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This horse never came close to winning the Kentucky Derby, but won plenty of hearts anyway

Horse that never won a race won many hearts
Horse that never won a race won many hearts 02:49

Greenfield Center, New York — Not long ago, friends and fans gathered to pay their final respects to one of the most unlikely celebrities in sports — Zippy Chippy.

"It's heartbreaking to lose him," unofficial Zippy fan club president Rosanne Frieri told CBS News. "It could be a joke to some people. But the people who know the real story about Zippy, they're heartbroken."

Zippy Chippy, the grandson of Kentucky Derby winner Northern Dancer, was born into a racing royal family. Zippy, too, could have been one of the all-time greats — if only at the start of every race he just would have started.

Zippy never quite understood why everybody was in such a rush. As a result, he lost every race he was in — 0 for 100 (or 101 if you count the time he lost to a minor league baseball player). 

Zippy's record set a record for losingest racehorse ever.  

Felix Monserrate, Zippy's owner, trainer and faithful companion, died a few years ago but he never gave up on his horse. 

"Zippy is like my son. I like him a lot. And every time he runs, he makes me feel good," Monserrate told "CBS Sunday Morning." 

Zippy lived out the last leg of his life at the Old Friends at Cabin Creek retirement farm in upstate New York. He died last month at the age of 31, and is now being celebrated — finally — as the winner that he was.

"In a sport that winning is everything, Zippy taught us that losing is a normal thing," an emotional Frieri said. 

Frieri said people found Zippy to be relatable. 

"I think we all see ourselves in Zippy because it was always on Zippy's terms. Whatever Zippy wanted, Zippy did," she said. 

At the Kentucky Derby, all that matters is speed. But Zippy reminds us there's more to life than running for the roses. Sometimes it's better to just stop and smell them.

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