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California Chrome’s win in the Dubai World Cup has been named the 2016 National Thoroughbred Racing Association (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 Saturday evening’s 46th Annual Eclipse Awards Presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
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 finish line 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’s and Songbird’s epic stretch duel in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff 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, chief operating officer for the NTRA. “This result is a surprise only to those that underestimate the power of a superstar like California Chrome.”
This is the third straight Moment of the Year that has included Espinoza, who rode California Chrome in his Kentucky Derby win of 2014 and piloted American Pharoah for a Triple Crown-clinching Belmont Stakes score in 2015.