The following information was provided by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, detailing the 2009 Eclipse Award winners and vote totals (first place votes only). The first order of business for the NTRA should be to investigate who voted for Icon Project as the older female champion over Zenyatta. That person should not be eligible for future voting. Rachel Alexandra was rightfully selected unanimously in her category as champion 3-year-old filly. (UPDATE: See my comment below this story; the NTRA sent out a press release explaining the Icon Project vote as as “mistake” made by a Daily Racing Form editor. The vote totals have been amended and Zenyatta is now a “unanimous” winner of her division, as was Rachel Alexandra.) — Ray Paulick
Rachel Alexandra was named the 2009 Horse of the Year tonight at the conclusion of the 39th annual Eclipse Awards at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Undefeated as a 3-year-old filly last year, Rachel Alexandra finished ahead of undefeated mare Zenyatta by a margin of 130-99. There were two abstentions and one no vote.
Votes were tallied from members of the three presenting organizations – the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form (DRF) and National Turf Writers Association (NTWA). The votes are tabulated and certified by Strothman and Company.
The complete list of 2009 Eclipse Award winners and voting totals are below.
· Horse of the Year: Rachel Alexandra
· Two-Year-Old Male: Lookin At Lucky
· Two-Year-Old Filly: She Be Wild
· Three-Year-Old Male: Summer Bird
· Three-Year-Old Filly: Rachel Alexandra
· Older Male: Gio Ponti (4)
· Older Female: Zenyatta (5)
· Female Sprinter: Informed Decision (4)
· Male Sprinter: Kodiak Kowboy (4)
· Male Turf Horse: Gio Ponti (4)
· Female Turf Horse: Goldikova (4)
· Steeplechase Horse: Mixed Up (10)
· Owner: Godolphin Racing
· Breeder: Juddmonte Farms
· Jockey: Julien Leparoux
· Apprentice Jockey: Christian Santiago Reyes
· Trainer: Steve Asmussen
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.
In voting that concluded January 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.
She Be Wild, 171; Blind Luck, 41; Hot Dixie Chick, 17; Awesome Maria, 1; Biofuel, 1; Tapitsfly, 1.
Summer Bird, 225; Mine That Bird, 4; Blame, 1; I Want Revenge, 1; No Vote, 1.
Rachel Alexandra, 232.
Gio Ponti, 184; Einstein (BRZ), 18; Kodiak Kowboy, 16; Macho Again, 5; Furthest Land, 2; Rail Trip, 2; Well Armed, 1; Voter Abstentions, 4.
Zenyatta, 231; Icon Project, 1.
Informed Decision, 222; Ventura, 6; Game Face, 1; Indian Blessing, 1; Music Note, 1; Diamondrella, 1.
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;
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.
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.
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.
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.
Julien Leparoux, 122; Garrett Gomez,46; Ramon Dominguez, 45; Calvin Borel, 13; Mike Smith, 3; Kent Desormeaux, 2; Russell Baze, 1.
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.
Award of Merit and Special Award
The winner of the Award of Merit, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organizations and previously announced, is William S. Farish of Lane's End Farm. The Award of Merit is presented to honor outstanding lifetime achievement in the Thoroughbred industry.
The winner of the Special Award, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organizations and previously announced, is Monique Koehler, founder of race horse rescue programs. The Special Award is presented to honor outstanding individual achievements in, or contributions to, the sport of Thoroughbred racing.
Media Eclipse Awards also are given in the categories of photography, audio and multi-media Internet, news/commentary writing, feature/enterprise writing, local television, national television–feature and national television–live racing programming to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. The 2009 Media Eclipse Awards winners, determined by a judges' panel for each category and previously announced, are:
· Photography – Jeff Taylor, The Winchester Star, “Rider Thrown”; March 9, 2009.
· Writing – Feature/Enterprise: Joe Drape, The New York Times; April 30, 2009.
· News/Commentary – Sean Clancy, The Blood-Horse, “Life's Work”; January 3, 2009.
· National Television – Live Racing: ESPN, The Belmont Stakes on ABC; Mike McQuade, Producer; June 6, 2009.
· National Television – Feature: NBC Sports, “The Story of Mine That Bird, 50-1”; Rob Hyland and Jack Felling, Producers; May 16, 2009.
· Local Television – WLKY-TV- Louisville, Ky. “Tom McCarthy”; John Boel and Scott Eckhardt, Producers; April 29, 2009.
· Audio and Multi-Media Internet – ESPN Radio, The 2009 Kentucky Derby; John Martin, Producer; May 2, 2009.
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