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During 2009, finding winning stocks was like shooting fish in a barrel. But if what goes up must come down, picking next year's winners might be a lot tougher.

Among more than 4,000 stocks with market caps above $100 million that traded on major U.S. stock exchanges, more than 700 have doubled in price this year, and 84 have managed to see their prices rise 400% or more. Some of the top gainers include:


2009 YTD Return

Diedrich Coffee (NASDAQ:DDRX)


Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ:HGSI)


Pier 1 (NYSE:PIR)


Kirkland's (NASDAQ:KIRK)


Teck Resources (NYSE:TCK)


Dendreon (NASDAQ:DNDN)


Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI)


Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard and Poor's. As of Dec. 14.

No encore
With those staggering numbers almost in the record books, a repeat performance of 2009 seems unlikely for most of those stocks. Still, that doesn't mean that there won't be any great stock returns in 2010.

Nevertheless, I'm not going to try to sell you on any hot predictions for next year. After all, I'm still reeling from my pick of Diedrich as the year's scariest stock. The company went on to jump another 60% in the month or so after I made that call.

How about you?
Don't let that stop you from sharing your thoughts about which stock will be 2010's big winner. Leave a comment below telling us your top stock pick, and explaining in 250 words or less why you think it'll top the charts in 2010. If you do it before 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 17, you'll get entered automatically into our Best Stock for 2010 Contest.

We'll look through all the pitches; the winner we choose will receive a digital subscription to Motley Fool Stock Advisor ($149 retail value), our flagship investing newsletter. You can see the complete list of contest rules right here.

But you can't get bragging rights if you don't play, so share your picks with everyone today!