As the racing world prepares for the announcement of 2011 Eclipse Award winners, ZATT takes it to whole new level with a look at not just the best of last year, but rather the best of the entire 21st century. Below are my finalists for each division. Feel free to visit each horse's page on Horse Racing Nation, and like, favorite, and vote them up, if you believe they deserve to be. Also, see where are all these stars rank on the HRN Power Rankings of all-time greats. Have fun and tell me who you think the winners should be ... write-in votes are welcome. Check back later for the the results. I will announce my selections for each division at 4PM Eastern.
Uncle Mo, Vindication, War Pass
And the winner is: Uncle Mo - I don't think anyone in the last 12 years could have beaten Mo as a juvenile. He was that good.
Halfbridled, My Miss Aurelia, Storm Flag Flying
And the winner is: Halfbridled - Not only was she an undefeated BC winner, but she won the Juvenile Fillies from the 14-hole.
Bernardini, Curlin, Point Given, Tiznow
And the winner is: Curlin - From unraced maiden to romping BC Classic winner in 2007, he did it all year long against an excellent crop of sophomores.
Ashado, Blind Luck, Rachel Alexandra, Rags to Riches
And the winner is: Rachel Alexandra - Her 2009 campaign was as great as any 3yo filly in the history of the sport, in my humble opinion.
Ghostzapper, Invasor, Mineshaft, Tiznow
And the winner is: Invasor - Undefeated in America, his streak of the Pimlico Special, Suburban, Whitney, BC Classic, Donn, and Dubai World Cup was something special.
Azeri, Havre de Grace, Zenyatta
And the winner is: Zenyatta - From 2008 through 2010, Zenyatta ruled the older mare division like no one else in the sport ever has.
Kona Gold, Lost in the Fog, Midnight Lute
And the winner is: Kona Gold - It was tough to go against the consecutive BC wins for Midnight Lute, but the consistency Kona Gold demonstrated in running in five straight BC Sprints, with one win, is enough for me.
Honest Lady, Indian Blessing, Xtra Heat
And the winner is: Xtra Heat - She was so dominant that she was voted 3yo filly champ, despite only sprinting. 25 stakes wins is something you don't see any more
Male Turf Horse:
Conduit, English Channel, Gio Ponti, High Chaparral
And the winner is: Conduit - Tough call here, but his two wins in the Breeders' Cup Turf were so brilliant that I believe he would have won the race in most editions of the last 12 years.
Female Turf Horse:
Goldikova, Islington, Ouija Board
And the winner is: Goldikova - Three consecutive Breeders' Cup wins is a record that may never be broken, and she wasn't far off from a fourth last year.
Horse of the Year:
Curlin, Ghostzapper, Invasor, Rachel Alexandra, Tiznow, Zenyatta
And the winner is: Invasor - A champion on three different continents, Invasor, like Zenyatta, only lost once in his career. He gets the award by the slightest of nods over Zenyatta because of his travel and more consistent competition.