The exciting victory by Drosselmeyer and Mike Smith over Game on Dude and Chantal Sutherland in the Breeders’ Cup Classic has been voted the 2011 National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Moment of the Year.
Drosselmeyer’s victory also represented the second “Classic” win in as many days for trainer Bill Mott, who had saddled Royal Delta to win the previous day’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic. The connections of Drosselmeyer will be honored at the Eclipse Award ceremony Monday, January 16, in Beverly Hills, Calif., with the "NTRA Moment of the Year" award. The 2011 winner marks the third straight year that the Breeders’ Cup Classic has accounted for the NTRA Moment of the Year.
This year’s balloting was conducted at the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and offered voters 12 different images illustrating a wide range of human emotions as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. Finishing second was Blind Luck’s narrow victory over Havre de Grace in the Delaware Handicap. The images and events that fans chose from, with percentage of votes they received in parentheses, were:
· Game on Dude and Chantal Sutherland survive 10 furlongs and a 12-minute stewards’ inquiry in capturing the Santa Anita Handicap (3%)
· Rosie Napravnik guides Pants on Fire to victory in the Louisiana Derby en route to becoming the first woman to win a Fair Grounds riding title (1%)
· Uncle Mo suffers his first defeat, running third behind Toby’s Corner in Aqueduct’s Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial (1%)
· Animal Kingdom runs down his foes in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (5%)
· Shackleford overcomes pre-race nervousness to hold off Animal Kingdom in the Preakness (2%)
· Blind Luck prevails by a nose over Havre de Grace following a stretch-long duel in the Delaware Handicap (14%)
· Caleb’s Posse catches a stubborn Uncle Mo in the Foxwoods King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga (2%)
· Havre de Grace beats the boys in Saratoga’s Woodward Stakes (9%)
· Joseph O’Brien, 18, becomes the youngest jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race, piloting St. Nicholas Abbey to victory in the Emirates Airline Turf for his father, Aidan O’Brien (6%)
· Court Vision spoils Goldikova’s attempt at a fourth consecutive TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile win, upsetting the field at 64-1 (2%)
· Drosselmeyer and Mike Smith edge Game on Dude and Chantal Sutherland at the wire of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, giving trainer Bill Mott his second “Classic” in 24 hours (46%)
· Rapid Redux breaks a North American record by winning his 20th consecutive race (9%)
The first-ever “NTRA Moment of the Year” was the touching scene involving Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes. The following 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 Rags to Riches’ historic victory over Curlin in the Belmont Stakes.
In 2008, it was Zenyatta’s win in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. Zenyatta “repeated” in 2009 when fans selected her triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Last year, the Breeders’ Cup Classic again supplied the stage as Blame held off the furious stretch drive of Zenyatta.
"The NTRA Moment of the Year award and this year’s first ever Eclipse Horse of the Year Fan Vote Sweepstakes presented terrific avenues for the fans to play an active role in the Eclipse Awards ceremony," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president. “Drosselmeyer’s victory had so many interesting aspects to it, and we are delighted to salute that triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic as the latest NTRA Moment of the Year.”
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horse racing interests consisting of leading Thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers, horseplayers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA web site, NTRA.com