Led by Horse of the Year finalists Blame , Goldikova, and Zenyatta, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters on Jan. 6 announced the finalists for 2010 Eclipse Awards, recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing. Winners in all 17 horse and human categories will be announced at the 40th annual Eclipse Awards dinner ceremony Jan. 17 17 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Fla.
There was record participation from 238 out of 251 voters (94.8%) representing the NTRA, the NTWAB and Daily Racing Form in this year’s voting. Finalists were determined in each category by voters’ top three selections, using a 10-5-1 point basis. Eclipse Award winners are determined solely by first place votes. The voting was audited by the Louisville accounting firm Strothman & Company.
Blame, winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I); Goldikova, the French mare who captured the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT); and Zenyatta, the Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up, are the three finalists for the coveted title of Horse of the Year.
The 4-year-old Blame, owned and bred by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, held off the fast closing 6-year-old mare Zenyatta by a head in the Classic on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Blame, who won four races in five starts in 2010, is also a finalist for champion Older Male. Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider are also finalists in both the Champion Owner and Champion Breeder categories.
As a 5-year-old, Goldikova captured her unprecedented third consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile last fall in a season in which she won five group or grade I races. Goldikova is also a finalist in the Female Turf category. Owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, Goldikova has already won the 2010 Cartier Racing Award as the European Horse of the Year.
Zenyatta, runner up for Horse of the Year in 2008 and 2009, was undefeated in 19 career races prior to the Classic. A winner of five grade I races in 2010, she is also a finalist in the Older Female category, an award she has won the past two years. Zenyatta’s, owners, Jerry and Ann Moss, are finalists for champion owner, and Zenyatta’s trainer, John Shirreffs, is a finalist for champion trainer.
The Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
• Owner: Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider,
Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss, WinStar Farm
• Breeder: Adena Springs, Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider,
Brereton C. Jones
• Trainer: Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, John Shirreffs
• Jockey: Ramon Dominguez, Garrett Gomez, John Velazquez
• Apprentice Jockey: Forest Boyce, Omar Moreno, Angel Serpa