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Fans to Choose NYRA Race of the Year

Many of the year’s most memorable races took place at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, and beginning today and through January 15, 2011, fans can choose from among five thrilling races and cast their ballots for The New York Racing Association, Inc.’s (NYRA) “Race of the Year.”

 

The five races are highlighted by NYRA Handicapper Andy Serling in an exclusive video available at www.nyra.com, www.facebook.com/thenyra and NYRA’s official YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/nyravideo.

 

The five nominees, in chronological order, are:

 

  • Eskendereya’s powerhouse victory over a talented field in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 3 was a standout among 3-year-old performances in 2010. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, the favored son of Giant’s Causeway stormed to the lead on the turn and pulled clear to a 9 ¾-length win over Jackson Bend, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.97 in a gallop.

 

  • Proviso marked herself as one of the top female turf horses in the country with her hard-fought win over Shared Account and two-time winner Forever Together in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga. The 5-year-old Dansili mare, owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, prevailed by a head in a blanket finish under Mike Smith for her third consecutive Grade 1 win.

 

  • Blame rallied to overtake favored Quality Road in deep stretch and win the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga by a head in a thrilling finish. It was the sixth straight win for Blame, who became the first horse to gain an automatic berth in a race he would eventually win – the Breeders' Cup Classic on November 6 at Churchill Downs.

 

  • Blind Luck’s trademark heart-stopping late run carried her from last to first as she edged a game Havre de Grace in the 130th running of the Grade 1 Betfair TVG Alabama at Saratoga. The victory, her fifth career Grade 1, established the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained miss atop the 3-year-old filly division as favored Devil May Care finished fourth.

 

  • Fans at Saratoga Race Course saw one of the most dramatic finishes in the 141-year history of the Grade 1 Travers, as 6-1 shot Afleet Express matched strides with Fly Down through the stretch before prevailing by a diminishing nose on the wire. So close was the photo finish that it took five minutes before the race was made official, giving trainer Jimmy Jerkens his first victory in the “Mid-Summer Derby” and jockey Javier Castellano, who had won in 2006 with Bernardini, his second.

 

Fans can vote on NYRA’s “Race of the Year” on www.nyra.com.

 

 

 

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