Paynter's recovery from life-threatening battles with laminitis and colitis after his victory in the 2012 Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) at Monmouth Park was voted by fans the 2012 National Thoroughbred Racing Association Moment of the Year.
The connections of Paynter will be honored with the "NTRA Moment of the Year" award at the Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form, The Stronach Group, and Breeders' Cup Jan. 19 at Gulfstream Park Racetrack and Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
This year's balloting was conducted at ntra.com and offered voters 12 different images illustrating a wide range of human emotions as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. Finishing second was the narrow victory by I'll Have Another over Bodemeister in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
The images and events that fans chose from, with percentage of votes they received in parentheses, were:
Paynter overcomes battles with laminitis and colitis and begins rehab for a possible 2013 campaign (27%).
I'll Have Another runs down Bodemeister to win the Preakness by a neck (13%).
Shackleford ends his career on a winning note in the grade I Clark Handicap (11%).
I'll Have Another and jockey Mario Gutierrez pull the upset from post 19 in the grade I Kentucky Derby (10%).
On the eve of a highly anticipated Triple Crown bid, I'll Have Another is scratched from the grade I Belmont Stakes (7%).
Rosie Napravnik becomes the first female jockey to win the grade I Kentucky Oaks, guiding Believe You Can to victory (5%).
Wise Dan breaks the course record in capturing the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) over an international field (5%).
For the second straight year, Royal Delta wins the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) for trainer Bill Mott and jockey Mike Smith, who registers his record 16th Breeders' Cup riding win (4%).
Shanghai Bobby digs in to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and remain undefeated (4%).
Groupie Doll trounces her opponents in the grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (1%).