Voting is underway at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Web site, www.ntra.com, for the fifth annual "NTRA Moment of the Year." Voters can choose from among 10 images, drawn from the year's racing through the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Those selecting the winning image automatically will be entered in a random drawing for a grand prize of $1,000. The winning moment will be announced at the Jan. 26, 2004, Eclipse Award ceremony in Hollywood, Fla. The moments were selected to illustrate a wide range of human emotions and achievements as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. Listed chronologically, the images and events that fans can choose from are:
--Funny Cide becomes first gelding in 74 years to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). --Jose Santos vindicated by Kentucky Racing Commission in post-Kentucky Derby investigation. --Empire Maker tops Ten Most Wanted, Funny Cide before 101,864 at the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). --"Seabiscuit" opens in theatres nationwide. --Storming Home bolts, dumps Gary Stevens just before the wire at the Arlington Million (gr. I). --The racing world mourns the passing of legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker. --Julie Krone becomes the first woman to win a Breeders' Cup flat race, guiding Halfbridled to victory from post 14 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). --Johar and High Chaparral combine to create the first dead heat in Breeders' Cup history in the John Deere Turf (gr. I). --Pleasantly Perfect captures the Breeders' Cup Classic--Powered by Dodge (gr. I), giving trainer Richard Mandella an incredible fourth Breeders' Cup winner of the day. --Jockey Jerry Bailey wins three graded stakes in one day at Aqueduct and breaks Mike Smith's 10-year-old record for most stakes victories in one year.
The first-ever "NTRA Moment of the Year" was the 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, 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. Last year fans cited the passing of the last living Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. "The NTRA Moment of the Year gives fans a voice and sense of ownership at the Eclipse Awards," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president-industry relations & marketing. "It allows them to salute the people, horses and memories that make our sport so appealing. We look forward to seeing which Moment they select as this year's winner." Fans 18 years and older can register to vote online at www.ntra.com. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday, January 19, 2004. Void where prohibited.