12/17/2010 2:45PM

Zenyatta vs. Blame: Kenny Peck's vote for Horse of the Year

Email
DRF illustration

There are a lot of similarities between this year's Horse of the Year debate and the controversial vote of 2009. Here's what I wrote in support of Rachel Alexandra in last year's "Great Debate," also involving Zenyatta:

I've always felt that Horse of the Year should go to any horse who gets our game onto the front page of the sports section as much as possible. Let's face it, we could use more of that.

The "World Championships" is a catchy title and a nice marketing angle, and it has become our most important day of racing, but the Breeders' Cup is not a definitive event which bestows titles on respective winners.

It's good for the game, it many times decides divisional winners, but in the end the Breeders' Cup races are huge races on Thoroughbred racing's biggest day, and that's the extent of it. Clear-cut championship events? Many times they are not.

That sentiment, to which I've stayed true for the nearly 20 years I've been allowed to vote, clearly makes Zenyatta my choice for Horse of the Year in 2010. I have no issue with those who are championing Blame, but Zenyatta is the horse who thrust our game into the national spotlight in 2010, for the right reasons. Zenyatta is the reason the television ratings for this year's Classic were three times as high as they were in 2009. Zenyatta is the horse who indoctrinated a new generation of fans into the game. Blame will win his Eclipse, and will forever be known as the best older horse of 2010. But Zenyatta was the Horse of the Year.

HORSE OF THE YEAR DEBATE: Vote on Facebook for a chance to win free PPs for a year

Next on Monday, Dec. 18: Bill Tallon

Previous: Marcus Hersh | Michael Hammersly | Marty McGee | Andrew Beyer | Matt Hegarty