What a Year

By Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA

Voting will get under way next week on NTRA.com to determine the 11th annual NTRA Moment of the Year. Voters can choose from among 10-12 images drawn from this year's events. Those selecting the winning image will be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to this year's Eclipse Awards on January 18 in Beverly Hills, CA. Of course, the highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the 2009 Horse of the Year, something that I'm predicting will be one of the most memorable moments of 2010.

Selecting the 2009 Moment of the Year may be nearly as contentious as selecting the 2009 Horse of the Year. Our team at the NTRA has drafted a list of 14 memorable moments from 2009. We're looking to cull the list to 10-12 before the contest goes live, but it won't be easy. We're also looking to make sure we haven't forgotten anything. Here's the initial list of contenders.

1.    Well Armed blows away the field in the Dubai World Cup

2.    I Want Revenge overcomes a horrific start to capture the Wood Memorial

3.    Rachel Alexandra runs off with the Kentucky Oaks by more than 20 lengths

4.    Mine That Bird posts stunning, 50-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby

5.    Rachel Alexandra turns back the late charge of Mine That Bird in the Preakness

6.    Rachel Alexandra toys with the boys in the Haskell Invitational

7.    Gio Ponti captures his fourth consecutive Grade I score in the Arlington Million

8.    Rachel Alexandra holds off her male elders in the Woodward Stakes

9.    Linda Rice becomes the first woman to win the Saratoga training title

10.    Summer Bird registers historic triumph in the Jockey Club Gold Cup

11.    Goldikova wins her second straight Breeders' Cup Mile

12.    Conduit runs down the stubborn Presious Passion for a repeat score in the Breeders' Cup Turf

13.    Zenyatta remains undefeated and becomes first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic

14.    Racing mourns the passing of Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel

The first NTRA Moment of the Year involved the poignant scene of Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes. Over the years, other winners have included triumphant moments in the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup, the late Barbaro, and even the death of the last living Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. Last year's winning moment was Zenyatta's victory in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic.

Don't forget to vote for the Moment of the Year beginning next week. In the meantime, let me know about your favorite racing moment of 2009? Is there anything we should add to our list?

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