The 6-year-old Purim gelding took the 2013 Pan American, where he set the world record, covering 1 1/2 miles in a blistering 2:22.63.
In his last five starts, however, Twilight Eclipse had the misfortune of racing against Main Sequence, the 2014 Eclipse Award champion turf horse and champion older male, hitting the board in each start, but failing to cash in on the top prize.
Twilight Eclipse was only beaten a combined four lengths in those five starts by Main Sequence, who is racing in Saturday's Sheema Classic (UAE-IT) in Dubai instead.
"Unfortunately, Twilight (Eclipse) has been second and third to (Main Sequence) in a couple of starts and you'd hope that there may have been one or two times where we actually beat him, but our horse is tough," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "He's always trained well, and as long as we come back and run our race this week, keep Main Sequence away a little bit, we'll have an opportunity to win a couple nice races with him this year."
In their latest meeting, Twilight Eclipse was run down late by Main Sequence in the Feb. 21 Mac Diarmida Stakes (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream, beaten only three-quarters of a length.
The miss extended Twilight Eclipse's losing streak to seven, dating back to the 2014 Mac Diarmida, which he won by a length.
After the win in the 2014 Mac Diarmida, Twilight Eclipse went to Dubai, where he finished 12th in the 2014 Sheema Classic. He was freshened up for two months before running fourth in the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park June 6.
Following that start, Twilight Eclipse began his personal five-race losing streak to Main Sequence, finishing second, beaten just a neck in the July 6 United Nation Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park. He was then third, beaten three-quarters of a length by Main Sequence in the Aug. 17 Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course, before finishing second, beaten just a neck, in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Belmont Sept. 27.
In the Nov. 1 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park, Twilight Eclipse rallied to third, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Main Sequence, before returning to action this year in the Mac Diarmida, when he ran second once again to the champ.
"He's been so consistent in his last few races," Albertrani said. "He ran a tremendous race in the Breeders' Cup... In his last few races, he's always been right there. It's just a matter of getting that breakthrough race."
Despite his current losing streak, Twilight Eclipse has won six of 22 career starts with earnings of $1,333,586 for West Point Thoroughbreds.
Twilight Eclipse will face a field that includes Change of Command and Money Talker, the third- and fourth-place finishers in the Mac Diarmida, along with grade I winner Imagining , who enters the Pan American off of a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Feb. 7 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT).
In the Turf Handicap, Imagining was beaten by 2 3/4 lengths, after being forced to check late, and could rebound in this spot for trainer Shug McGaughey. However, the 7-year-old son of Giant's Causeway is on a five-race losing streak, having not won since taking the Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont May 11.
After a sixth-place finish in the June 7 Manhattan Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont, Imagining split Main Sequence and Twilight Eclipse, when second, beaten a head, in the Sword Dancer. He finished third in the Joe Hirsch before ending his 2014 campaign with a seventh-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
Gulfstream Park, Saturday, March 28, 2015, Race 13
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Money Talker (KY) Rafael Manuel Hernandez 117 Sid C. Attard - 2 2Artic North (KY) Paco Lopez 117 Patrick L. Reynolds - 3 3Imagining (KY) Irad Ortiz, Jr. 117 Claude R. McGaughey III - 4 4Street Chief (KY) Angel Serpa 117 William B. Bradley - 5 5Desvelo (ARG) Luis Saez 117 Kelly Rubley - 6 6Change of Command (MD) Gabriel Saez 117 Jorge Navarro - 7 7Pyrite Mountain (ON) John R. Velazquez 117 Todd A. Pletcher - 8 8Twilight Eclipse (KY) Javier Castellano 117 Thomas Albertrani - 9 9Glenard (GB) Edgar S. Prado 117 H. Graham Motion -