NTRA Press Release
LEXINGTON, Ky.— Eleven of the most memorable, significant, and reflective events from the last 12 months of Thoroughbred racing in North America are up for the 2022 FanDuel Racing-NTRA Moment of the Year, a distinction determined by fan voting and recognized at the Eclipse Awards. Voting is now open on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) website, NTRA.com, and via Twitter, where every retweet or use of the official hashtag for the moments as presented on the @NTRA account will be counted as one vote.
To vote on the NTRA website, go to: https://www.ntra.com/eclipse-awards/2022-moment-of-the-year/
Fans are permitted to vote for multiple moments but there is a limit of one vote per moment for each Twitter account. Subsequent votes from an account will be disqualified. Votes for the poll must be submitted by January 17 at 11:59 p.m. (ET).
The FanDuel Racing-NTRA Moment of the Year will be recognized during the 52nd Annual Eclipse Awards Presented by John Deere, Keeneland, and The Jockey Club at The Breakers Palm Beach in Florida on January 26, 2023.
The eligible 2022 moments were selected to illustrate the wide range of human emotions and achievements, as well as outstanding displays of athleticism. Events that fans can choose from are listed chronologically as follows, along with the designated hashtag that can be used to vote:
- #GoodPegasus – Life Is Good kicks off his 2022 campaign with a front-running victory over 2021 Horse of the Year and Champion Older Dirt Male, Knicks Go, in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational. The 4-year-old Into Mischief colt would go on to win the Whitney Stakes and Woodward Stakes during the year.
- #SecretCoach – Secret Oath, exiting a 3rd place finish against males in the Arkansas Derby, wins the Longines Kentucky Oaks to give then 86-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas (The Coach) his fourth Oaks win. The Arrogate filly would again take on males in the Preakness Stakes in her next start and finish fourth.
- #RosesforRichie – Rich Strike, at odds of 80-1, wins the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve after drawing in from the also-eligible list the day before the Run for the Roses. Trainer Eric Reed had claimed the Derby winner for $30,000 out of a maiden claiming race at Churchill Downs in September 2021 that Rich Strike won by 17 ¼ lengths.
- #ImpressiveNest – Nest scores an impressive 4 ¼ length win over archrival Secret Oath in the Alabama Stakes. Coming off a 12 ¼ length win over that same rival in the Coaching Club American Oaks, Nest solidifies her spot at the top of the 3-year-old filly division for trainer Todd Pletcher.
- #EpicTravers – Epicenter wins the Runhappy Travers Stakes by 5 ¼ lengths to score his first Grade 1 win. The Not This Time colt, favored in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness while finishing second in both, emerges as a divisional leader after the ‘Midsummer Derby’ victory.
- #PacificFlight – Flightline flies away from the competition to win the TVG Pacific Classic by an astounding 19 ¼ lengths. Undefeated in four-lifetime starts, Flightline makes his two-turn debut a laugher as the four-year-old son of Tapit stuns the racing world with a legendary performance.
- #ForCody – A heartwarming story with the ultimate ending, Cody’s Wish takes the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in dramatic fashion. With namesake Cody Dorman and family in attendance, Cody’s Wish gives a winning performance that warms the hearts of all who watched in amazement.
- #MalathaatNose – Malathaat closes out her stellar career with a thrilling victory over Blue Stripe by a nose in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The 3-way photo finish in the Distaff, with Clairiere another nose back in third, gave the daughter of Curlin six total Grade 1 wins and a perfect 4 for 4 record at Keeneland.
- #PerfectFlight – Finishing his career a perfect 6 for 6, Flightline wins the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic by a record 8 ¼ lengths. An odds-on favorite in every start and winning by 6 lengths or more in each race, Flightline’s dominant win at Keeneland against a stellar field leads to comparisons with the all-time greats.
- #EarningsLeader – Irad Ortiz, Jr. eclipses his own record for single-year North American earnings by a jockey in early November following three Breeders’ Cup wins. Ortiz passes the $34,109,019 mark he set in 2019 and ends the year with $37,075,772.
- #FlightShare – A 2.5% share of Flightline brings $4.6 million in a unique offering through Keeneland Sales minutes before the start of the November Breeding Stock Sale. Brookdale’s Freddy Seitz, bidding on behalf of an undisclosed client, fends off challengers such as Coolmore, the direct underbidders, to land the prized offering.
Past Moments of the Year
The first-ever “NTRA Moment of the Year” was the touching scene between Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes. The next 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 a historic victory by the filly Rags to Riches over Curlin in the Belmont Stakes. In 2008, it was Zenyatta’s win in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. Zenyatta “repeated” in 2009 as fans selected her triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
In 2010, fans selected Blame’s narrow Breeders’ Cup Classic victory over Zenyatta. Drosselmeyer’s hard-fought win over Game on Dude in the Breeders’ Cup Classic was the public’s choice for 2011. For 2012, the recovery of Paynter from near-deadly battles with laminitis and colitis captured the hearts of voters like no other story. In 2013, fans recognized Mucho Macho Man’s nose victory in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic for his popular connections. The 2014 award went to California Chrome’s dominant win in Kentucky Derby 140. In 2015 there was a landslide vote in favor of American Pharoah’s historic Triple Crown-clinching Belmont Stakes win. In 2016, California Chrome was again part of the winning moment – a dramatic Dubai World Cup victory that came as Victor Espinoza’s saddle slipped out from underneath him.
In 2017, the tragic fire at San Luis Rey and the industry’s response led the way among the votes cast while Justify’s sweep of the Classics to become just the 13th Triple Crown winner was the clear pick the following year. In 2019, Maximum Security’s historic disqualification in the 145th Kentucky Derby – the first winner in Derby history to be demoted for a racing infraction— earned the distinction. In 2020, Authentic’s historic win in the 146th Kentucky Derby, run in September and without fans due to the coronavirus pandemic, was voted as the FanDuel Racing-NTRA Moment of the Year.
Breeders’ Cup success had eluded Japanese runners as evidenced by an 0-13 record heading into the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. That changed dramatically on Breeders’ Cup Saturday when Marche Lorraine (45-1/Distaff) and Loves Only You (4-1/Filly & Mare Turf) each won for trainer Yoshito Yahagi. The victories by the Japanese duo was voted the 2021 FanDuel Racing-NTRA Moment of the Year.