National Thoroughbred Racing Association Moment of the Year
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Moment of the Year award, first awarded in 1999, celebrates or honors one moment that occurred during a given year that most thoroughly exemplifies the spirit and ethos of the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing in the United States.
Unlike all other Eclipse Awards, which are voted on by a chosen committee from among the horse racing world, the Moment of the Year is voted on by racing fans. The balloting takes place at the NTRA Web site (ntra.com) and each year offers voters a choice between twelve different “moments” that illustrate either outstanding equine athleticism or a heroic achievement or even, possibly, tragedy. But all moments chosen for the ballot are considered worthy of winning the Moment of the Year.
The winner of the publicly voted award accepts it at the Eclipse Awards ceremony held each year.
- 2013 - Mucho Macho Man winning the Breeders' Cup Classic, trained by Kathy Ritvo, who became the first woman to win a Breeders' Cup Classic, and ridden by returning 50-year -old jockey Gary L. Stevens.
- 2012 - Paynter, winner of the 2012 Haskell Invitational Stakes and runner up to Union Rags in the 2012 Belmont Stakes, recovers from a life-threatening illness.
- 2010 - Blame's narrow win in the Breeders' Cup Classic holding off the late charge from the previously undefeated Zenyatta.
- 2009 - Zenyatta's second Breeders' Cup win, this time as the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic and also the first horse ever to win two different Breeders' Cup races.
- 2008 - Zenyatta caps her undefeated season with a last-to-first win in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic.
- 2007 – The historic victory by the filly Rags to Riches over Curlin in the 2007 Belmont Stakes. Rags to Riches was the first filly to win this race in 102 years.
- 2006 – The hope for recovery of Barbaro at the New Bolton Center after he was seriously injured during the first few moments of the 2006 Preakness Stakes.
- 2005 – Afleet Alex’s spectacular life-threatening stumble, yet going on to win in the 2005 Preakness Stakes.
- 2004 – Birdstone’s upset win in the Belmont Stakes over Smarty Jones, winner of that year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
- 2003 – Funny Cide’s win in the Kentucky Derby of 2003. Funny Cide was the first New York-bred to win the Derby and the first gelding since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.
- 2002 – Voters this year mourned the passing of the last living American Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew.
- 1999 – Charismatic, and jockey Chris Antley racing for the Triple Crown in the 1999 Belmont Stakes when Charismatic pulled up lame and Antley placed himself in harm’s way to protect the stricken horse.