With just a few weeks left in 2010, Horse Racing Nation takes a look back at some of the highlights of a remarkable year in racing. (All photos are courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire).
1. The Queen and her Court
Zenyatta was undefeated in 19 starts, including wins in the Ladies Classic and Classic, as her connections looked to solidify her place in history. Despite a stirring stretch drive, the 6-year-old mare fell less than head short of perfection. Now the question remains - does Queen Z deserve Horse of the Year for 2010.
2. Why Blame Blame?
He owned the Churchill Downs surface with wins in the Clark, Foster and Breeders Cup Classic. He defeated Quality Road in the Whitney. He beat Z at 1 1/4 miles. But is he Horse of the Year?
3. Three-peat for Goldikova
Trainer Freddie Head won back-to-back Breeders' Cup Miles with Miesque. He topped that with super mare Goldikova and a three-peat. And she will be back in 2011 to try to make it FOUR.
4. Lookin at Lucky Finally Breaks Thru
It didn't like like the colt could live up to his name. Bad breaks, bad post positions and bad traffic hampered Lookin At Lucky from truly breaking through. But in the Preakness, with a little bit of racing luck, Lookin At Lucky finally delivered.
5. Dakota Phone Eases Loss of Tuscan Evening For Hollendorfer
Tuscan Evening looked destined for a date in the Breeders Cup. She was unbeaten in six starts in 2010. On August 8th she died from an apparent heart and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was devastated. He came into this year's Breeders Cup without a standout, but Dakota Phone came through as a 46-1 shocker and brought home a win.
6. Borel Makes it Three out of Four
Calvin Borel has Super Saver riding the rail, a familiar path for Bo-Rail, en route to his third victory as a jockey in the Kentucky Derby in four years.
7. Rachel Alexandra Just Not The Same
The Super Race never happened. The super horse never returned. After losing to Zardana, then Unrivaled Belle, the Jess Jackson camp seemed worried, but hopeful. When Rachel lost again to longshot Persistently in the Personal Ensign, the truth was finally clear. Not only was this not the Rachel of 2009, but that Rachel would never be seen again.
8. At Least We Have Uncle Mo
He looks solid. His Breeders Cup Juvenile win was impressive. Only problem...only one BC Juvenile winner out of the first 26, Street Sense, has gone on to win the Kentucky Derby.
9. The Lady Legends Ride Again
Piloted by filmmaker Jason Neff, the story of the first female jockeys in thoroughbred racing was filmed. Much of the documentary focused on the past, but on Black-Eyed Susan Day (the day before the Preakness) the Lady Legends donned racing silks and took part in one more race. Lady Legend Gwen Jocson claimed the victory among other legends like Barbara Jo Rubin and Patty Cooksey.
10. The Little Guys on the Big Stage
For as little as $800 you could have been a part owner of Uptowncharlybrown. Ownership groups like Fantasy Lane Stables are becoming more and more prevalent in the racing world and if they keep buying horses like "Charly" at auction will continue to grow. As many as 100 partners showed up to watch the colt run at Tampa Bay Downs. Everyone was there trying to catch lightning in a bottle. But, as their potential golden ticket labored towards the back of the pack early, they were reminded of one simple truth - No One Said It Would Be Easy.