Is it possible that a movement to honor both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta as co-Horse of the Year Eclipse Awards is gaining momentum? The Saratogian’s Jeff Scott and the New York Post’s Ray Kerrison may have been the first mainstream journalists to suggest thinking “outside the box” and putting a joint option on the final ballot or just outright declaring the two co-winners, but their voices have now been joined by a number of other revered turf writers, including Steve Haskin at The BloodHorse who rightly recognizes:
“I realize I’m talking from the heart and not being analytical or realistic at all, but the campaigns of 5-year-old Zenyatta and 3-year-old Rachel Alexandra are so far removed from each other, and orchestrated with such different goals in mind, they cannot be compared, despite all the analysis and statistics. Therefore, the Horse of the Year award in this case should be voted on with the heart, and the heck with all the meaningless statistical comparisons. That means there is only one course of action: give it to both of them and make everyone happy. Why not? Who is it going to hurt?”
Now, the Daily Racing Form’s Steven Crist has weighed in:
“The question is whether an option to crown co-champions should be added to the Eclipse ballot....It's at least worth consideration. Regardless of your preference, there is no denying that both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta accomplished entirely different but genuinely unprecedented things that will land them both in the Hall of Fame and stamp them as among the greatest fillies and mares of all time. Neither deserves to lose the title, and there is no rule that one of them has to: One of the virtues of the Eclipse system is that it has no ancient rules and bylaws, and the voters can pretty much do what they want.
If it turns out in the weeks ahead that a majority of the voters favor a joint award, why deprive them of that choice?”