Online voting is now open at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) website, www.ntra.com, for the 15th annual NTRA Moment of the Year. Voters can choose from 12 of the most indelible memories witnessed in 2013. The winning moment will be recognized on January 18, 2014, during the Eclipse Awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Those that vote for the eventual winner automatically will be entered in a random drawing to win a $100 gift certificate for Breeders' Cup merchandise.
To vote for the 15th annual “NTRA Moment of the Year,” click here.
The eligible moments were selected to illustrate a wide range of human emotions and achievements as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. Listed chronologically, the events that fans can choose from are:
· Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens rides his first winner in North America since 2005 aboard Branding in the first race at Santa Anita. (Occurred Jan. 12)
· Spicer Cub bolts around the parked starting gate along the outside rail and still nearly wins at Pimlico Race Course, losing by a nose. (April 13)
· Orb wins the Kentucky Derby for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and owners Stuart Janney III and Dinny Phipps. (May 4)
· Oxbow wins the Preakness Stakes, giving Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas his sixth win in the Triple Crown's middle jewel and 50-year-old Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens his third. (May 18)
· Paynter, after battling back from life-threatening illness the year before, returns to the races to win an allowance at Betfair Hollywood Park. (June 14)
· Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze becomes the first North American rider to reach the 12,000-win milestone aboard Handful of Pearls at the Alameda County Fair at Pleasanton. (July 7)
· Ken & Sarah Ramsey win three major Grade I turf stakes – the Secretariat (with Admiral Kitten), Sword Dancer (Big Blue Kitten) and Arlington Million (Real Solution) – at two different tracks in less than two hours. (Aug. 17)
· Will Take Charge barely gets up to beat front-running Moreno by a nose in the $1 million Travers at Saratoga Race Course. (Aug. 24)
· Retired jockey Ramon Dominguez is presented with the Mike Venezia Award, as well as the 2012 Eclipse Award trophy for Outstanding Jockey he was unable to accept last January, during a ceremony in the Saratoga winner's circle. (Aug. 25)
· Five-year-old mare Mizdirection beats males in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint for the second straight year in her final career start. (Nov. 2)
· Wise Dan wins the 2013 Breeders' Cup Mile for the second straight year, capping a season that will likely be recognized with a repeat Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year. (Nov. 2)
· Mucho Macho Man wins the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic by a nose for jockey Gary Stevens, trainer Kathy Ritvo and owners Reeves Thoroughbred Racing. (Nov. 2)
The first-ever “NTRA Moment of the Year” was the touching scene between Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes. The next 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 2005 Preakness Stakes. Voters in 2006 chose Barbaro's gallant struggle to recover from his Preakness injury while at the New Bolton Center. The 2007 Moment of the Year was a historic victory by filly Rags to Riches over Curlin in the Belmont Stakes. In 2008, it was Zenyatta's win in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. Zenyatta “repeated” in 2009 as fans selected her triumph in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
In 2010, fans selected Blame's narrow Breeders' Cup Classic victory over Zenyatta. Drosselmeyer's hard-fought win over Game on Dude in the Breeders' Cup Classic was the public's choice for 2011. Last year, the recovery of Haskell Invitational winner Paynter from near-deadly battles with laminitis and colitis captured the hearts of voters like no other story.
“The Eclipse Awards recognizes champions, whereas the NTRA Moment of the Year is about a singular occasion etched into our collective memory,” said Keith Chamblin, NTRA Senior Vice President. “Fans deserve a voice and this is their chance to tell us what they will never forget from this exhilarating and emotional year of racing.”
Fans 18 years and older can register to vote online at www.ntra.com. There is a limit of one vote per valid email address. Multiple votes from the same email address will be disqualified. Votes must be received by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, January 2, 2014.
To vote for the NTRA Moment of the Year, click here.
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