Zenyatta was more honorable in defeat than at any time during her 19 win streak.
Left with an almost impossible task, spotting 20 lengths to the best horses in the world, she finished like a train and almost pulled of a sensational victory in the Breeder's Cup classic at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
This horse is almost human. Her little Riverdance before she entered the stalls, her fine walk, keen eye and intelligent head mark her as an incredible champion with a personality to match.
Hearts were pounding all over Louisville as she made her flying late run down the center of the track. Gareth Gomez on Blame however, had stolen that extra half yard that made all the difference in the end.
When it comes to timing there are none better than Gomez who has a stopwatch in his head and knew exactly when to kick for home.
Blame held on by his chinni chin chin, but he is aptly named as Mike Smith, rider of Zenyatta, blamed himself for the tardy beginning and slowness to get Zenyatta into the race.
Yet he should not be too hard on himself. Perfection is for the movies, and even Secretariat was beaten several times, as was the mighty Cigar who tasted defeat in his sixteenth race.
Could Zenyatta have won?
Possibly with Garett Gomez riding, he is that good in a big race. But Smith will know that, in the end, after nineteen races, something was sure to go wrong at some point and it did at Churchill Downs.
It doesn't make her any less a champion and Guinness should still offer her that free flight to come over to Dublin and taste the product she devours after every race!