Las Vegas, NV -
Las Vegas, NV - The 43rd Annual Eclipse Award dinner went down Saturday night, January 18 from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The best that Thoroughbred Racing has to offer were voted upon by Daily Racing Form, the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and honored Saturday night.
Let's take a look at all the winners highlighted by an unprecedented repeat win in three categories by Wise Dan.
Horse Race Betting at Gulfstream Park- Open OTB Account
Horse of the Year - Wise Dan
It was another sensational year for Wise Dan - he became the first horse to win three Eclipse Awards in consecutive years. He won the 2013 Horse of the Year, champion older male, and champion male turf horse - the same categories he swept in 2012 - total domination once again by the most impressive horse on the planet. He won six of seven starts last year - the lone blemish being the Shadwell Turf Mile in which he finished second.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Wise Dan, 208, Mucho Macho Man, 21, Will Take Charge, 15; Others: Dank (GB), 1; Princess of Sylmar, 1; Royal Delta, 1, abstentions, 2.
2-year-old male - Shared Belief
Had three starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer last year and on them all - the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity December 14, the Hollywood Prevue Stakes November 10 and a MSW in his debut in October. He was mighty impressive and won a close vote with New Year's Day by just 16 votes.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Shared Belief 115, New Year's Day 99, Havana 24, Others: Honor Code 5, Outstrip 4, Tamarando 1, No vote 1.
2-year-old female - She's a Tiger
Jeff Bonde trainee had six starts last year winning three and finishing second in the other three. Most recently she was second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies but she did win the Del Mar Debutante in August and the Landulace Stakes in July. She's a Tiger was the runaway winner of the category - the next best was nearly 200 votes behind.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: She's a Tiger 212, Chriselliam 15, Ria Antonia 10, Others: Sweet Reason 3, Stopshoppingmaria 3, Streaming 3, My Conquestadory 2, Artemis Agrotera 1.
3-year-old male - Will Take Charge
D. Wayne Lukas trainee didn't have the best Triple Crown run but came on at the end of the season to claim the honors. He won three of his last four races including the Grade 1 Clark Handicap, the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby and the Grade 1 Travers Stakes. The only blemish over that span was a second in the Breeders' Cup. Will Take Charge was a runaway winner in this category.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Take Charge 231, Orb 15, Palace Malice 1, Others: Goldencents 1, Verrazano 1.
3-year-old female - Beholder
Recorded five victories and two seconds in 2013 and won her last three races to close out the campaign including the Breeders' Cup Distaff, the Grade 1 Zenyatta and the Torrey Pines Stakes - to go along with wins in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes. This category was a two horse race with Beholder easily coming out on top.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Beholder 207, Princess of Sylmar 42, Close Hatches 0.
Older male - Wise Dan
Wise Dan was pressed by Breeders' Cup Classic winner Mucho Mach Man in this category but he came out on top is expected. Just one loss last year? It's no wonder he won.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Wise Dan 123, Mucho Macho Man 93, Game on Dude 31, Others: Flat Out 2.
Older female - Royal Delta
This is the third year in a row Royal Delta has won an Eclipse - she won this very category last year. She had her most disappointing performance last time out - a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff after a second in the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational and two straight wins - the Grade 1 Personal Ensign and the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap. Royal Delta had three wins and two seconds in seven starts last year and was the runaway winner in this category.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Royal Delta 234, Joyful Victory 3, Tiz Miz Sue 2, Others: Dank 5, Dance to Bristol 1, Laughing 1, Brandy's Secret 1, abstention 1, no vote 1.
Male turf - Wise Dan
Absolutely no surprise here.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Wise Dan 243, Magician 4, Point of Entry 1, Others: Obviously 1.
Female turf - Dank
British bred mare took North America by storm winning the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf and the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes in her only other start here. She fared well at home as well recording two wins and a third in three starts in 2013. Dank was an easy winner of this category.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Dank 229, Laughing 8, Mizdirection 8.
Male sprinter - Points Offthebench
In one of the more competitive categories this year Points Offthebench got enough votes after four wins and a second in five starts in 2012. He ended his year on a four race win streak including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint, the Grade 1 Bin Crosby and a couple of Allowance Optional Claiming races for trainer Tim Yakteen.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Points Offthebench 125, Secret Circle 70, Sahara Sky 45, Others: Justin Phillip 4, Private Zone 2, Immortal Eyes 1, Strapping Groom 1, abstention 1.
Female sprinter - Groupie Doll
Repeat winner in this category wasn't quite as dominant this year as last but a win in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint likely secured her second straight Award. She had five starts in 2013 with two wins - the BC and the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters and she also had a pair of thirds. Despite not blowing away the field she is a deserving winner of this category.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Groupie Doll 192, Mizdirection 45, Dance to Bristol 5, Others: Cluster of Stars, 7.
Steeplechase horse - Divine Fortune
Raced seven times last year and had two wins - the biggest being the Grade 1 Grand National Hurdle Stakes at Far Hills in October. Despite not dominating the year, Divine Fortune was a relatively easy winner of this category.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Divine Fortune 112, Italian Wedding 27, Gustavian 25, Others: Alajmal 21, Mr. Hot Stuff 12, Abstentions 52.
Trainer - Todd Pletcher
Horse betting at Gulfstream Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Todd Pletcher easily won the Top Trainer for the sixth time in his career. He won had the most purse earnings last year - $25.2 million ($10 million more than second place Bob Baffert), had 48 graded stakes wins (20 more than second place Bob Baffert) and he had 13 Grade 1 winners. His horses placed in a staggering 57% of the races they entered.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Todd Pletcher 183, Bill Mott 7, Bob Baffert 5, Others: D. Wayne Lukas 21, Jerry Hollendorfer 9, Charles LoPresto 6, Shug McGaughey 6, Steve Asmussen 3, Chad Brown 2, Kathy Ritvo 2, Ollie Figgins 1, David Jacobson 1, King Leatherbury 1, Dale Romans 1, abstention 1.
Jockey - Javier Castellano
Javier Castellano wins his first Eclipse on the heels of a record breaking year - his mounts earned an incredible $26,213,507 and he himself had 362 wins - leading the country. Castellano beat out the legend Gary Stevens who had a terrific comeback season.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Javier Castellano 134, Gary Stevens 65, Joel Rosario 21, Others: Mike Smith 19, John Velazquez 8, Corey Nakatani 1, abstention 1.
Apprentice jockey - Victor Carrasco
Carrasco led all North American-based apprentice jockeys in both wins and mount earnings last year and won 255 races along the way. He is a name to watch and the easy winner in this category.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Victor Carrasco 172, Edgard Zayas 18, Manuel Franco 13, Others: Emmanuel Esquivel 8, Jose Ortiz 4, Dylan Davis 3, Trevor McCarthy 2, Voter abstentions 29.
Owner - Ken and Sarah Ramsey
This is the third Eclipse Award for the Ramseys but arguably their best ever year. They finished $5 million ahead of the second place finisher in earnings last year with $12 million. There was little doubt about the winner here.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Ken and Sarah Ramsey 235, Midwest Thoroughbreds 4, Juddmonte 0, Others: Morton Fink 3, Gary and Mary West 2, Jungle Racing 1, Maggi Moss 1, abstentions 3.
Breeder - Ken and Sarah Ramsey
The Ramseys led all breeders with 23 black-type winners on the season and a total of 287 wins. The sent out such horses as grade I winners Admiral Kitten, Big Blue Kitten, Kitten's Dumplings, Real Solution, and Stephanie's Kitten; grade II winners Emotional Kitten and Hyper; and grade III winners Bobby's Kitten, Csaba, and Kitten Kaboodle.
The Voting breakdown goes as follows: Ken and Sarah Ramsey 221, Adena Springs 17, Morton Fink 4, Others: Darley 1, WinStar Farm 1, abstentions 1. The Ramseys were the overwhelming winners in this category and rightfully so.
Handicapper - Jim Benes
2013 DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year and the $750,000 prize walks away with the Eclipse Award as well.