2016 NTRA Moment of the Year Online

2016 NTRA Moment of the Year votingWas Beholder's Distaff win the 2016 NTRA Moment of the Year?

Voting for the 2016 NTRA Moment of the Year has opened at an online poll you can influence, which is great. There are 14 big results from the past year which have earned the right to compete for your votes. They are listed below in chronological order, beginning with California Chrome’s win at the Dubai World Cup and ending with Arrogate’s thrilling decision at the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

You can vote for the 2016 NTRA Moment of the Year by using Twitter and the designated hashtags below:

• #DubaiChrome – As jockey Victor Espinoza’s saddle slips out from underneath him, California Chrome becomes North America’s all-time earnings leader with a resounding win in the world’s richest race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup, at Meydan Racecourse. The $6 million winner’s share pushes his career bankroll to $12,532,650, surpassing Curlin’s previous mark. (March 26)

• #NyquistDerby – Reddam Racing’s Nyquist takes the lead in upper stretch and holds on to win the 142nd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands by 1 1/4 lengths and remain undefeated. It is the second Derby win for the connections that campaigned I’ll Have Another to glory in 2012. (May 7)

• #BensCat – Ten-year-old Maryland-bred Ben’s Cat wins the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico Race Course for the fourth consecutive year and fifth time overall. Bred, owned and trained by legendary Mid-Atlantic horseman and Hall of Famer King Leatherbury, the popular gelding splits horses in deep stretch and gets up to win by a neck. (May 20)

• #ExaggeratorPreakness – Derby runner-up Exaggerator, owned by Big Chief Racing, wins the Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes in front of a record crowd of 135,256 at Pimlico while handing favored Nyquist his first defeat. (May 21)

• #FrostedMetMile – Frosted wins the 123rd Metropolitan Handicap by a stunning 14 1/4 lengths in 1:32.73, a stakes record margin and final time in one of America’s most historic races. (June 11)

• #BazeRetires – Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze retires at age 57 with 12,842 wins, by far the most in U.S. racing history. (June 13)

• #QueenTepin – Last year’s champion turf female travels abroad in search of a new challenge and becomes the first American-based horse to win the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Britain’s prestigious Royal Ascot meeting. (June 14)

• #SummerofSongbird – The brilliant Songbird remains undefeated by effortlessly taking Saratoga’s marquee race for 3-year-old fillies, the Alabama, by seven lengths. It is her second Grade 1 win of the Spa meet and her 10th straight win overall. (August 20)

• #PacificChrome – All-time earnings leader California Chrome dominates a highly anticipated showdown with defending race champion Beholder in Del Mar’s signature event, the TVG Pacific Classic, winning by five easy lengths while kept in hand by jockey Victor Espinoza. (August 20)

• #ArrogateTravers – Making his stakes debut, Juddmonte Farms’ Arrogate runs into the history books by winning the Travers by 13 1/2 lengths in track-record time of 1:59.36 for 1 1/4 miles under Mike Smith at Saratoga Race Course. (August 27)

• #SpinawayDeadHeat – The site of so many memorable finishes, Saratoga Race Course produces another historic 2016 NTRA moment when two Tapit fillies, Sweet Loretta and Pretty City Dancer, dead-heat in the Spinaway, a first in the 2-year-old filly fixture’s 125 runnings. (September 3)

• #LadyEliFlowerBowl – Popular multiple Grade 1-winning filly Lady Eli guts out her first victory of 2016 in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park, 15 months after fighting off a life-threatening case of laminitis. (October 8)

• #BeholderDistaff – Spendthrift Farm’s three-time champion mare Beholder comes out on the winning end of a tight photo with undefeated filly Songbird following an epic stretch duel in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park. It is the third Breeders’ Cup victory for Beholder, trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Gary Stevens, to go with wins in the 2013 Distaff and the 2012 Juvenile Fillies. (November 4)

• #ArrogateClassic – Arrogate collars odds-on favorite California Chrome in deep stretch to win North America’s richest race, the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, by a half-length before a Santa Anita Breeders’ Cup record crowd of 72,811. The 3-year-old is the third consecutive Breeders’ Cup Classic winner for trainer Bob Baffert. (November 5)
For me, the 2016 NTRA Moment of the Year is a no-brainer. I thought that what Arrogate did was nothing short of outstanding, but Beholder winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff over Songbird by a nose was undeniably the best instance of racing. It had everything – a true passing of the torch, a win for a legend about to retire and it was quite possibly the most exciting contest from the whole year.

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