Led by Horse of the Year candidates American Pharoah , Beholder, and Runhappy, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) Jan. 6 announced the finalists for the 2015 Eclipse Awards, recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing.
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is a finalist in the Horse of the Year and 3-year-old male categories, while owner-breeder Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables is a finalist in both those categories. American Pharoah's Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is a finalist as well, along with his jockey, Victor Espinoza.
The 2015 Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
* Horse of the Year: American Pharoah, Beholder, Runhappy
* 2-year-old male: Airoforce, Mohaymen, Nyquist
* 2-year-old filly: Catch a Glimpse, Rachel's Valentina, Songbird
* 3-year-old male: American Pharoah, Dortmund, Runhappy
* 3-year-old filly: Found, I'm a Chatterbox, Stellar Wind
* Older dirt male: Honor Code , Liam's Map , Tonalist
* Older dirt female: Beholder, Sheer Drama, Stopchargingmaria
* Male sprinter: Private Zone, Rock Fall, Runhappy
* Female sprinter: La Verdad, Lady Shipman, Wavell Avenue
* Male turf horse: Big Blue Kitten, Golden Horn, The Pizza Man
* Female turf horse: Found (IRE), Stephanie's Kitten, Tepin
* Steeplechase horse: Bob Le Beau, Dawalan, Demonstrative
* Owner: Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc., Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, Zayat Stables
* Breeder: Darley, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Zayat Stables
* Trainer: Bob Baffert, Chad Brown, Todd Pletcher
* Jockey: Javier Castellano, Victor Espinoza, Irad Ortiz Jr.
* Apprentice jockey: Eric Cancel, Angel Cruz, Tyler Gaffalione
Winners in 17 horse and human categories will be announced at the 45th annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony, presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders' Cup and The Stronach Group on Saturday evening, Jan. 16, at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Of the 281 eligible voters representing the NTRA, the NTWAB and Daily Racing Form, 261 (92.88%) took part 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.
In addition to honoring the 17 winners in the horse and human categories, owner, breeder and philanthropist Leonard Lavin of Glen Hill Farm will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of achievement in the Thoroughbred industry; John O'Neil will receive an Eclipse Award as the 2015 Horseplayer of the Year; and members of the media will be honored for outstanding coverage in six categories.