The much anticipated race between Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta? Well, it's on, but only on paper. Horse racing's top two ladies will duke it out among voters for Horse of the Year honors after never meeting on the track.

Each of them have stellar credentials in trying to become the first female to win the year-end honor since Azeri in 2002.

Rachel Alexandra went 8 for 8 this year, including three wins over males, and became the first filly in 85 years to beat the boys in the Preakness Stakes.

Rachel Alexandra

Rachel Alexandra, by Anne M. Eberhardt

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Zenyatta improved to 14-0 for her career with a one-length victory against a loaded field of males in the Breeders' Cup Classic, many of whom Rachel Alexandra had already beaten.

The 5-year-old mare went 5 for 5 this year, but Saturday's race was her first against the boys. It was also likely her last. Trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday that Zenyatta would be sent to Kentucky to breed, even though Rachel Alexandra is expected to campaign next year.

So who rules in this Year of the Girl?

"You tell me," Shirreffs said.

It's a debate sure to simmer until January, when the Eclipse Awards–the Oscars of horse racing–are presented in Beverly Hills. Members of the National Turf Writers Association, the