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Jan 08, 2004

2003 Eclipse Award finalists announced

New York, NY (Sports Network) - The finalists for the 2003 Eclipse Awards

have been announced. The Eclipse Awards are presented annually to honor

achievements in thoroughbred racing.

Three finalists were announced in 10 horse categories and five human categories.

The finalists were announced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association,

National Turf Writers Association and the Daily Racing Form. The winners will

be announced at the Eclipse Awards ceremony in Hollywood, Florida on Monday,

January 26.

In the older male horse category the three finalists are seven-time stakes

winner Mineshaft, two-time Breders' Cup Classic runner-up Medalia d'Oro and

Hollywood Gold cup winner Congaree. Last year's Breeders' Cup Classic winner

Pleasantly Perfect is not among any of the finalists mentioned.

Congaree is also a finalist in the Sprinter category. He is joined by

Metroppolitan Handicap winner Aldebaran and Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Cajun Beat.

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide is a finalist in the

three- year-old section along with Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker and

Travers winner Ten Most Wanted.

The three finalists for Older Female are Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Adoration,

2002 Horse of the Year Azeri and four time winner Sightseek.

Richard Mandella, who saddled four winners in last year's Breeders' Cup races is

a finalist for Trainer of the Year. He is joined by Bobby Frankel who set a

record for Grade 1 stakes victories in 2003 and Todd Pletcher.

The three finalists for Jockey of the Year are Hall of Fame rider Jerry Bailey,

Edgar Prado and Pat Valenzuela. Bailey has been named outstanding jockey the

last three year and six times overall. Prado and Valenzuela are both going for

their first Eclipse Award.

Rounding out the finalists in the horse categories are:

Two-year-old Male: Action This Day, Birdstone and Cuvee. Tw-year-Old Female:

Ashado, Halfbridled and Victory U.S.A. Three-Year-Old Female: Bird Town, Elloluv

and Six Perfections. Male Turf Horse: High Chaparral, Johar and Storming Home.

Female Turf Horse: Heat Haze, Islington and Six Perfections. Steeplechase:

McDynamo, Pelagos and Praise the Prince.

The finalists in the remaining human categories are: Owner: Edmund Gann, Juddmonte Farm

and Michael Gill. Breeder: Adena Springs/Stronach Entities, Flaxman Holding

and Niarchos Family and Juddmone Farm. Apprentice Jockey: Eddie Castro, Pablo Fragoso

and Ryan Fogelsonger.

The Horse of the Year finalist will be revealed at the awards dinner. NTRA

Commissioner Tim Smith will present the Horse of the Year trophy to the winning


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