US Horse of the year result @ Horse Racing Betting: The results of the most highly anticipated Horse of the Year vote ever taken will be announced tonight at the Eclipse Awards banquet at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Will the winner be Rachel Alexandra or Zenyatta?
Each horse won every one of her races in 2009 – eight for Rachel Alexandra including five Grade 1 events and three against male opponents and five for Zenyatta including four Grade 1 events and the Breeders’ Cup Classic against males.
There were 232 ballots returned for the Eclipse Awards, the yearly honors for 10 divisions of thoroughbreds, one of steeplechasers and five of humans. Voters are either members of the National Turf Writers Association, employees of the Daily Racing Form or representatives of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which includes horse betting track racing secretaries and workers at its statistical arm Equibase.
Comparing the merits of racing’s two superstars isn’t easy, and not because they didn’t race against each other.
Rachel Alexandra dominated races restricted to 3-year-old fillies in 2009, setting margin-of-victory records in both the Kentucky Oaks (20 1/4 lengths) and the Mother Goose Stakes (19 1/4 lengths).
Zenyatta’s body of work as a 5-year-old mare in 2009 wasn’t quite as impressive, because she didn’t race outside of the synthetic tracks in California and her four victories before the Breeders’ Cup Classic came against the same fillies and mares she always beats. She also enjoyed at least four weeks between each start.
The Eclipse champions are determined through voting by NTWA members, Daily Racing Form employees, NTRA-member designates and Equibase personnel, who vote for the top three in each category. Winners are based solely on first-place votes, with second- and third-place votes used to determine finalists. The exception is the Horse of the Year race. In a rule change this year, voters chose just one horse.
Read US Horse of the year news @ Horse Racing Betting