01/19/2010 12:23AM

And the Winners Were...


BEVERLY HILLS -- The 130-99 tally in Rachel Alexandra's favor was the closest Horse of the Year margin since the one-man/one-vote system replaced an electoral-college scheme seven years ago, but still not the widely expected squeaker:

The outcome would have been the same under the system that was used from 1972 to 2002, where the winner was chosen on a 10-5-1 system awarded to the top three choices of each of the three voting groups -- the National Turf Writers Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (or TRA prior to 1999.), This year, a majority of each groups' voters went for Rachel: the NTWA by 71 votes to 51, DRF by 31-23 and the NTWA by 28-25.

The voting for the other 16 Eclipse Awards (full breakdowns will be posted below later tonight) was in general suprisingly lopsided. The only vote closer than Horse of the Year was the one for Outstanding Owner, where Godolphin Racing edged Jerry & Ann Moss by a 61-56 tally in a category where 11 different people or entities received votes.

Other categories that had been widely considered close calls weren't: Goldikova over Ventura for Turf Female was 172-41; Kodiak Kowboy over Zensational for Male Sprinter was 118-54; Steve Asmussen took the trainers' award 130-57; and Julien Leparoux was voted Outstanding Jockey over Garrett Gomez 122 to 46, with Ramon Dominguez just one vote back in third with 45.

The results are sure to be widely interpreted along several different lines. Zenyatta's most ardent fans were visibly disappointed and will feel that the national electorate is biased against horses who do not race outside of California. (Several tables of California racing officials and local horsemen appeared to stare at their silverware and fail to applaud when Rachel was announced as the Horse of the Year.) Others will regard the decision not to give the award to a Breeders' Cup race winner for two years running as a repudiation of that series' claim to be the sport's definitive championship, and in particular of the organization's controversial decision to run the last two Cups on a synthetic main track at Santa Anita .

Here are the winners and the percentages of the first-place votes they received:


(Note: Chart revised 1/21/10 to reflect the reallocation of the vote mistakenly cast for Icon Project as champion Older Filly or Mare, which has now been officially reallocated to Zenyatta.)

Here are the complete voting totals:

2-Year-Old Male: Lookin At Lucky, 209; Vale of York, 17; Buddy’s Saint, 2; Noble’s Promise, 2; D’Funnybone, 1; Jackson Bend, 1.

2-Year-Old Filly: She Be Wild, 171; Blind Luck, 41; Hot Dixie Chick, 17; Awesome Maria, 1; Biofuel, 1; Tapitsfly, 1.

3-Year-Old Male: Summer Bird, 225; Mine That Bird, 4; Blame, 1; I Want Revenge, 1; No Vote, 1.

3-Year-Old Filly: Rachel Alexandra, 232.

Older Male: Gio Ponti, 184; Einstein (BRZ), 18; Kodiak Kowboy, 16; Macho Again, 5; Furthest Land, 2; Rail Trip, 2; Well Armed, 1; Voter Abstentions, 4.

Older Female: Zenyatta, 231; Icon Project, 1.

Female Sprinter: Informed Decision, 222; Ventura, 6; Game Face, 1; Indian Blessing, 1; Music Note, 1; Diamondrella, 1.

Male Sprinter: Kodiak Kowboy, 118; Zensational, 54; Dancing in Silks, 43; Fabulous Strike, 9; California Flag, 6; Vineyard Haven, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Male Turf Horse: Gio Ponti, 206; Conduit, 22; Presious Passion, 3; Court Vision, 1.

Female Turf Horse: Goldikova (IRE), 172; Ventura, 41; Magical Fantasy, 7; Midday (GB), 7; Pure Clan, 3; Forever Together, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1;

Steeplechase Horse: Mixed Up, 209; Red Letter Day, 3; Voter Abstentions, 20.

Horse of the Year: Rachel Alexandra, 130; Zenyatta, 99; Voter Abstentions, 2; No Vote, 1.

Outstanding Owner: Godolphin Racing, 61; Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss, 56; Juddmonte Farms, 40; WinStar Farm, 38; Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick, 15; Augustin Stables, 7; Michael Gill, 6; Darley Stable, 3; Zayat Stables, 2; Heiligbrodt Racing Stables, 1; Midwest Thoroughbreds, 1; Voter Abstentions, 2.

Outstanding Breeder: Juddmonte Farms, 157; Adena Springs, 44; Dolphus Morrison, 16; Maverick Productions, Ltd., 3; WinStar Farm, 3; Eugene Melnyk, 2; Darley Stable, 1. Voter Abstentions, 6.

Outstanding Trainer: Steve Asmussen, 130; John Shirreffs, 57; Jonathan Sheppard, 19; Bob Baffert,10; Saeed bin Suroor, 5; Bobby Frankel, 4; Jerry Hollendorfer, 2; Hal Wiggins, 2; Todd Pletcher, 2; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Outstanding Jockey: Julien Leparoux, 122; Garrett Gomez,46; Ramon Dominguez, 45; Calvin Borel, 13; Mike Smith, 3; Kent Desormeaux, 2; Russell Baze, 1.

Apprentice Jockey: Christian Santiago Reyes, 93; Luis Saez, 48; Luis Batista, 47; Inez Karlsson, 8; Michael Straight, 4; Omar Moreno, 3; Jose Vega, 3; Tony Maragh, 2; Casey Papineau, 1; Angel Serpa, 1; Voter Abstentions, 21, No Vote, 1.

Rachel Fan More than 1 year ago
First off there was nothing classy about the way that Jerry Moss handled losing on Monday night, that was the worst form of sportsmanship from an adult nonetheless that I’ve ever seen in all my days. He seemed childish and immature and looked as if he wanted to spar with Jess Jackson for more than the customary 12 rounds. I for one applaud his new sense of meeting on the track now as he’s been quoted as saying that whenever R.A. is nominated for a race they will take a race and may end up in the starting gate with her. As for the HOY results, we’ve all got to get past this, its over and done with, the horse with the best campaign won and that’s all there is to it. And remember the horse that won HOY won it on the track not in the media coverage of 1 huge race and not in the media coverage of 2 retirement parties and not with Jess Jackson in front of a mic proclaiming how deserving of HOY Rachel was. Jess Jackson put hurdles in front of her and she cleared them, Oaks, Preakness, MG, Haskell, Woodward. Mr. Moss decided they would follow the same old boring path they did last year with one major change and it backfired on him again. I will repeat again, for those of you that follow horse racing and for those of you owners that race your horses, “You Cannot Back into or use the Back Door to Eclipse awards. You have to go get them. Racing against allowance or lower quality horses for 4 races outside of LIS and then beating the boyz in the Classic on her preferred surface while being the most rested horse in the starting gate everytime out does not conjure up images of HOY, to some it conjures up images of Pepper’s Pride. This year it would seem that Mr. Moss is going to be up to the challenge of allowing his horse to prove her greatness and overcome hurdles and obstacles on dirt the surface that champions have been crowned on for years. We will see if this comes to be.
Leon More than 1 year ago
rcoulter: Zenyatta was 5-5 in 2009, NOT 14-14. You still fail to realize that. It's over. Done. Stick a fork in it. RA is HOTY. Look at it this way. Zenyatta did not retire, and she will be running out of SoCal this year. They have finally realized that Zenyatta deserves tests on dirt and against other than Socal competition, so after all those accomplishments she's already achieved, she could also have a REAL campaign for the ages in 2010, the one denied to her by her conservative owners the last two years, costing her the HOTY award twice! Moreover, if Zen & RA finally meet, you might still have bragging rights...It's all good! Don't worry, be happy! Rachel's fans are....
r coulter More than 1 year ago
for everybody that is saying that Z only had one race 1) the Milady has traditionally been a race that the Gr stake commitee has bounced back and forth Gr. 1 GR.2 for some unknown reason many ,many champion mares from both east and west have participated in this race. given this knowledge it is arguable that Z has won 10 GR1s 5/5 in GRIs This yr All For 3&ups although 4 were for F&M no disgrace there she is after all a mare I don't think any of you would argue that the BELDAME is a PIG RACE I know I wouldn't. 2) for all that keep saying that RA had the greatest 3yr F campaign I say purchase the book CHAMPIONS from drf and check out Twilight tear, Busher, Beldame , Winning colors & others before you make that claim.3)for sombody out there when does the modern era start that is like a TV comercial disclaimer 4) for everybody stop with the record this record that she set no track records so-called length records have no meaning especially in 2 or 3 horse races i.e. Man'o'war's 100 or Big Reds 31 or RA's 20 5) get a copy of CHAMPIONS do the final fractions for every champ that ever ran a 100 speed rating I'VE done it you WILL NOT Find any that will approach What Z has done multiple times 6) understand that 2yr old Gr,1 are not 3yr old Gr. 1 are not 3&UP Gr. 1's that part should be simple.7) eclipses started in '71 from there foward check the number of horses that won Championships exclusively on one circuit or al most exclusivly on one circuit you will find many. 8) no horses are bred for synthetic, thats weak 9)there are different kinds of synthetic they don't all play the same. 10) Zenyattas's home is hollywood not Santa Anita its where she lives and always has so don't use the home track advantage card.
Mike More than 1 year ago
I'm really getting tired of the continued whining of some Zenyatta supporters. "She was obviouslt the best horse!" "She would have blown RA's doors off!" Well, sorry, but these are not facts- they are opinions. In attempting to compare 2 horses with perfect records for the year, the facts say that Z had 5 wins, all in Southern California, 1 of which rated as historic. In almost any other year she would be HOTY easily. BUT the facts also show that Rachel won 8 races, in several different states, 3 of which at least were historic performances. She cannot be denied the title. This is not a putdown of Zenyatta, it's simply that Rachel accomplished just enough more than her in 2009. As for 2010, I hope they both stay in shape long enough to settle things definitively on the track.
Luisbe More than 1 year ago
Recoulter, did you know they were naming HOY 2009? RA never lost last year (9 wins) as well as Z (5 wins). Also, nobody seemed to analyze that a 3yo campaign like this one is much more important than a 5yo campaign, just for the simple reason a horse is developed at 5yo.
rcoulter More than 1 year ago
The very first horse in the DRF book CHAMPIONS, Beldame at 3 (yeah even you story tellers no that name) WAS 12 FOR 14 WON 10 STAKES BEAT STAKES MALES 6 TIMES BEAT OLDER STAKES MALES 4 TIMES INCLUDING THE 7f CARTER AND THE SARATOGA CUP at 1 3/4 miles, the Ladies, the Gazelle, the Alabama, ran 3rd in the Metropolitan hdcp. and 2nd in the Test which at that time was for open company males. She beat older males in the 17 horse Carter on Apr. 15th in her 1st start of the year. Thats the very first horse in the book. many other fillies have done things similar to RA but none have made it to 14-0 except Zenyatta and only Colin at 15-0 has a better record he never raced past 3 and never faced older 12 of his 15 wins were sprints. Citation stayed undefeated for 5 starts and was beat by a filly in his first major stake Zenyatta has won 12 consecutive graded stakes never raced in a grade 3 RA has lost several gr. 3's...
C More than 1 year ago
In 2003, Pleasantly Perfect won the Classic, but didn't do enough to match Mineshaft's 4 G1s during the rest of the year. In 2001, Tiznow won his 2nd Classic, beating a strong field, but it wasn't enough to overcome Point Given's 5 G1s and the fact that he became the only horse to win 4 $1 million races in a row... and all of those wins came in races restricted to 3YOs. Nobody screamed East coast bias then, so why now? Just like 2001 and 2003, Zenyatta was great, but she simply didn't accomplish enough, even with the Classic win, to match what Rachel had done during the year. Like the 2001 and 2003 races, this race for HoY was over before the Breeders Cup. Why the sour grapes now... where was the east/west outcry in 2001 and 2003?
grasslover More than 1 year ago
Some shout outs: Pippen0707: When RA wins HOY it is an East Coast bias; when TVG gushes over Z, there is seemingly nothing wrong with that. Go figure. Steve T: Pretty strong words. If RA beats Z will you send in a follow up comment? John: It was Prove Out who beat Secretariat in the Woodward; Sham finished ahead of Big Red in the Wood Memorial. Bigjc: It's too bad RA ducked Z in the BC Classic? Can I say it's too bad Z ducked every other state in the union? Turner: Z should win HOY because of a win in the BC Classic? How about Arcangues? Mikiebabes: Excellent post! Spot on!
gofor_broke More than 1 year ago
I know Steve and others think there was too much bashing of 2 quality fillies. But I think if a mare who never raced outside SoCal all year, never ran a dirt race all year, had denied Rachel the HOY, the anger and bashing would have been 100 times more. If Zenyatta is better, go win some dirt races. Forget about Rachel. Get out of SoCal and have a year on dirt. When she is retired, she is going to be compared to dirt horses. Not just Rachel. Look at the list of great US horses. From Man O War, to Citation, Native Dancer, Tom Fool, Count Fleet, Kelso, Dr. Fager, all the great ones in the '70's. They are all judged on their dirt form. Get away from Lethal Heat and start running on dirt.
dogs up More than 1 year ago
STEVE To sign/write on your dvd use a silver permanent marker pen