Jessica Chapel / Railbird

Women and Racing

Zenyatta Feminista?

I’ve tried to stay away from the 2010 Horse of the Year debate. I don’t have a vote, and if I did, I might have been tempted toward the same conclusion as Alan Shuback before narrowly landing on Zenyatta as my pick for the honor. That would seem to put me on the same side of the debate as most female fans and voters. Steve Davidowitz, opening up his HOTY vote to fans for the second year in a row, reports quite a skew in the responses he’s received:

Get this: The actual tally of 147 fans that sent me E-mails and posted comments on this website was an astonishing 132 for Zenyatta and only 15 for Blame!

That imbalance of opinion similarly was skewed by the presence of so many female voters in my poll, as only 24 men voted, while 123 women participated.

The male vote was split down the middle, 12 for Blame and 12 for Zenyatta.

Looking at this another way, only three of the 123 women in my poll voted for Blame!

Turf writers’ ballots revealed so far are running along similar lines: Four of five women* have voted for Zenyatta; nine of 19 men for Blame, nine for Zenyatta.

12:00 PM Addendum: *Four of six, with Alicia Wincze casting a vote for Blame.

1/6/11 Addendum: Wow, Jennie Rees — who said she was going to vote Blame HOTY in a blog post a couple weeks ago — didn’t vote for either leading contender. “Very late in the game, I decided just to not vote in the Horse of the Year category — I made the decision not to make a decision.”