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Discussion Starter #1
RACHEL ALEXANDRA WON HORSE OF THE YEAR! I am so happy. I think Rachel got what she deserved, she brought more attention, and IMHO she did more. Anyway here is the article from The Blood Horse: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/54900/rachel-alexandra-named-horse-of-the-year

Rachel Alexandra Named Horse of the Year
By Evan Hammonds

In one of the most highly anticipated announcements in Thoroughbred racing history, Rachel Alexandra was named 2009 Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards Jan. 18 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The announcement was made just before 10:30 p.m. EST by Alex Waldrop, head of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association in front of a packed house at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and on live television on TVG and ESPN News. Before opening the envelope that held the winner, Waldrop asked for the audience to give them one last round of applause. The crowd gave both participants a standing ovation.

Rachel Alexandra was the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and she was the first filly in history to beat males in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I). She won all eight of her starts, dominating her own division with victories in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), Fantasy Stakes (gr. II), Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), and Mother Goose (gr. I). Against the boys, she added a victory in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) between the Preakness and Woodward.

By Medaglia d'Oro , Rachel Alexandra is out of the Roar mare Lotta Kim.

Zenyatta, owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, won all five of her starts, winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) in her season finale.

The final tally of first-place votes was 130 for Rachel Alexandra and 99 for Zenyatta. Voting was conducted by the National Turf Writers Association, the Daily Racing Form, and the NTRA.

Taking the stage to accept the award was Jess Jackson, owner of Stonestreet Stables, who purchased Rachel Alexandra along with Harold McCormick, from breeder/owner Dolphus Morrison following her win in the Kentucky Oaks.

She was trained after the Oaks by Steve Asmussen, who earned his second Eclipse Award as Outstanding Trainer earlier in the evening.

“This contest was so close and I don’t know the count, but I know that either horse deserved this award,” Jackson said. “It’s hard for me to accept it without sharing it with all the people that made this possible including (jockey) Calvin Borel.”

“Together Rachel and Zenyatta won nine grade I races; together they conquered four of the best groups of males who were running last year,” he continued. “If you think about their achievements, individually or collectively, there has never been a year like this one for fillies.

“I want to thank Jerry and Ann for being so gracious. We said congratulations to each other and I truly appreciate the grace and charm of the Zenyatta team, particularly Jerry and Ann Moss. It couldn’t be arranged that they could meet last year. We’re hoping that each horse, taking it’s course, may win their way to an ultimate match and maybe we can work toward that.

It was the first time in history that the two finalists for Horse of the Year were females. Earlier in the evening Rachel Alexandra was named champion 3-year-old female and Zenyatta was named champion older female. Both had spotless records in 2009 and both are slated to run in 2010.
 

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Eh, I think Zenyatta deserved it.
 

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I love Zenyatta and Rachel... Im glad that one of the got it (Rachel). I am always in tears watching Rachel race, she just has some much "passion". Beautiful young girl.
 

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Waw this is phenomenal! Won al 8 starts is absolutely crazy! good for them. Neat article, thanks for sharing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Best part is they will both be racing in 2010! Match-up? I thnk so...
 

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I really feel that Rachel deserved the award more than Zenyatta. I was so glad that she won the award. Originally Zenyatta was going to be retired this year & bred for her first foal but it looks like they changed their minds because she is still in training. Rachel's owner called for a match race at the awards but who knows if it will happen. A match race between Rachel & Zenyatta would be the biggest east vs. west match race since Seabiscuit & War Admiral. I love Rachel!!!!
 

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They have officially announced that Zenyatta will race in 2010. I'm really hoping for a match between these two great mares.

But I still think Zenyatta deserved it. JMHO
 

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i still think Zenyatta earned the HOTY, as well...but regardless, RA ran a great year too.

Let's hope that this year will be just as exciting for both of them. In a way, yes, a match race, itself would be fun, but I don't honestly think it proves anything, other than one particular horse was faster than the other that day, just like any other race...Run them in a good race together, and forget the 'match race' hype...
 

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What I meant by match was just a race where the two meet. Not an actual "Seabiscuit v. War Admiral" style match race.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
They haven't had an actual match race since Ruffian...And I think it should dtay that way. I think Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra should meet at least 3 times. Best 2 out of 3 kinda thing. That way no one could amke the excuse "they were just having a bad day."
 

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am a huge Zenyatta supporter!! I absolutely adore her and I was crushed that she didn't win HOTY honors, but... Even though I feel that Zenyatta has had the stronger career, I do agree that Rachel has had the stronger YEAR. She simply accomplished more this year then Zen did, and that's why she recieved Horse of the YEAR.

Zenyatta IMO is the better of the 2 horses. Look at Rachels Woodward win, she barely beat Macho Again, and came out of the race exausted, and hasn't raced since. Gio Ponti beat Macho Again going away, no trouble, and Zenyatta in turn beat Gio Ponti in the classice by a length and a 1/2 with her ears pricked...

That being said, I have heard twitters on other horse forums, and racing forums (not sure how true they are) That Rachel is not training well, and she is not the same horse she was last year. I would not be surprised if they take the HOTY trophy and retire her. countless COUNTLESS 3 year old colts have been retired after a strong 3 year old season even when there was a promise that they would or might return the following year (bernardini, Big Brown, Street Sense just to name a few)

I am thrilled that Zenyatta will be back this year, running a tough campaign off of the west coast and aiming for the Classic and possible HOTY honors again.

But im not holding my breath that Rachel will be what she was last year, or even return to the track at all.
 

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What I meant by match was just a race where the two meet. Not an actual "Seabiscuit v. War Admiral" style match race.

Oh no, I wasn't necessarily singling you out...the general public really wants a 'traditional match' race, and I just don't think they solve a whole lot because the horses run their hardest from the gate, with no real rating being done like in a regular race. I would rather see two really great horses run in a couple of races together, and be able to draw a real conclusion who's the better by that...:)
 

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oh ok. Just wanted to clarify my point :D I agree that a "match race" is not necessary. All they need to do is meet up in a regular race to see who's the alpha mare
 

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Match race will never happen. One only runs on synthetic and the other only on dirt. Very unlikely. Glad Rachel got it.
 

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However, that have both done dirt and synthetic...Zenyatta's team may be taking her east, but I think that is up in the air yet...I guess we will see who is the better horse, by their records this year; yes, they are both flawless now, but one may not be at the end of this year.
 
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