The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Jan. 20 that California Chrome’s win in the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) has been named the 2016 NTRA Moment of the Year based on the results of a record 2,817 votes cast via Twitter and an online poll.
California Chrome’s connections—owners California Chrome LLC (Perry and Denise Martin, Taylor Made Stallions, et al.), trainer Art Sherman, and jockey Victor Espinoza—will be awarded the 2016 Moment of the Year trophy at the 46th Annual Eclipse Awards Presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup, and The Stronach Group Jan. 21 at Gulfstream Park.
California Chrome became North America’s all-time earnings leader with his win in the world’s richest race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup, at Meydan Racecourse. The $6 million winner’s share pushed his career bankroll to $12,532,650, surpassing Curlin ‘s previous mark. The winning margin was 3 3/4 lengths but might have been even wider had Espinoza not felt his saddle slipping out from underneath him in the stretch.
The 2016 Moment of the Year trophy is a crystal timepiece set to 9:12 p.m. Gulf Standard Time, the moment when California Chrome crossed the wire in the United Arab Emirates.
NTRA Moment of the Year voters chose from 14 images illustrating a range of human emotions as well as outstanding displays of equine athleticism. Finishing second was Beholder and Songbird’s epic stretch duel in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
“The fact that the public voted overwhelmingly for a moment that received limited media exposure in the United States demonstrates how passionate Thoroughbred racing fans are,” said Keith Chamblin, NTRA Chief Operating Officer. “This result is a surprise only to those that underestimate the power of a superstar like California Chrome.”
The 2014 award went to California Chrome’s dominant win in Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). Last year’s vote resulted in a landslide for American Pharoah’s historic Triple Crown-clinching triumph at Belmont Park.
The first-ever NTRA Moment of the Year was the touching scene between Charismatic and jockey Chris Antley following the 1999 Belmont Stakes.