Rachel Alexandra vs. Zenyatta: Horse of the Year Voting Poll


It’s a decision I’m still hesitating about, this Horse of the Year 2009 thing. As we stated previously, a vote for one is a vote against the other. I just can’t see it any other way. So you decide, HRI readers. Here’s your dilemma:

Rachel Alexandra
Zenyatta
 
photo:
breederscup.com
2009 record:
8-8-0-0
photo:
breederscup.com
2009 record:
5-5-0-0
2009 earnings:
$2,746,914
2009 earnings:
$3,330,00
Trainer:
Steve Asmussen
Trainer:
John A. Shirreffs
Owners:
Stonestreet Stables
and H. McCormick
Owners:
Jerome and Ann Moss
 
Won: Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Won: Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)
Won: Haskell Stakes (gr. I) Won: Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. I)
Won: Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) Won: Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I)
Won: Preakness Stakes (gr. I) Won: Vanity Handicap (gr. I)
Won: Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) Won: Milady Handycap (gr. II)
Won: Fantasy Stakes (gr. II)  
Won: Fair Gounds Oaks (gr. II)  
Won: Martha Washington Stakes  


Reasons for Rachel Alexandra as Horse of the Year
John Pricci - In going 8-for-8 at seven different tracks, she made history on six occasions, relative to running time, winning margin, post position and race history. And we're not counting the 85 years between filly Preakness winners. And, of course, she stepped out of her division in half of her eight victories, defeating males who accounted for 11 Grade 1 winners.
View video all 8 of Rachel Alexandra's 2009 races.


Reasons for Zenyatta as Horse of the Year
John Pricci - Perfection at the highest level is the rarest of accomplishments. While her 14 victories did not come in 2009, her 14th did. She beat the deepest field assembled all year, male winners of eight Grade/Group 1 races, and she did it within herself, the first of her sex to do so. She won the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap shouldering 129 pounds. She defeated the winner of this year’s Ladies Classic authoritatively on three occasions.
View video of all 5 of Zenyatta's 2009 races.

While nearly impossible, try to keep emotion out of the voting process. It’s not whether Zenyatta would have won the Whitney had she entered, or whether Rachel Alexandra would beat Zenyatta because she enjoys an enormous tactical advantage. Those are opinions based on calculation and supposition, not facts. The one thing that’s certain is this is the kind of controversy the sport would love to live with every season.


The 2009 Horse(s) of the Year Should be???