The historic victory by the undefeated Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I)—the first in the race by a female—has been voted the 2009 National Thoroughbred Racing Association Moment of the Year.
The connections of Zenyatta will be honored at the Eclipse Award ceremony Jan. 18, in Beverly Hills, Calif., with the "NTRA Moment of the Year" award. This is the second consecutive year that Zenyatta has been honored with a Moment of the Year award. This year’s balloting was conducted at the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and offered voters 14 different images illustrating a wide range of human emotions as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. The images and events that fans chose from, with percentage of votes they received in parentheses, were:
• Zenyatta remains undefeated and becomes first female to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (68%)
• Rachel Alexandra holds off her male elders in the Woodward Stakes (10%)
• Mine That Bird posts stunning, 50-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby (9%)
• Rachel Alexandra turns back the late charge of Mine That Bird in the Preakness (5%)
• Rachel Alexandra runs off with the Kentucky Oaks by more than 20 lengths (2.1%)
• Rachel Alexandra toys with the boys in the Haskell Invitational (2%)
• I Want Revenge overcomes a horrific start to capture the Wood Memorial (0.9%)
• Linda Rice becomes the first woman to win the Saratoga training title (0.7%)
• Well Armed blows away the field in the Dubai World Cup (0.6%)
• Presious Passion fires out to a 20-length lead en route to course record win in United Nations (0.5%)
• Summer Bird registers historic triumph in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (0.2%)
• Gio Ponti captures his fourth consecutive grade I score in the Arlington Million (0.1%)
• Goldikova wins her second straight Breeders’ Cup Mile (0.1%)
• Conduit runs down the stubborn Presious Passion for a repeat score in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (0.1%)
The first-ever “NTRA Moment of the Year” was the touching scene involving Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The following year’s winner was the stretch run of the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which saw Tiznow hold on for a dramatic victory against Giant’s Causeway. Tiznow won again the following year as fans selected his stirring repeat victory in the Classic over Sakhee.
In 2002, fans cited the passing of the last living Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. In 2003, the popular Kentucky Derby win by Funny Cide was selected. Birdstone’s upset win in the Belmont Stakes over Smarty Jones took down top honors for 2004. In 2005, fans selected Afleet Alex’s spectacular victory in the 2005 Preakness Stakes. Voters in 2006 chose Barbaro’s gallant struggle to recover from his Preakness injury while at the New Bolton Center. The 2007 Moment of the Year was Rags to Riches’ historic victory over Curlin in the Belmont Stakes. Last year, it was Zenyatta’s win in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic.
“The NTRA Moment of the Year award is a great way for the fans to play an active role in the Eclipse Awards ceremony," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president. “Fans clearly love Zenyatta, and we are delighted to salute her unforgettable Breeders’ Cup Classic victory as the latest NTRA Moment of the Year.”