The three brightest lights in racing in North America in 2010 -- Blame, Goldikova, and Zenyatta -- on Thursday were announced as finalists for 2010 Horse of the Year by the three sponsoring organizations of the awards, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.
Blame, Goldikova, and Zenyatta also are finalists, and heavy favorites, in their respective divisions. For Horse of the Year, though, the battle is likely to come down to Blame vs. Zenyatta.
Blame, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, won four times in five starts in 2010. His other Grade 1 victories were the Whitney and Stephen Foster. He is also an overwhelming favorite to be named champion older male. The other two finalists in that category are Quality Road, whose biggest win last year came in the Metropolitan Mile, and Richard’s Kid, the winner of the Pacific Classic.
Zenyatta won 19 straight races in her stellar career before she finished second to Blame in the BC Classic. In 2010, she won five Grade 1 races at four different tracks. She is heavily favored to win her third straight Eclipse Award as champion older female. Her nominal rivals in that category are Life At Ten, who won the Beldame Stakes before an inglorious flop in the BC Ladies’ Classic, and Unrivaled Belle, who captured the Ladies’ Classic.