I was really happy to see that Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra were the only two horses to receive Horse of the Year votes when the NTRA announced the finalists for the 2009 Eclipse Awards, which will be handed out Monday night, Jan. 18, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m., PST.
Both Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra were flawless in 2009. They both finished undefeated, both beat males and both brought tremendous attention to a struggling sport both on and off the race track. I don’t think the latter can be minimized at all.
Here are the Eclipse Awards finalists, listed in alphabetical order:
Horse of the Year
Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta
Lookin At Lucky, Noble’s Promise, Vale of York
Blind Luck, Hot Dixie Chick, She Be Wild
Mine That Bird, Quality Road, Summer Bird
Careless Jewel, Flashing, Rachel Alexandra
Einstein, Gio Ponti, Kodiak Kowboy
Life Is Sweet, Music Note, Zenyatta
Dancing in Silks, Kodiak Kowboy, Zensational
Informed Decision, Music Note, Ventura
Male Turf Horse
Conduit, Gio Ponti, Presious Passion
Female Turf Horse
Goldikova, Midday, Ventura
Mixed Up, Red Letter Day, Spy in the Sky
Godolphin Racing, Juddmonte Farms, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss
Adena Springs, Juddmonte Farms, Dolphus C. Morrison
Steve Asmussen, Bob Baffert, John Shirreffs
Ramon Dominguez, Garrett Gomez, Julien Leparoux
Luis Batista, Christian Santiago Reyes, Luis Saez
What do you all think? Any surprises?