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Jan 26, 2006

Saint Liam is 2005 Horse of the Year


Beverly Hills, CA (Sports Network) - Thoroughbred racing's night of champions took place Monday and Horse of the Year honors went to 2005 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Saint Liam.

Saint Liam, owned by Mr. and Mrs. William Warren Jr., received the Eclipse Award over three-year-old champion Afleet Alex and two-year-old champion Stevie Wonderboy. Saint Liam was also voted Champion Older Male Horse of 2005. Now retired, Saint Liam was trained by Rick Dutrow Jr. and earned almost $3.7 million in 2005.

The owners of Afleet Alex, Cash is King Stable, received the Special Award in recognition of outstanding achievements or contributions to the sport of thoroughbred racing. Meanwhile, Afleet Alex's heart-stopping win in the 2005 Preakness, a triumph achieved despite a near catastrophic bumping incident, has been voted the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Moment of the Year.

Afleet Alex's Preakness received a whopping 82% of the vote, easily the most lopsided victory in any of the NTRA Moment of the Year elections. Finishing a distant second was Giacomo's Kentucky Derby victory.

Owned by Merv Griffin, Stevie Wonderboy captured last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile and is the early favorite to win this year's Kentucky Derby. He finished second this month in his first race of 2006.

Stevie Wonderboy is trained by Doug O'Neill and earned more than $1 million in 2005. He captured three of five starts last year, including the Del Mar Futurity.

Ashado, 2004 champion three-year-old filly, has been voted the Eclipse Award as Champion Older Female. She was third in the Breeders' Cup Distaff last year after winning the race in 2004. Ashado is owned by Starlight Stable and was trained by Todd Pletcher.

Pletcher came away with the Eclipse Award as Champion Trainer for the second straight time. In 2005 Pletcher earned more than $20 million, establishing a new mark for conditioners.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Folklore was selected as Champion Two- year-old Filly. Folklore is owned by Robert and Beverly Lewis and trained by D. Wayne Lukas.

The winner as 2005 Champion Three-year-old Filly is Mother Goose winner Smuggler. The filly is owned by the Phipps Stable and trained by Shug McGaughey. Last year she won three of four starts, including the Coaching Club of America Oaks.

Three-year-old Lost in the Fog is the winner as 2005 Champion Sprinter after winning eight of nine starts last year. Lost in the Fog is owned by Harry Aleo and trained by Greg Gilchrist.

Leroidesanimaux is the Eclipse Award winner as Champion Male Turf horse. He is owned by Stud TNT and Stonewall Farm, and trained by Bobby Frankel. In 2005 Leroidesanimaux won three of four starts for more than $1.2 million. He was second in the Breeders' Cup Mile to Artie Schiller, who was a close second for this honor.

Intercontinental, winner of the 2005 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, is the Eclipse Award winner as Champion Female Turf runner. She is owned by Juddmonte Farm and trained by Bobby Frankel. Last year Intercontinental earned more than $1.2 million, winning five of seven starts.

The 2005 Eclipse Award winner as Champion Steeplechaser is McDynamo. The gelding won the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase and the Colonial Cup for owner Michael Moran and trainer Sanna Hendriks.

John Velazquez repeats as Champion Jockey of the Year. He easily outdistanced Edgar Prado in the voting. Third was Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey, who will conclude his riding career this Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

The Eclipse Award winner as Outstanding Apprentice jockey is Emma-Joyce Wilson. The Canadian won 174 races and earned $6.1 million.

Michael Gill has been voted the Outstanding Owner for 2005 and Adena Springs is the Outstanding Breeder.

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