Ballots for the thoroughbred Horse of the Year are due on Tuesday, January 4, 2011. Known as the Eclipse Awards, Horse of the Year is the most prestigeous award in American thoroughbred horse racing. The Horse of the Year will be honored on January 17, 2011, at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach Florida.
The goal of the Eclipse Awards is to honor excellence in 13 equine categories and five related human categories. The only stated requirement is that a horse must have made one start in North America in 2010.
This year Zenyatta is one of the two most highly ranked horses having been racing's most popular thoroughbred for the last 3 years with an unbeaten string of 19 wins during four seasons of racing. Many believe that her one loss in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs to Blame did nothing to diminish her excellent performance in her previous 19 races.
Blame, the thoroughbred that defeated Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic is considered by many to be a very strong candidate for Horse of the Year having defeated a number of Grade 1 winners prior to his victory over Zenyatta in the Classic. Many maintain that Blame won the race that counted most.
Which horse will receive this most coveted award? Will it be Zenyatta whose personality and heart have endeared the filly to many, or will it be Blame, whose brilliant performance at Churchill Downs along with winning other major races caught the attention of the horse racing world?
Check back here on January 18th for the winner of the Horse of the Year title and for a recap of the Eclipse Awards dinner along with winners in other categories