Thursday, January 15, 2009

Breeders’ Cup Win by Zenyatta Voted 2008 NTRA Moment of the Year

The victory by Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic—a win that culminated a perfect seven-for-seven 2008 campaign—has been voted the 2008 National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Moment of the Year. The connections of Zenyatta will be honored at the Eclipse Award ceremony Monday, January 26, in Miami with the "NTRA Moment of the Year" award. Balloting was conducted at the NTRA Web site,, and offered voters 12 different images illustrating a wide range of human emotions as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. The images and events that fans chose from were:

* Pyro charges past all 10 of his foes in the stretch to take the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds
* Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin dominates the Dubai World Cup
* Big Brown powers home from post 20 to take the Kentucky Derby
* Exhilaration turns to heartbreak as Eight Belles suffers a fatal injury following the Kentucky Derby
* Big Brown spurts away from his opponents in the Preakness Stakes
* Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown is eased as Da' Tara wins the Belmont Stakes
* Red Rocks spoils Curlin's grass debut in Belmont's Man o' War Stakes
* Curlin wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup to become North America's first $10 million earner
* Peppers Pride stays perfect and sets a modern North American record with her 17th straight victory
* Zenyatta caps her undefeated season with a resounding, last-to-first win in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic
* Goldikova unleashes a powerful stretch burst to defeat defending champ Kip Deville in the Breeders' Cup Mile
* Raven's Pass culminates a big day for the Europeans, defeating Henrythenavigator and Curlin in the Breeders' Cup Classic

The winning entry received 24% of the votes cast. The runner-up was Big Brown’s Kentucky Derby victory, which received 18%. Finishing third in the vote with 15% was the tragic injury suffered by Eight Belles following the Kentucky Derby. In fourth place, with 11%, was the Jockey Club Gold Cup win that made Curlin North America’s first $10 million earner.

The first-ever “NTRA Moment of the Year” was the touching scene involving Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes. The following year’s winner was the stretch run of the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which saw Tiznow hold on for a dramatic victory against Giant’s Causeway. Tiznow won again the following year as fans selected his stirring repeat victory in the Classic over Sakhee. In 2002, fans cited the passing of the last living Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. In 2003, the popular Kentucky Derby win by Funny Cide was selected. Birdstone’s upset win in the Belmont Stakes over Smarty Jones took down top honors for 2004. In 2005, fans selected Afleet Alex’s spectacular victory in the Preakness Stakes. In 2006, fans paid tribute to the emotional scene at the New Bolton Center as Barbaro recovered from the serious injury he suffered during the Preakness Stakes. Last year, voters chose the Belmont Stakes victory by Rags to Riches over Curlin.

"The NTRA Moment of the Year award is a great way for the fans to play an active role in the Eclipse Awards ceremony," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president. “Fans clearly love Zenyatta, and we are delighted to salute her convincing Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic victory as the latest NTRA Moment of the Year.”

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horse racing interests consisting of leading thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site,

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