Henry Ward Beecher wrote, “It is defeat that turns bone to flint; it is
defeat that turns gristle to muscle; it is defeat that makes men
And apparently women. For Zenyatta, her defeat in
the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic will be remembered as an affirmation of
her greatness. In victory after victory, she captured the heart. In her
lone defeat, she captured the soul. All this remarkable mare lost in
the Classic was her unbeaten record. But, like Seattle Slew’s memorable
nose defeat in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), her courageous
performance actually will enhance her place in history.
Although she will not retire undefeated, Zenyatta proved in the end that perfection is not always measured in numbers.