Indian Blessing couldn't have ended 2008 on a more perfect note when she registered a gutsy 1 1/2-length score Dec. 27 in the La Brea (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. The win marked her fifth lifetime grade I victory.
Harold A. "Sonny" Via Jr.'s Good Night Shirt repeated as champion steeplechaser, taking his second consecutive Eclipse Award in the same runaway fashion he used to win five grade I stakes during the 2008 season.
Sometimes a change of scenery and a stiff drink are all a girl needs. That was at least partially the case for Forever Together, who was named 2008 champion turf mare.
England's Triple Crown finale, the Ladbrokes St. Leger (Eng-I), isn't considered a normal route to the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT). But Michael Stoute hasn't ruled England's training ranks for years by playing it safe.
Every so often a juvenile filly comes along that just dominates her competition, and Stardom Bound did just that in 2008. What makes her accomplishments even more dramatic is she was able to inhale her rivals with hold-your-breath, last-to-first moves.
Like 19 other of his predecessors in the 25-year history of the Breeders' Cup, Midshipman used a Breeders' Cup victory as a springboard to being voted champion 2-year-old male.
The anticipation for many owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys and their connections will soon be over as the Eclipse Awards for Thoroughbred racing champions of 2008 will be announced Jan. 26 at a ceremony in Miami, Fla.
For the second consecutive year, announcer Kenny Rice will host the 38th annual Eclipse Awards on Monday evening Jan. 26 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Fla.
TVG will again broadcast the Eclipse Awards live, the network announced Jan. 12. The awards ceremony, honoring racing's champions of 2008, will be held Jan. 26 in Miami Beach, Fla.
The finalists for 2008 Eclipse Awards were released Jan. 8, with the winners to be announced Jan. 26 at a ceremony in Miami, Fla. The finalists are not announced for Horse of the Year until the awards ceremony.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and National Turf Writers Association announced Jan. 6 that NBC Sports has won the Media Eclipse Award for National Television - Live Programming for its telecast of the 2008 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
WAVE3-TV in Louisville, Ky., is the winner of the 2008 media Eclipse Award for local television, it was announced Jan. 5 by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers Association, and Daily Racing Form. WAVE3-TV earned the honor for its documentary on the 30th anniversary of the Affirmed-Alydar rivalry, "A Legend Re-Affirmed â€" The 1978 Triple Crown." The 30-minute telecast aired on May 1, 2008.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association announced Dec. 31 that the Web site courier-journal.com of the Louisville Courier-Journal has won the 2008 Media Eclipse Award in the Audio and Multi-Media Internet category for its three-part series on injuries to race horses, which appeared on its site from Aug. 16-18, 2008.
Vinnie Perrone, who for years covered Thoroughbred racing for the Washington Post, was announced Dec. 30 as winner of the Eclipse Award for writing in the feature/enterprise category.
Voting is underway on ntra.com for the 10th annual "NTRA Moment of the Year," it was announced Dec. 4. Voters can choose from among 12 images, drawn from the year's events.
The 2008 Eclipse Awards ceremony will return to South Florida Jan. 26, 2009, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Sept. 19.
Eric Hamelback, who has been with Frank Stronach's Adena Springs twice during his career, has been named general manager of the Kentucky property.
Stronach Stables' Ginger Punch, keen on defending her champion older female title of 2007, made it look easy in the $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap with a commanding victory in the Belmont Park fixture June 14.
With nearly every category a foregone conclusion, the 37th Eclipse Awards night appeared to hold few, if any, surprises -- until Jess Jackson in accepting Horse of the Year for Curlin announced the champion would continue racing in 2008.
Rags to Riches, the first filly in 102 years to win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), was voted champion 3-year-old filly of 2007. She finished ahead of two other Todd Pletcher trainees--Octave and Panty Raid--in Eclipse Award voting.
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Maryfield earns inaugural female sprinter Eclipse Award.
As a result of finishing 2007 as the leading breeder by earnings for the fifth consecutive year, Frank Stronach's Adena Springs was voted the outstanding breeder of the year for a record fifth time.
TVG will broadcast the 37th Eclipse Awards ceremony Jan. 21 from the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), National Turf Writers Association (NTWA) and Daily Racing Form (DRF) today announced the finalists for the 2007 Eclipse Awards.
Brian Hiro of the North County Times in Escondido, Calif., has won the 2007 Media Eclipse Award for writing in the Feature/Enterprise category, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Dec. 27.
Joe Talamo, the leading candidate for this year's outstanding apprentice Eclipse Award, will no longer be represented by agent Ronnie Ebanks.
Award-winning horse racing and sports announcer Kenny Rice will host the 37th Eclipse Awards Jan. 21, 2008, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Dec. 21.
Start engraving the Eclipse Awards. This year's honors are all but a done deal. Despite the horrible conditions at Monmouth Park, the Breeders' Cup World Championships were surprisingly formful, with several favorites and leading contenders turning in dominating performances.
- By Ron Mitchell
Though there are four more months left in the 2007 racing season, Street Sense's narrow victory in the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes (gr. I) is sure to provoke discussion of whether he has already done enough to sew up the 3-year-old championship.
Julien Leparoux, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey of 2006, spent some time out of town during the Turfway Park winter/spring meet but still won the riding title by one victory in the next-to-last race of the meet.
Filly and mare sprinters will be running for their own Eclipse Award beginning in 2007.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - On the night of the 36th Eclipse Awards Jan. 22 in Beverly Hills, Calif., every equine flat winner had one thing in common: all raced on Breeders' Cup World Championships day.
Shadwell Farm's Invasor, brought to the U.S. last winter from Uruguay, was named Horse of the Year during Monday's annual Eclipse Awards dinner.
Headed by Horse of the Year Invasor, here is a complete list of the 2006 Eclipse Award winners.
Voting for the 2006 Eclipse Awards concluded on Dec. 27. Here is the final vote tally by category.
Wait a While made a real name for herself in 2006 by winning graded stakes races on both dirt and turf, but it was on the grass where she really excelled. Her accomplishments on both surfaces earned Wait a While an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly for 2006.
How good was Bernardini in 2006? Good enough to make The Blood-Horse cover six times.
When he broke his maiden in January 2005 at Santa Anita Park in his second career start, Thor's Echo had the look of a very nice 3-year-old. He won the six-furlong maiden special weight event by four lengths in 1:09.50 and set course on a "Derby" campaign through the Southwest and Midwest.
For the first time in the history of the Eclipse Awards, there is a tie for outstanding owner of the year as Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable ties with Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables for outstanding owner with 110 votes apiece.
It comes as no surprise that trainer Todd Pletcher, a multiple record setter in 2006, will collect a third well-deserved Eclipse Award for his efforts.
Edgar Prado won plenty of races and purse money in 2006, but figures to be best remembered for something he accomplished outside the saddle.
If you don't recognize Julien Leparoux from the photo, that might be because you best remember the French-born jockey with his face down flying over the rail after being thrown during the Keeneland spring meeting.
The Special Eclipse Award, which honors outstanding individual achievements or contributions to Thoroughbred racing, isn't given out every year. Not surprisingly, the award for 2006 has been bestowed upon Roy and Gretchen Jackson and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at New Bolton Center.
Turning for home in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Street Sense seemed to materialize on the lead from out of nowhere with a move so explosive, even the normally eagle-eyed race caller Trevor Denman missed it.
When Paul Saylor purchased Fleet Indian at the 2006 Keeneland January mixed sale, he had modest expectations and plans for the then 5-year-old mare.
For the third consecutive year, Frank Stronach's Adena Springs has been voted the outstanding breeder of the year.
Another repeat for Lord Derby's globe-trotting mare Ouija Board -- first in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), and because of that performance, a second title as champion grass mare.
Miesque's Approval came from behind all right, unleashing a big kick that not only carried him to victory in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), but to an Eclipse Award as the top male turf horse of 2006.
No award given to John Nerud could be more appropriately named than the Award of Merit.
Foaled in Kentucky, nominated to the Breeders' Cup, sold at Keeneland, ridden by Pat Day at Saratoga -- then McDynamo grew up.