Curlin Tops Eclipse Finalists
The finalists for the 2007 Eclipse Awards were announced Jan. 4, with many of the categories, as usual, dominated by winners of the Breeders' Cup World Championships races.
It is possible that nine of the 10 (flat) Eclipse winners will have earned their championship by winning on one of the two-days of Breeders' Cup action last October at Monmouth Park- War Pass (2-year-old colt or gelding), Indian Blessing (2-year-old female), Curlin (3-year-old male), Corinthian (older male), Ginger Punch (older female), Midnight Lute (male sprinter), Maryfield (female sprinter), English Channel (male turf horse), Kip Deville (male turf horse), and Lahudood (female turf horse).
The finalists for the Horse of the Year award will be announced Jan. 21 at the Eclipse Awards ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Oaks (both grade I) winner Rags to Riches is a finalist in the champion 3-year-old filly category alongside stablemate and Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) third-place finisher Octave. The other finalist (grade I winner Panty Raid) in that category also hails from the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher.
Grade I winner Hard Spun, who finished second to Curlin in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), is a finalist in the 3-year-old colt or gelding category alongside Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Street Sense. Hard Spun also finished second in the Derby.
The finalists for the older male category includes 2006 Horse of the Year and 2007 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Invasor and Lawyer Ron, who broke the Saratoga track record for 1 1/8 miles in winning the Whitney Handicap (gr. I).
Frank Stronach's Adena Springs is a finalist for leading breeder once again, as is Stronach's Stronach Stables a finalist for leading owner. As breeder, Adena Springs has won the last three years. Stronach added a title in 2000.
Stronach is joined in the leading breeder category by William S. Farish and Martin and Pam Wygod. His leading owner rivals are Maggi Moss and Shadwell Stables. As owner, Stronach earned Eclipse Awards in 1998, 99, and 2000.
The trainer category is lead by Pletcher, who won his first classic race this year with Rags to Riches and once again broke his own single-season stable earnings record. Pletcher, a winner of the last three training awards, is joined by Steve Asmussen, the trainer of Curlin and 2-year-old colt or gelding finalists Kodiak Kowboy and Pyro. Kiaran McLaughlin, who trained Invasor, rounds out the top three.
Robby Albarado, Garrett Gomez, and John Velazquez are the finalists in the jockey category. Albarado was the regular rider aboard Curlin, Velazquez rode Rags to Riches in the Belmont and English Channel in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), and Gomez finished the year as the leading jockey by earnings and rode two Breeders' Cup winners, Midnight Lute in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and Indian Blessing in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
The finalists for the apprentice jockey category are Tyler Pizarro, Alonso Quinonez, and Joe Talamo.
Eclipse Awards winners are selected by the Daily Racing Form, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and the National Turf Writers Association.
2007 Eclipse Award Finalists
• Two-Year-old Male: Kodiak Kowboy,Pyro, War Pass
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