11/24/2009 2:38PM

No Dual Option


Eclipse Award voters will not be given the option of naming Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta as joint Horse of the Year honorees, it was decided Tuesday morning by a 2-1 vote of the three organizations that present the awards.

The proposal to alow voters to choose co-winners this year was supported by Daily Racing Form but opposed by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the National Turf Writers Association.

Any "split" votes will not be counted. The net result is that the only way both horses could win the award is in the highly unlikely case of a statistical dead-heat among the roughly 250 voters.

I'm on record as supporting a dual-winners option and was disappointed by the outcome. I'll make a choice by Jan. 4, when ballots are due, and root for that highly unlikely statistical dead-heat.

It will be interesting to see if in fact every HOTY vote will be cast for one of the two favorites or whether a close vote might be decided by the oddball selections some voters feel compelled to cast. Last year, for example, Curlin (154), Zenyatta (69) and Big Brown (13) combined to receive only 235 of the 242 HOTY votes; there were two votes cast for Raven's Pass, two abstensions, and one each for Einstein, Goldikova and Peppers Pride. Curlin received 239 of the 242 champion older-male votes, with one each going to Albertus Maximus, Commentator and Go Between. Zenyatta got 240 of the 242 champion older-filly votes, with two people voting for Ginger Punch.

taketheredeye More than 1 year ago
There is only one choice, Rachel won more against better and more decivally (dose spelling count)
charles More than 1 year ago
Rachel will probably win HOTY but anybody who believes that Rachel can beat Zenyatta on synthetic or dirt or turf at 10 furlongs are just kidding themselves...
charles More than 1 year ago
2 voted for Ginger Punch last year? WOW! Were these 2 voters from the east coast? If this was true then Rachel will be HOTY!
Tomerika More than 1 year ago
In looking at the overall body of work for this year. To me Rachel has the more impressive numbers. 5 Grade 1 races (3 against the boys and 1 of then against older boys). Beating Summer Bird by 6 in the Haskell, and then have S.B. return and win the Travers and Jockey Club flatter her more. Though Zenyatta career record makes her a legend, and the B.C. a classic moment in racing, her year is somewhat limited and was played a little too safely. Though racing on the "artificial" surfaces of California should not deminish her abilities, you still have to wonder how well did the compentition (especially the East Coast Dirt horses) handle it? There is such a thing as home field advantage. In the end Z may still have the last laugh. Will be looking foward to see Rachel run at 4 if they choose to do so. Zenyatta did not leave a whole lot of room for error. Then we may have a better idea which horse was the best and a lot of "I told you so's."
Paula C. Rust More than 1 year ago
If Jesse Jackson doesn't want to share HOY, then he doesn't have to... The only answer is for ZENYATTA to WIN -- Because She has a spectacular rump ! (Hehe)
KenfromRI More than 1 year ago
I have posted on another blog what I think to be the best answer to this predicament in light that I think most fans believe both horses to have had a year more historic than the majority of HOTY winners. Toss HOTY award and announce ZENYATTA-HISTORIC MARE of 2009 and RACHEL ALEXANDRA-HISTORIC FILLY OF 2009. By awarding such historic awards the racing world can accomplish 3 things: 1. Not slight either by calling one of them HOTY at the expense of the other 2. Acknowledge that both have had a year that is greater than most HOTY accomplish. 3. Both will always be remembered in reference to the other because of the special awards of 2009.
JIM R. More than 1 year ago
In response to rr:the baseball analogy doesn't make sense because RACHEL DIDN'T LOSE so how can you make that comparison to a team getting knocked out in the playoffs also what if a lesser horse won the breeders cup should we elect the winner horse of the year over what Rachel has done?! Rethink your logic.
ponyman More than 1 year ago
GOOD LUCK HIALEAH--Hope to see you soon when thoroughbreds run. Love the flamingos. Was it the 7th race?
mark sheehey More than 1 year ago
You can't compare superstars in any sport from different eras. The shame of all this is that arguably the two best females of all time competing in the SAME era won't get to prove it on the track against each other. Rachel was there, fillies, colts, older males,dirt,sloppy and she's still going to be there waiting albeit a lifetime for that synthetic track specialist to show up..My vote will always be for Rachael...
ejs More than 1 year ago
2009 Earnings: Zenyatta: $3,330,000 Rachel Alexander: $2,746,914 Longest Distance Negotiated: Zenyatta 1 1/4 Rachel 1 3/16 Highest Weight Carried: Zenyatta 129 Grade 1 Vanity (Place Horse 114) Rachel 121 Weights Received Zenyatta 3 lbs in Classic Rachel 5 lbs in Preakness 5 lbs in Haskell 8 lbs in Woodward