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Zenyatta heads for home

A devoted crowd celebrates a once-in-a-lifetime mare

Updated: November 22, 2010, 3:06 PM ET
By Claire Novak | ESPN The Magazine

OUTSIDE THE STABLES at Churchill Downs on Nov. 7, the line of cars stretches far into the distance. It's an unprecedented scene for the morning after race day. And at Barn 41, fingers grip the chain-link fence as necks crane for a glimpse of her: Zenyatta, the larger-than-life mare who, until the Breeders' Cup Classic yesterday, couldn't be beat.

In the postrace press conference after one last heroic closing rush came up a stride short, her Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith broke ...

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