Curlin or Zenyatta for Horse of the Year?

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The Horse of the Year race is down to two horses but not the two you would have thought.  Curlin is still in the running for the award but now it is Zenyatta, the unbeaten filly as the other contender instead of Big Brown.

"It's not in our hands," Zenyatta's owner, Jerry Moss, said. "Ob¬viously, we've been reading about the possibility, but somebody else worries about that. That's not our job. I don't really know, and it's not up to us to say."

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Only two fillies since 1986 have won the Horse of the Year award.  Lady's Secret won in 1986 and Azeri won the title in 2002.  It could be that Zenyatta joins that list.  The 4-year-old filly is 7-0 with $2,090,580 in earnings this year, and 9-0 lifetime. "I really believe she deserves it," said jockey Mike Smith, "I'm being honest. I wouldn't be any more worried if I ran [in the Classic]. I felt this Ladies Classic was probably one of the toughest distaffs I've ever seen. In any ride, these mares could have run against a colt; at least four of them could have. They made a good showing, and yet she runs by them. I know people earlier said she's beating up on the same horses. She beat up on the best there is from everywhere [on Friday]."

Curlin is still the favorite to win the award though.  He broke the career earnings mark of $10 million dollars this year to surpass Cigar for the top spot.  His loss in the horse betting Breeders' Cup Classic is not considered that bad because the race was on a synthetic surface.  "Maybe he's not a synthetic surface specialist," Curlin's jockey, Robby Albarado, said. "I'm disappointed he lost but, obviously, he's done enough for us and our careers. He's the all-time American horse, so we can never knock him."  Curlin has five wins and a second this year.  Included in that resume are victories in the $6 million World Cup, the Stephen Foster, the Woodward and the Jockey Club Gold Cup.  It is also possible that Curlin will race again this year in either the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs or the Japan Cup Dirt in late November. "We think he's already accomplished Horse of the Year, but it's up to you guys to tell us whether a proud owner is right or not." Curlin owner Jess Jackson said.

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