01/17/2008 12:00AM

Belmont moment named best


The victory by Rags to Riches in the 2007 Belmont Stakes was overwhelmingly selected as the "NTRA Moment of the Year" over 11 other selections by participants in an online poll conducted by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Fifty-one percent of the poll participants selected the Belmont win, in which Rags to Riches became the first filly to win the Belmont in 102 years by dueling Preakness winner Curlin for nearly the entire length of the stretch. The next-highest vote-getter was the euthanization of Barbaro, the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner, with 17 percent of the vote. Curlin's victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic was third, with 10 percent.

The NTRA will recognize the selection by honoring the Belmont win with the "Moment of the Year Award" during the Eclipse Award ceremony Monday in Beverly Hills, Calif. The NTRA began conducting the Moment of the Year poll in 1999.