Jan 21, 2011

The Year of Zenyatta

So, the great Miss Zenyatta won the Eclipse Horse of the Year honors this year.  It was not unexpected and though I've argued that she just didn't wage the better campaign, and therefore didn't honestly deserve the HOY honors, I do truly think that if it came down to a choice between Blame and Zenyatta, I would prefer that she take the prize.  Many commentators argued that Blame beat her fair and square and deserved the title, and I get that point of view.  He beat the unbeatable horse.  That's a totally defensible position to take.  The problem is that in a few years people will remember Zenyatta and people won't remember Blame in the same way.  I wish I could say that HOY wasn't a popularity contest, but it sort of is.  Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra both revitalized a hurting industry and their fame reached far beyond the typical racing fanbase.  I feel conflicted in writing this, but I do think that between Blame and Zenyatta, Zenyatta was the right choice to make.  I still argue that her connections did her wrong by refusing to really challenge her station, but I don't deny that she was a great horse, worthy of this legacy.  As I've said before, I just don't think she got the opportunity to prove her real worth. 

In the end, I think that Goldikova should have been crowned the Queen, but she just didn't have the recognition in the States that she needed to earn her the HOY honors.  I held out a sliver of hope for her win, but it was nearly impossible.  I suppose that ultimately the Eclipse HOY award needs to go to a horse that has really touched the US hearts and captured our public's imagination.  Goldikova just never managed to reach beyond the avid racing public over here, and as such she just never had a chance.  But Zenyatta, in her own way, deserves the honors and I am proud to call her Horse of the Year.  Her name will live on forever in our racing history books and I will be able to say I saw her when....


Whit's Blog said...

That's a beautiful horse in the photo there!

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Isabel Bakke said...

What a beautiful horse. I wish I could own this horse haha in my dreams.

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