Rachel Alexandra voted 2009 Horse of the Year

Jan 18th, 2010 | By TrackSide View | Category: Champions, Eclipse Awards

Ron Correll
Senior columnist

The 39th annual Eclipse Awards got off to an emotional start when Daily Racing Form columnist Jay Hovdey gave a fitting tribute to recently deceased trainer Bobby Frankel.  Hovdey narrated a video montage of Frankel’s brilliant career and then the evening got down to serious business: Revealing who was Horse of the Year for 2009.

It took nearly two-and-a-half hours, but when the winning name spilled from the envelope, it was Rachel Alexandra who won eight races at seven different tracks. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro won the Martha Washington, Fantasy, Fair Ground Oaks, Kentucky Oak, Preakness, Mother Goose, Haskell Invitational and the Woodward.

She beat the boys in the Preakness, Haskell and older males in the Woodward, the first time such a feat had been accomplished.

Rachel Alexandra won the title 130 votes to 99 for runner-up Zenyatta. Zenyatta also had a magical year, capping it with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the first time that a female has won that race.

Although the two distaffers never met on the racetrack, Rachel Alexandra was vote Horse of Year by members of the Daily Racing Form, National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the National Turf Writers Association.

Category winners as they were presented:

Two-year-old male: Lookin at Lucky
Two-year-old filly: She Be Wild

Media Awards:
News and commentary: Sean Clancy
Feature and enterprise: Joe Drape
Photography: Jeff Taylor
Audio and Multimedia Internet: ESPN Radio
Local TV: WLKY 32, Louisville, Ky.
National TV feature: NBC Sports
National TV-live racing: ESPN

Turf male: Gio Ponti
Turf female: Goldikova
Steeplechase: Mixed Up

Breeder: Juddmonte Farms
Award of Merit: Will Farish
Handicapper of the year: John Conte
Special Eclipse Award: Monique Koehler

Female sprinter: Informed Decision
Male sprinter: Kodiak Kowboy
Three-year-old male: Summer Bird
Three-year-old filly: Rachel Alexandra

NTRA Moment of the Year: Zenyatta winning Breeders’ Cup Classic
Owner: Godolphin Racing
Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Older male: Gio Ponti
Older female: Zenyatta

Apprentice jockey: Christian Santiago Reyes
Jockey:  Julien Leparoux

Horse of the Year: Rachel Alexandra

Ron Correll is a member of the National Turf Writers Association

The following vote breakdown was provided by the NTRA

The Eclipse Awards

Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon the Thoroughbred horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective divisions. The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.

Voting Overview

In voting that concluded Jan. 4, 2010, Eclipse Awards voters cast their ballots to rank the top three horses and individuals in each Championship division on a 10-5-1 point system basis with the exception of the Horse of the Year category. This voting established the top three finalists in each division, the names of which were released on Jan. 6, 2010. Eclipse Award winners; however, were determined by first-place votes only.

The tallies below represent only first-place votes from members of the consolidated voting entities, NTRA/Equibase, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers Association.

Voter participation rate: 232/271 = 85.6%

Two-Year-Old Male (Name, First-Place Votes)

Lookin At Lucky, 209; Vale of York, 17; Buddy’s Saint, 2; Noble’s Promise, 2; D’Funnybone, 1; Jackson Bend, 1.

Two-Year-Old Filly

She Be Wild, 171; Blind Luck, 41; Hot Dixie Chick, 17; Awesome Maria, 1; Biofuel, 1; Tapitsfly, 1.

Three-Year-Old Male

Summer Bird, 225; Mine That Bird, 4; Blame, 1; I Want Revenge, 1; No Vote, 1. 

Three-Year-Old Filly

Rachel Alexandra, 232.

Older Male

Gio Ponti, 184; Einstein (BRZ), 18; Kodiak Kowboy, 16; Macho Again, 5; Furthest Land, 2; Rail Trip, 2; Well Armed, 1; Voter Abstentions, 4. 

Older Female

Zenyatta, 231; Icon Project, 1.

Female Sprinter

Informed Decision, 222; Ventura, 6; Game Face, 1; Indian Blessing, 1; Music Note, 1; Diamondrella, 1.

Male Sprinter

Kodiak Kowboy, 118; Zensational, 54; Dancing in Silks, 43; Fabulous Strike, 9; California Flag, 6; Vineyard Haven, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1. 

Male Turf Horse

Gio Ponti, 206; Conduit, 22; Presious Passion, 3; Court Vision, 1.  

Female Turf Horse

Goldikova (IRE), 172; Ventura, 41; Magical Fantasy, 7; Midday (GB), 7; Pure Clan, 3; Forever Together, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1;

Steeplechase Horse

Mixed Up, 209; Red Letter Day, 3; Voter Abstentions, 20.

Horse of the Year

Rachel Alexandra, 130; Zenyatta, 99; Voter Abstentions, 2; No Vote, 1.

Outstanding Owner

Godolphin Racing, 61; Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss, 56; Juddmonte Farms, 40; WinStar Farm, 38; Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick, 15; Augustin Stables, 7; Michael Gill, 6; Darley Stable, 3; Zayat Stables, 2; Heiligbrodt Racing Stables, 1; Midwest Thoroughbreds, 1; Voter Abstentions, 2. 

Outstanding Breeder

Juddmonte Farms, 157; Adena Springs, 44; Dolphus Morrison, 16; Maverick Productions, Ltd., 3; WinStar Farm, 3; Eugene Melnyk, 2; Darley Stable, 1. Voter Abstentions, 6.

Outstanding Trainer

Steve Asmussen, 130; John Shirreffs, 57; Jonathan Sheppard, 19; Bob Baffert,10; Saeed bin Suroor, 5; Bobby Frankel, 4; Jerry Hollendorfer, 2; Hal Wiggins, 2; Todd Pletcher, 2; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Outstanding Jockey

Julien Leparoux, 122; Garrett Gomez,46; Ramon Dominguez, 45; Calvin Borel, 13; Mike Smith, 3; Kent Desormeaux, 2; Russell Baze, 1.

Apprentice Jockey

Christian Santiago Reyes, 93; Luis Saez, 48; Luis Batista, 47; Inez Karlsson, 8; Michael Straight, 4; Omar Moreno, 3; Jose Vega, 3; Tony Maragh, 2; Casey Papineau, 1; Angel Serpa, 1; Voter  Abstentions, 21, No Vote, 1.

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