Voting is underway at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Web site, for the sixth annual "NTRA Moment of the Year." Voters can choose from among 10 images, drawn from the year's racing through the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Those selecting the winning image automatically will be entered in a random drawing for a grand prize of $1,000. The winning moment will be announced at the Jan. 24, 2005, Eclipse Award ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The moments were selected to illustrate a wide range of human emotions and achievements as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. Listed chronologically, the images and events that fans can choose from are:
In her seasonal debut, Azeri defends her title in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park under the care of her new trainer, D. Wayne Lukas.
Smarty Jones wins the Kentucky Derby.
Smarty Jones takes the Preakness by 11 1/2 lengths-biggest margin in the race's history.
Birdstone ends Smarty Jones' quest for the Visa Triple Crown before a record 120,139 spectators at the Belmont Stakes.
Kicken Kris wins the Arlington Million after first-place finisher Powerscourt is disqualified for interference.
Kitten's Joy blows away his elders in the Man 'o War at Belmont Park.
Funny Cide comes on again to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.
Longshot Singletary takes the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile for his jubilant owners, Little Red Feather Racing.
Ghostzapper sets a stakes record and caps a perfect year with his wire-to-wire score in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge.
The first-ever "NTRA Moment of the Year" was the touching scene involving Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes. The following 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 2003, fans cited the passing of the last living Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. Last year, the popular Kentucky Derby win by Funny Cide was selected.
"The NTRA Moment of the Year gives fans a voice and sense of ownership at the Eclipse Awards," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president-industry relations & marketing. "It allows them to salute the people, horses and memories that make our sport so appealing. We look forward to seeing which Moment they select as this year's winner."
Fans 18 years and older can register to vote online at www.ntra.com. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday, January 17, 2005. Void where prohibited. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. A complete set of rules is available online or by contacting NTRA Communications.
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