Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eclipse Awards Thoughts & Horse of the Year

As expected The Eclipse awards brought out the who's who of the Horse Racing industry. Its just too bad everyone couldnt bring their animals. I am sure that the likes of Curlin and Zenyatta and Big Brown would have loved to give their own acceptance speeches. Curlin earned Horse of the Year for a second consecutive year, the first horse to do so since Cigar won a second Eclipse during 1995-1996. Curlin also earned Champion Older Male, and his trainer, Steve Asmussen earned Champion trainer. Curlin has now retired to stud for a first year fee of $75,000 at Lane's End in Versailles. But with every obstacle Curlin faced, his connections reminded everyone that the goal for the son of Smart Strike was to earn a place in the annals of Thoroughbred racing. In this race just like all of the others Curlin was able to win by a comfortable margin. Curlin received 153 first-place votes to 69 for Zenyatta with dual classic winner Big Brown snagging 13 votes.
"Racing is blessed to have such a magnificent athlete among us," majority owner Jess Jackson said of Curlin prior to the Breeders' Cup in October. "He's brilliant, durable and always shows up, always gives his best. The only time he's been beaten really is when race tactics or his own physical condition prevented him from winning."
As expected, Curlin and Zenyatta were named champion older male and champion older female, respectively, with Big Brown taking champion 3-year-old male honors.
Here is the break down of the Eclipse Awards.

Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male: Curlin
HOY Vote totals: Curlin, 153; Zenyatta, 69; Big Brown, 13; Raven's Pass, 2; Einstein, 1; Goldikova (IRE), 1; Peppers Pride, 1; Voter Abstentions, 2.Older Male Vote totals: Curlin, 239; Albertus Maximus, 1; Commentator, 1; Go Between, 1.

Two-Year-Old Male: Midshipman
Vote totals: Midshipman, 195; Vineyard Haven, 32; Old Fashioned, 7; Donativum (GB), 5; Desert Party, 1; Run Away and Hide, 1; Street Hero, 1.

Two-Year-Old Filly: Stardom Bound
Vote totals: Stardom Bound, 236; Maram, 2; Springside, 2; Rachel Alexandra 1, Sky Diva, 1.

Champion Three-Year-Old Male: Big Brown
Vote totals: Big Brown, 219; Raven's Pass, 21; Conduit (IRE) 1; Tale of Ekati, 1.

Three-Year-Old Female: Proud Spell
Vote totals: Proud Spell, 90; Eight Belles, 71; Goldikova (IRE), 41; Indian Blessing, 20; Music Note, 20.

Older Female: Zenyatta
Vote totals: Zenyatta, 240; Ginger Punch, 2

Male Sprinter: Benny the Bull
Vote totals: Benny the Bull, 107; Midnight Lute, 86; Street Boss, 40; Bustin Stones, 3; Fatal Bullet, 3; Visionaire, 1; Commentator, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Female Sprinter: Indian Blessing
Vote totals: Indian Blessing, 138; Ventura, 88; Intangaroo, 13; Indyanne, 1; Voter Abstentions, 2

Male Turf Horse: Conduit
Vote totals: Conduit (IRE), 175; Einstein (BRZ), 31; Grand Couturier (GB), 11; Hyperbaric, 5; Kip Deville, 5; Red Giant 4; Court Vision, 2; Henrythenavigator, 1; Champs Elysees (GB), 1; Spirit One (FR), 1; Voter Abstentions, 6.

Female Turf Horse: Forever Together
Vote totals: Forever Together, 137; Goldikova, 94; Cocoa Beach (CHI), 6; Ventura, 3; Mauralakana (FR), 2.

Owner: Stronach Stables
Vote totals: Stronach Stables, 47; IEAH Stables, 46; Stonestreet Stables LLC and Midnight Cry Stables, 29; Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss, 27; Godolphin Racing, 24; Zayat Stables 16; Augustin Stable, 13; Maggi Moss, 11; Robert Cole, Jr., 10; Darley Stable, 4; Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, 2; H. Joe Allen, 1; J. Paul Reddam, 1; Juddmonte Farms, 1; Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, 1; WinStar Farm, 1; Voter Abstentions, 8.

Breeder: Adena Springs
Vote totals: Adena Springs, 139; Stonerside Stable, 60; WinStar Farm, 13; Juddmonte Farms, 9; Brereton C. Jones, 4; Eugene Melnyk, 1; Edward P. Evans, 1; Fares Farm, Inc., 1; George Strawbridge, Jr., 1; Hal and Patti Earnhardt, 1; Maverick Production, 1; Monticule, 1; Voter Abstentions, 10.

Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Vote totals: Steve Asmussen, 187; Robert Frankel, 15; Larry Jones, 9; Bob Baffert, 7; Rick Dutrow, 5; Jerry Hollendorfer, 4; Bill Mott, 3; John Shirreffs, 2; Mike de Kock, 1; Anthony Dutrow, 1; Scott Lake, 1; Mike Maker, 1; Kiaran McLaughlin, 1; Todd Pletcher, 1; Howard Wolfendale, 1; Voter Abstentions, 3.

Jockey: Garrett Gomez
Vote totals: Garrett Gomez, 210; Rafael Bejarano, 11; Robby Albarado, 9; Russell Baze, 3; Kent Desormeaux, 3; Ramon Dominguez, 1; Alan Garcia, 1; Julien Leparoux, 1; Joe Rocco, 1; Mike Smith, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1.

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