Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And The Winner Is....

In less than a week from now, we will know who will go into the record books with their Eclipse Awards and more importantly, who will be the Horse of the Year for 2010. We already know how many votes were cast. According to the NTRA, 251 ballots were mailed out, and 238 responded. This was "an unprecedented 94.8% rate" of voter participation. Thirteen people did not vote this year. And, it's obvious, the number of non-participants in years' past, has been higher.

Really ????

Excuse me, but unless there is an extremely good reason for not sending your ballot back in ( and there may well be) please enlighten me as to why people would not take this honor more seriously. And...one has to wonder...will these people be allowed to vote  next year too, if they have chosen not to participate this year?

I would hope that the voters for these awards are highly knowledgeable, extremely passionate and  involved  year-round in the business of horse racing.
And I would also expect that these same voters would be grabbing the bit and running to get their voices heard and their votes counted. Though we have heard from a number of voters from DRF, NTRA and various other members of the media, they are in the minority. I have seen 50 or so, public opinions.

What about the others?

Is it asking for too much for full participation and transparency? Shouldn't we know all the names and qualifications for every member of the voting groups? Shouldn't we know where they stand, and why? Shouldn't they be penalized if they don't exercise their voting privilege?

For those that have voted and declared their choices publicly, thank you for taking a stand and taking the heat. Because this year, HOTY has been a white-hot issue. And whichever way it shakes down.... will there be more debate Tuesday morning?

You can bet on it.


  1. Do you suppose that the 13 votes should go out to more passionate, involved individuals? How hard is it to tick a few boxes and send back an envelope?

    What say you on HOY? How about Sprint Champion?

    I don't believe there is a wrong answer in either case, but I also believe that there is a decision for each award that is more right than the others.

  2. Hi AmCap,
    First of all thanks for visiting. HOTY is an easy call for me. I was one of those that caught the maiden breaker on Thanksgiving Day back 3 years ago and I have been a loyal fan and follower of the Big Mare since that day.
    But I too am a handicapper, and without a doubt ( and taking away any emotion ) Zenyatta had an award winning campaign this year. Six inches kept her from 20 for 20. She broke three records during her 2010 campaign as well. Blame is a very good horse. But we see very good horses like him, every year. He just lasted in a brave attempt in the Classic, Zenyatta was rolling. As I have said before, if we had the chance to bet both of them back a month after the Classic, same track, same distance, who do you think would IMPROVE from the Classic? Who would be the favorite then?
    But I know I don't have to talk you into anything. It WILL be a travesty if she is not awarded HOTY this year. If this happens then I can't help but question the credibility of the voters. Again, my questions of who are they? and what are their credentials? It's certainly not a personal thing, but I will not help but wonder just what kind of perspective would lead the voting experts to not recognize greatness.
    Sprinting is not my forte,and I don't follow it as closely as some of the other divisions like the turf divisions and the distaff. So I don't really think I have a good opinion on Sprint Champion. Does it come down to the fastest horse? Does it come down to the best campaign? Who do you like ?
    BTW, somehow I have missed reading your blog. So I will take care of that right now.
    Yes, and it really ticks me off that 13 people couldn't send it their votes.