By Eric Mitchell and
Zenyatta, the daughter of Street Cry who sustained her only loss in 20 starts when second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), was honored Jan. 17 as North America’s Horse of the Year for owners Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs.
|Her Career in photos.|
The winner, announced during the Eclipse Awards dinner, received 128 first-place votes, edging out Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame , who received 102 votes. The third finalist for Horse of the Year honors, Goldikova, received five votes. There was one abstention and two no votes.
Moss congratulated the connections of Blame, noting “Blame is a wonderful racehorse.”
"It has been a great honor to be associated with the other two finalists," Moss said while accepting the award. He went on to acknowledge Zenyatta's breeder Eric Kronfeld of Maverick Productions, Don Robinson who foaled and raised the champion at his Winter Quarters Farm, and bloodstock agent David Ingordo, who bought her at auction, and Jeanne and April Mayberry of Mayberry Farm near Ocala, where Zenyatta was broke and trained. All these people were on stage with the the Mosses.
"(Mayberry Farm) called David and said we've got this filly here and you'd better get a good name for her," Moss said. "He asked why. They said, well you've either got one fast horse or a lot slow ones, because they all need two strides for every one she takes."
After the award presentation, Moss urged the industry to pay more attention to the fans of horse racing.
"I came from an industry that sued its fans when they started stealing music through Napster," he said. "There is sentiment in this business and you have to play to it. It is true in show business and it is true in racing. If you have a horse who gets people in the heart, then they want to came see them and get to know more about them, and you have the Beatles again."
Blame's co-owner/breeder Adele Dilschneider said Zenyatta was a wonderful mare and had a wonderful team.
"I'm thrilled for her," she said. "I'm glad it's over and everything has been decided. We are as proud as we can be of our horse. He's done nothing but make us thrilled, and I'm glad to be a part of him."
Blame's trainer Al Stall Jr. said no one on the Classic winner's team is disappointed.
"We did the best we could do," he said. "We showed up every time and won them all except for one. We were pointing for the Breeders' Cup Classic and answered the bell that day. That was our main goal all year and after that whatever happens happens. We're good. We're going to keep going to work and Claiborne is going to keep breeding horses, and we'll just try to do it again."
The Eclipse Awards are voted on and presented by the NTRA, Daily Racing Form (DRF) and National Turf Writers And Broadcasters (NTWAB). The votes are tabulated and certified by Strothman and Company.
Winners in all categories (horse ages in parenthesis where applicable) were announced at the 40th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Fla.
The winners, in each category, were:
— 2-Year-Old Male: Uncle Mo
— 2-Year-Old Filly: Awesome Feather
— 3-Year-Old Male: Lookin At Lucky
— 3-Year-Old Filly: Blind Luck
— Older Male: Blame (4)
— Older Female: Zenyatta (6)
— Female Sprinter: Dubai Majesty (5)
— Male Sprinter: Big Drama (4)
— Male Turf Horse: Gio Ponti (5)
— Female Turf Horse: Goldikova (5)
— Steeplechase Horse: Slip Away (7)
— Owner: WinStar Farm
— Breeder: Adena Springs
— Jockey: Ramon Dominguez
— Apprenctice jockey: Omar Moreno
—Trainer: Todd Pletcher
In voting that concluded Jan. 4, 2011, Eclipse Awards voters cast their ballots to rank the top three horses and individuals in each championship division on a 10-5-1 point system basis. This voting established the top three finalists in each division, the names of which were released on Jan. 6, 2011. Eclipse Award winners; however, were determined by first-place votes only.
The tallies below represent only first-place votes from members of the consolidated voting entities, NTRA/Equibase, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers And Broadcasters.
Voter participation rate: 238/251 = 94.8%
2-Year-Old Male (Name, First-Place Votes)
Uncle Mo, 236; Boys at Tosconova, 1; Pluck, 1.
Awesome Feather, 235; Turbulent Descent, 2, More Than Real, 1.
Lookin At Lucky, 224; Eskendereya 5; Drosselmeyer, 3; Afleet Express, 1; Discreetly Mine, 1; Paddy O’Prado, 1; Super Saver, 1; Smiling Tiger, 1; Twirling Candy, 1.
Blind Luck, 237; No Such Word, 1.
Zenyatta, 237; Goldikova (IRE), 1.
Dubai Majesty, 232; Franny Freud, 3; Rightly So, 2; Serious Attitude, 1.
Big Drama, 170; Majesticperfection, 61; Discreetly Mine, 4; Bribon (FR), 1; Chamberlain Bridge, 1; Smiling Tiger, 1.
Male Turf Horse
Gio Ponti, 199; Dangerous Midge, 22; Champ Pegasus, 6; Winchester, 6; Paddy O’Prado, 5
Female Turf Horse
Goldikova (IRE), 212; Proviso (GB), 15; Tuscan Evening (IRE), 11
Slip Away, 175; Arcadius, 25; Percussionist (IRE), 6; Sermon of Love, 4; Voter Abstentions, 28.
WinStar Farm, 100; Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss, 81; Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider 16; Midwest Thoroughbreds 15; Juddmonte Farms, 5; Zayat Stables, 5; Repole Stable 3; Edward P. Evans, 2; Augustin Stable 1; Melnyk Racing Stables 1; Maggi Moss, 1; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 1; Wertheimer and Frere, 1; Voter Abstentions, 6.
Adena Springs, 69; Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, 55; Brereton C. Jones, 43; WinStar Farm, 26; Edward P. Evans, 12; Maverick Productions, 10; Juddmonte Farms, 7; Gulf Coast Farms, 3; Ocala Stud, 2; Eugene Melnyk, 1; Pamela and Martin Wygod, 1; Voter Abstentions, 9.
Todd Pletcher, 168; John Shirreffs, 28; Jerry Hollendorfer, 17; Steve Asmussen, 8; Albert Stall, Jr., 5; W. Bret Calhoun, 4; Bob Baffert, 1; Freddy Head, 1; Juan Carlos Guerrero, 1; Kiaran McLaughlin, 1, Bill Mott, 1; Voter Abstentions, 2; No Vote, 1.
Ramon Dominguez, 124; Garrett Gomez, 60, John Velazquez, 32; Mike Smith, 13; D.L. Parker, 3; Joel Rosario, 2; Kent Desormeaux, 1; Russell Baze, 1. No Vote, 1; Voter Abstention, 1.
Outstanding Apprentice Jockey
Omar Moreno, 197; Forest Boyce, 6; Freddy Lenclud, 4; Angel Serpa, 4; Luis Saez, 3; Tyler Kaplan 1; Marcelino Pedroza, Jr., 1; Voter Abstentions, 20; No Vote, 2.