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 winners are determined by first-place votes, but voters must choose their top three in all categories. Thus, even if say, Zenyatta, were a unanimous choice for older female, the second and third-place votes determine finalists.
The Horse of the Year race is expected to be between last year's winner, Curlin , and unbeaten Zenyatta. Other sentiment has been heard for Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown .
The Eclipse Awards are voted on by three groups: The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers Association, and Daily Racing Form.
The Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
Two-Year-Old Male: Midshipman , Old Fashioned , Vineyard Haven
Two-Year-Old Filly: Dream Empress, Maram, Stardom Bound
Three-Year-Old Male: Big Brown, Colonel John , Raven's Pass
Three-Year-Old Filly: Eight Belles, Music Note, Proud Spell
Older Male: Commentator, Curlin, Einstein
Older Female: Cocoa Beach, Ginger Punch, Zenyatta
Male Sprinter: Benny the Bull, Midnight Lute , Street Boss
Female Sprinter: Indian Blessing, Intangaroo, Ventura
Male Turf Horse: Conduit, Einstein, Grand Couturier
Female Turf Horse: Cocoa Beach, Forever Together, Goldikova
Steeplechase Horse: Be Certain, Good Night Shirt, Sovereign Duty
Owner: Godolphin Racing, IEAH Stables, Stronach Stables
Breeder: Adena Springs, Stonerside Stable, WinStar Farm
Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Richard Dutrow, Jr., Bobby Frankel
Jockey: Robby Albarado, Rafael Bejarano, Garrett Gomez
Apprentice Jockey: Inez Karlsson, Pascacio Lopez, Abel Mariano