Zenyatta falls short in quest for perfection

November 6, 2010 4:47:36 PM PDT
Perfection eluded Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday night when horse racing's superstar lost for the first time after 19 consecutive wins.

Blame won by a head in a thrilling finish with the mare, who made her way through traffic from last place while the crowd of 72,739 urged her on down the stretch under the lights at Churchill Downs.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith blamed himself for the loss.

"It was my fault," he said, sobbing. "She should've won."

It was so close, a matter of inches, the result had to be resolved by a photo -- a picture that broke the hearts of millions of Zenyatta fans around the world.

Blame went to the front in mid-stretch, then fought off another gutty run by Zenyatta, who ran well behind 11 rivals in her customary style.

Blame ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.28 and paid $12.40 to win at 5-1 odds. Fly Down was third, while Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky finished fourth.


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