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Jan 19, 2012

Eclipse Awards

By: Joe Girardi

               The Eclipse Awards for the 2011 season have been presented and here are some of the winners.

In the Two Year Old Male division the winner was Hansen. He got the job done in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile over Union Rags and the voting went the same way with Hansen winning by a 194-52 margin while Secret Circle and Overdriven each received 1 vote.

In the Two Year Old Filly division My Miss Aurelia won in what should have been a unanimous vote but she received 247 first place votes to just 1 for Stephanie’s Kitten. She had an undefeated season and should be one to watch this year as a three year old for the Steve Asmussen barn.

In the Three Year Old Male division it was a much closer race with Animal Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby winner scoring 114-111 over Caleb’s Posse, Shackleford (12), Ruler On Ice (5), Stay Thirsty (4), Uncle Mo (1), with one voter abstention.

The Three Year Old Filly division should have been another unanimous division with Royal Delta receiving all the first place votes but she received 243 with Awesome Feather (2), Plum Pretty (2) and Zazu (1). She defeated older fillies in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic to end her season.

The Older Male division was a very contentious lot with Acclamation scoring with 95 first place votes to 70 for Game on Dude. Tizway, who had to be retired with an injury before the Breeders’ Cup garnered 52, Drosselmeyer (21), Cape Blanco (3), Wise Dan (1), one voter abstention and one no vote.

The Older Female division was another easy win for Havre De Grace getting 245 to Blind Luck’s 2 and 1 for Awesome Maria.

The Male Sprinter went to Amazombie, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in easy fashion with 201 first place votes to Caleb’s Posse 42, Regally Ready had 2 as did The Factor with Jackson Bend getting 1.

The Female Sprinter went to the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, Musical Romance as she nailed down 131 first place votes. Hilda’s Passion finished second with 53 and Sassy Image was third with 46. Turbulent Descent had 13 and Switch got 2 with two voter abstentions and 1 no vote.

The Male Turf Horse went to Cape Blanco, the winner of the Arlington Million getting 172 first place votes over Acclamation who had 55 while the Breeders’ Cup Turf winner St Nicholas Abbey getting 16 votes. Court Vision and Turallure both received 2 and somehow Drosselmeyer received 1. Drosselmeyer, the upset winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, he had one start over the turf in 2011 and he finished well up the track. Makes you wonder who could have possibly voted for him.

The Female Turf Horse went to Stacelita in impression fashion, 158 first place votes to Perfect Shirl who had 28. Never Retreat got 25, with Dubawi Heights getting 17. Summer Soiree (4), Aruna (3), Winter Memories (3), Goldikova (2), Cambina, Cozi Rosie, Sarah Lynx, Star Billing, Together all getting 1 vote. There was 3 voter abstentions.

The Owner went to Ken and Sarah Ramsey, big supporters of the game 66-60 over Midwest Throughbreds, with Team Valor finishing third with 25.

The Breeder went to Adena Springs for the sixth time with 151 first place votes.  Frank Stronach owns Adena Springs and he won top Breeder under his own name back in 2000 giving him seven top breeder awards combined. Ken And Sarah Ramsey finished second with 62 votes.

The Top trainer went to Bill Mott with 83 first place votes besting Bob Baffert who had 60 first place votes. Todd Pletcher finished third with 57 votes.

The Top Jockey was clearly Ramon Dominguez who grabbed 197 first place votes with John Velazquez finishing well back with 30 first place votes. Javier Castellano checked in third with 14 first place votes.

The Top Apprentice Jockey went to Kyle Frey who had 77 first place votes to 57 for the second place finisher Ryan Curatolo.

The top award of the night was Horse of the Year. That honor went to Havre De Grace at the 41st annual Eclipse Awards dinner at the Beverly Wilshire. She got 166 of the 248 possible votes. 12 others received votes with Acclamation coming in second with 26. Rapid Redux, the best story of 2011 with 19 wins in 2011 and 22 in a row overall actually received 4 votes despite racing against starter allowance foes. Havre De Grace became the third straight female to be named Horse of the Year following Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta.

It starts all over again it what should be another exciting year, just think, less than four months to the Kentucky Derby.




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