From the National Thoroughbred Racing Association
The historic victory by Rags to Riches over Curlin in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) has been voted the 2007 National Thoroughbred Racing Association “Moment of the Year.”
The connections of Rags to Riches, whose Belmont Stakes win was the first by a filly in 102 years, will be honored at the Eclipse Awards ceremony Jan. 21 in Beverly Hills, Calif., with the “NTRA Moment of the Year” award. Rags to Riches is owned by Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, and trained by Todd Pletcher.
Balloting was conducted at the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and offered voters 12 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 were:
--Barbaro is euthanized at the New Bolton Center due to complications from laminitis
--Reigning Horse of the Year Invasor defeats Premium Tap to take the Dubai World Cup (gr. I)
--Street Sense ends the “Juvenile Jinx” by winning the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) going away under jockey Calvin Borel
--Curlin catches Street Sense in the stretch to capture the Preakness Stakes (gr. I)
--Still going strong at age 9, The Tin Man wins the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) off an eight-month layoff
--Rags to Riches outduels Curlin and becomes first filly in 102 years to win the Belmont Stakes
--With trainer Doug O’Neill listening to the race call from a pub in Ireland, Lava Man comes on again in deep stretch to win his third consecutive Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I)
--Lawyer Ron overcomes wide journey from post 10 to capture the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) and break the Saratoga track record for 1 1/8 miles
--Racing legend John Henry dies at the Kentucky Horse Farm at the age of 32
--Midnight Lute unleashes a stunning rally to blow away his rivals in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I)
--Ginger Punch bulls her way through on the inside to win the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I)
--Curlin runs down Lawyer Ron, Street Sense, and Hard Spun en route to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I)
The winning entry received 51% of the 1,750 votes cast. The runner-up moment was the euthanization of Barbaro, which received 17%. Finishing third in the vote with 10% was Curlin’s win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Tied for fourth with 7% each were the death of John Henry and the victory by Street Sense in the Kentucky Derby.
The first-ever NTRA Moment of the Year was the touching scene involving Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes. The following year’s winner was the stretch run of the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic, in which Tiznow held on for a dramatic victory over 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 Preakness Stakes. Last year, fans paid tribute to the emotional scene at the New Bolton Center as Barbaro recovered from the serious injury he suffered during the Preakness Stakes.
“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 of communications and industry relations. “In a year with so many memorable moments, Rags to Riches clearly stood out in the hearts and minds of horse racing fans. We are delighted to salute her marvelous Belmont victory as the latest NTRA Moment of the Year.”