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Afleet Alex's Preakness Victory voted "Moment of the Year"


January 22, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Afleet Alex’s heart-stopping win in the 2005 Preakness—a triumph achieved despite a near catastrophic bumping incident at the top of the Pimlico stretch—has been voted the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Moment of the Year. Afleet Alex’s connections will be honored at the Eclipse Awards tonight in Beverly Hills, Calif., with the "NTRA Moment of the Year" award. Balloting was conducted at the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and offered voters 12 different images illustrating a wide range of human emotions as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism.

The images and events that fans chose from were:
• Bellamy Road blows away the field in the Wood Memorial
• Giacomo captures the Kentucky Derby at 50-1
• Afleet Alex overcomes dangerous incident to capture the Preakness
• Afleet Alex wins the Belmont Stakes going away by seven lengths
• Japanese sensation Cesario dominates her U.S. filly peers in the American Oaks
• Lava Man overpowers his foes in the Hollywood Gold Cup
• Nick Zito is enshrined in Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame
• Powerscourt makes amends for '04, powers home in the Arlington Million
• Borrego wears down Perfect Drift and Lava Man in the Pacific Classic
• Borrego unleashes devastating move to take the Jockey Club Gold Cup
• Stevie Wonderboy takes the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile for owner Merv Griffin
• Saint Liam caps off a big year with his victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge

Afleet Alex’s Preakness received a whopping 82% of the vote—easily the most lopsided victory in any of the NTRA Moment of the Year elections. Finishing a distant second was Giacomo’s Kentucky Derby victory. Afleet Alex and Giacomo are two of the three finalists, along with Flower Alley, for 2001 Champion 3-Year-Old Male.
The first-ever “NTRA Moment of the Year” was the touching scene involving Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes. The following year’s winner was the stretch run of the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which saw Tiznow hold on for a dramatic victory against Giant’s Causeway. Tiznow won again the following year as fans selected his stirring repeat victory in the Classic over Sakhee. In 2002, fans cited the passing of the last living Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. In 2003, the popular Kentucky Derby win by Funny Cide was selected. Last year, Birdstone’s upset win in the Belmont Stakes over Smarty Jones took down top honors.

"The NTRA Moment of the Year award is an opportunity for fans to play an active role in the Eclipse Awards ceremony, and I commend them on an outstanding choice," said NTRA Commissioner D.G. Van Clief, Jr. “The image of Afleet Alex nearly going down, then recovering to win the Preakness is one that I think will live forever in the minds of racing fans everywhere.”