Zenyatta created history by becoming the first mare to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic at an emotion-charged Santa Anita.
In keeping with all her previous victories – which had come against her own sex - she was settled right at the rear of the field by regular jockey Mike Smith.
With half a mile to run the five-year-old was still some 15 lengths off the pace being set by Godolphin’s Regal Ransom.
Johnny Murtagh booted Rip Van Winkle up into second but was one of the first beaten as Zenyatta began to make stealthy headway.
Gio Ponti hit the front with over a furlong to go but once the unbeaten star of American racing got into the clear there was only going to be one result.
Henry Cecil’s Twice Over ran an absolute screamer in third.
There was drama before the race had even begun when Todd Pletcher's Quality Road refused to go into the stalls and had to be scratched.
Zenyatta was a little reluctant to load first time around and thought about going in the stalls for a second time before finally relenting.
Smith kept his cool on the John Shirreffs-trained fans’ favourite and resisted the temptation to make his ground too early but she won going away to take her record to 14 from 14 – despite the fact it was her first race against the colts.
Shirreffs said: "Tears are coming to me eyes and I just can't believe it. What a great, great filly.
“She came out of the gate and was on the wrong lead and it took her a while to get going. She’s just all heart isn’t she?.
“I love everyone here. They cheer for her, they clap for her and she does a little dance for them – what a relationship.”