta’s owners, female horses give birth to about one foal a year. Male horses, on the other hand, can father 150 horses in the same amount of time.

So even though Zenyatta is probably worth around $10 million as a global icon, she would be valued twice as highly on the open market if she were male.

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