130 pts TO 90, NOT THAT CLOSE…
Well, this corner is a bit surprised that the vote was not very close but RACHEL ALEXANDRA was named Horse of the Year last night at the Eclipse Awards in an unusual showdown with just one other horse for the award – another gal, ZENYATTA.
Thank goodness we get to see ZENYATTA race again this year – no word on what Rachel is up to but it sure would generate some good stuff for racing if she stayed in action too.
HORSE-RACES.NET has a breakdown of all the voting and the winners here:
MORE ECLIPSE AWARD NEWS:
FROM CANADIAN PRESS
Round 1 to Rachel Alexandra: Filly picks up Horse of Year honours over Zenyatta
By Andrew Dalton (CP) – 9 hours ago
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Rachel Alexandra won the first matchup between racing’s leading ladies, beating out
Zenyatta for Horse of the Year.
Maybe the next time the two superstars compete it will be on the track. “Someday we’ll meet, and we’ll decide at that time who’s the best,” Zenyatta’s owner Jerry Moss said.
Voters chose Rachel Alexandra for the year-end honour at the Eclipse Awards on Monday night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The first filly to win the Preakness Stakes in 85 years received 130 votes to 99 for Zenyatta in one of the tightest, most widely debated competitions in years.
“Either filly deserved this award,” said Jess Jackson, principal owner of Rachel Alexandra. “There has never
been another year like this for fillies.”
Now the question is whether Zenyatta will get to avenge the defeat.
“Zenyatta’s never lost, she’s perfect,” Moss said. “Nobody’s beaten her on the racetrack, so they beat her by
proxy as far as I’m concerned.”
Moss and wife, Ann, announced Saturday the mighty mare will run as a six-year-old, perhaps setting up that
long-awaited meeting with Rachel Alexandra. The two glamour girls never raced each other despite capturing the public’s imagination with rousing victories over the boys.
As expected, Zenyatta won the Eclipse Award as the top older female for the second straight year while Rachel Alexandra was voted top three-year-old filly. Her trainer, Steve Asmussen, took home the award for top trainer after breaking his own record for victories in a year.
Rachel Alexandra had one of the most impressive campaigns in history for a three-year-old, beating males three times, including his historic victory at the Preakness. She also beat the boys in the Haskell Invitational and Woodward Stakes.
Her regal nature endeared her to countless fans as she travelled around the country, breaking records for
largest margin of victory at the Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose.
As the announcement was made, people began shouting the names of both superstars in a room filled with finely ressed owners, breeders, jockeys and others in the industry. When the winner’s name was read, Jackson moved forward to accept the award on behalf of Rachel Alexandra.
THE OTHER WINNERS:
from DAILY RACING FORM
Zenyatta wins division; Gio Ponti takes two
Jay Privman, Daily Racing Form
* Rachel Alexandra wins Horse of the Year
* Zenyatta came on strong in second half
* Asmussen earns second training Eclipse
* Zenyatta named older female champ
* Eclipse: Rachel grabs divisional honor
* Summer Bird is 3-year-old male champ
* Eclipse: Kodiak Kowboy named top sprinter
* Eclipse: Informed Decision is top female sprinter
* Eclipse: Juddmonte earns fifth top breeder
* Eclipse: Mixed Up is top steeplechaser
* Eclipse: Goldikova named top turf female
* Eclipse: Gio Ponti takes turf championship
* Eclipse: She Be Wild proves doubters wrong
* Eclipse: Lookin At Lucky is 2-year-old champ
KODIAK KOWBOY – A CANADIAN CHAMPION 2YEARS AGO AND NOW AN AMERICAN CHAMP..
Cindy Pierson Dulay photo
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Taking a back seat to the dramatic Horse of the Year announcement, both Rachel
Alexandra and Zenyatta scored overwhelming victories in their respective Eclipse Award divisions, and Gio Ponti prevailed in two categories, when the 2009 divisional winners were revealed Monday by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Rachel Alexandra – who won the Kentucky Oaks, Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward – was a unanimous choice as champion 3-year-old filly, garnering all 232 votes cast by 124 members of the National Turf Writers Association, 55 Daily Racing Form employees, and the 53 people who voted under the banner of the NTRA, whose bloc includes racing secretaries and members of Equibase.
Zenyatta, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in her final start of the year to run her record to 14 for 14, was
named the champion older female for the second straight year, but was denied being a unanimous choice by a single vote for Icon Project that was registered by a member of Daily Racing Form.
Gio Ponti, who won four Grade 1 grass races and was second in the BC Classic, became the first horse in nearly 30 years to be named both champion older horse and champion male turf horse in the same year. He was a resounding winner in both categories. Gio Ponti received 184 votes for champion older horse to 18 for
second-place Einstein and 16 for Kodiak Kowboy. He received 206 votes for champion male turf horse, easily
outpolling Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Conduit, who was second with 22.
SOVEREIGN AWARD NOMINEES – THE BEST OF 2009
MALCOM PIERCE RUNNERS, ATTFIELD dominate awards
Here are the finalists as announced yesterday by THE JOCKEY CLUB OF CANADA.
The cocktail party and awards night is JAN. 29
COMMENTS FOLLOWING CATEGORY are predictions on who may win.
Champion Two Year Old Female
Bay to Bay
Well, there’s 4 listed here, so there is a tie somewhere (although there should only be 3 listed no matter what – tie for 1st, put one other horse on list, etc.)
anyway, this one will be close, BIOFUEL should win it.
Bear Tough Guy
HOLLINGER should be unanimous
Champion Three Year Old Female
MILWAUKEE APPEAL won the Oaks and fared well against boys in the Plate and Prince of Wales and the Grade 1 Alabama. Should get the nod over HOOH WHY.
Eye of the Leopard
Not an impressive group this year. EL BRUJO should win even though he was strictly a sprinter but there is a lot of weight for a PLATE WINNER (Leopard).
Champion Older Female
SERENADING won a graded stake at Churchill and did well at Woodbine. Should rule.
All three were super in 2009 – PALLADIO may win (and it would be his 3rd Sovereign Award)
Champion Female Turf Horse
Points of Grace
POINTS OF GRACE won a graded stake on turf and did a bit more in a weak category.
Champs Elysees (GB)
CHAMPS ELYSEES won won race, a big one, the Grade I Canadian Int., but some liked Rahy’s consistency.
EL BRUJO, owned and bred by Jeff and Annabel Begg.
Dave Landry photo
Champion Male Sprinter
EL BRUJO should have a big night.
One of the best horses of the year hands down was TRIBAL BELLE.
AND THE REST…
Bear Stables, Ltd.
Juddmonte Farms, Inc.
Melnyk Racing Stables, Inc.
Eurico Rosa DaSilva
Canadian rider bags 2 graded wins
DAILY RACING FORM REPORT:
Sutherland gets another graded win in El Encino
By Steve Andersen
Jockey Chantal Sutherland began the weekend without a graded stakes win in her career at Santa Anita. By Sunday night, she had two.
After winning Saturday’s Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes, Sutherland guided Pretty Unusual to a 29-1 upset in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies on Sunday.
The victory was not without a touch of drama for Pretty Unusual’s backers.
Pretty Unusual was stuck behind rivals in traffic in early stretch before Sutherland found sufficient room.
Pretty Unusual closed well through the stretch to win the Grade 2 race over 1 1/16 miles by 1 1/4 lengths.
“Things just opened up,” Sutherland said. “The traffic just separated. She had amazing acceleration.”
Canadian trained winner at Gulfstream
FIJI BOY won the first race at Gulfstream yesterday by a whopping 9 1/4 lengths over the sloppy mess and took down his first win of his career.
Owned by Rosemont Farms LLC, the 4yo Kentucky bred by Devil His Due was the first winner for trainer READE BAKER for 2009.
The race was for $12,500 maiden claimers.