Updated on 01/26/2018 12:27PM

2012 Eclipse Award winners


2012 Eclipse Awards

Winners of the 2012 Eclipse Awards, selected by voters from Daily Racing Form, the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

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Wise Dan

Horse of the Year
Wise Dan

Wise Dan became the first horse since John Henry in 1981 to win three Eclipse Awards in the same year, including Horse of the Year, at the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards on Saturday night at Gulfstream Park. View Full Story »
Votes: Wise Dan, 194; I'll Have Another, 30; Fort Larned, 12; Royal Delta, 8; Little Mike, 6; Frankel, 1; Groupie Doll, 1; Shanghai Bobby, 1; voter abstention, 1


2-year-old male
Shanghai Bobby

In a year during which trainer Todd Pletcher won 66 races restricted to 2-year-olds, it was the juvenile he started first who proved to be his best. View Full Profile »
Votes: Shanghai Bobby 253, Uncaptured 1


2-year-old female

Yes, the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies had a $2 million purse that was four times greater than the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint. And the Juvenile Fillies was the biggest race of the year for the division, which has been the case since its inception. By comparison the Juvenile Sprint, at least at this early stage of its existence, is basically a novelty. View Full Profile »
Votes: Beholder 225, Executiveprivelege 27, Dreaming of Julia 1, So Many Ways 1

Animal Kingdom

3-year-old male
I'll Have Another

He won the Robert Lewis Stakes, but few believed. Even after he won the Santa Anita Derby, doubts remained, so much so that he was only the ninth choice among 20 in the Kentucky Derby. And even after winning that race, he will wasn’t favored in the Preakness. View Full Profile »
Votes: I'll Have Another 247, Bodemiester 3, Union Rags 1, Paynter 1, The Lumber Guy 1, voter abstention 1


3-year-old female

After close finishes in two turf stakes in her native England, and a respectable fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies for trainer John Gosden, it was clear Questing had some ability as a 2-year-old in 2011. But as the 2012 racing season neared its halfway point, she had run twice on grass for Kiaran McLaughlin, and each time had finished out of the money as the favorite. View Full Profile »
Votes: Questing 106, My Miss Aurelia 102, Believe You Can 17, Contested 13, Dance Card 6, Lady of Shamrock 5, In Lingerie 4, Zo Impressive 1

Wise Dan

Older male
Wise Dan

What do Eclipse Award voters do with a runner whose record is only a head away from being flawless, who traveled far and wide to win in Kentucky, New York, Canada, and California, whose people classed up the game and let their horse do the talking? View Full Profile »
Votes: Wise Dan 139, Fort Larned 102, Little Mike 4, Game on Dude 1, Shackleford 1

Royal Delta

Older female
Royal Delta

The list of horses to win the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic twice is a very short one: Bayakoa (1989-90) and Royal Delta (2011-12). Given the exalted place that Bayakoa occupies in the pantheon of American racing, it says quite a bit about where Royal Delta stands. View Full Profile »
Votes: Royal Delta 231, Groupie Doll 22, It's Tricky 1

Wise Dan

Male turf
Wise Dan

What do Eclipse Award voters do with a runner whose record is only a head away from being flawless, who traveled far and wide to win in Kentucky, New York, Canada, and California, whose people classed up the game and let their horse do the talking? View Full Profile »
Votes: Wise Dan, 170; Little Mike, 78; Point of Entry, 5, no vote, 1


Female turf

By the time Zagora left Saratoga last season, her year was reaching a crescendo. She had already won four stakes on turf and finished third in the Grade 1 Diana Stakes to stake a rightful place among the nation’s top turf females. View Full Profile »
Votes: Zagora, 242; Marketing Mix, 5; Lady of Shamrock, 4; Dayatthespa, 2; voter abstention 1


Male sprinter

Shivananda Parbhoo had high hopes for Trinniberg’s 3-year-old season – and rightly so – after his speedster had finished second in both the Grade 1 Hopeful and Grade 2 Nashua at 2. He just wasn’t aiming quite as high as competing in the Kentucky Derby, being in the winner’s circle on Breeders’ Cup Day, and potentially standing at the podium at this year’s Eclipse Award ceremonies to accept the honor for training the champion sprinter of 2012. View Full Profile »
Votes: Trinniberg, 223; Shackleford 11, The Lumber Guy, 8; Caixa Eletronica 2; voter abstention, 1

Groupie Doll

Female sprinter
Groupie Doll

If not for a nose defeat in her final start of the year, the Grade 1 Cigar Mile in late November, Groupie Doll might well have been a candidate for Horse of the Year. Yes, her 2012 was that good. View Full Profile »
Votes: Groupie Doll 250, Mizdirection 3, Contested 1

Pierrot Lunaire

Steeplechase horse
Pierrot Lunaire

If Pierrot Lunaire does not win the 2012 Eclipse Award as champion steeplechaser, his connections might want to lobby racing for the creation of a new honor. How about Comeback Player of the Year? View Full Profile »
Votes: Pierrot Lunaire, 116; Demonstrative, 99; Divine Fortune, 1; Arcadius, 1; Woodmont 1; voter abstention, 1

Dale Romans

Dale Romans

Dale Romans didn’t lead all trainers in earnings in 2012, nor did he win the most graded stakes races.View Full Profile »
Votes: Dale Romans 119; Todd Pletcher, 57; Bob Baffert, 35; Chad Brown, 2; Bill Mott, 2, Jamie Ness, 2; Doug O'Neill, 2; Steve Asmussen, 1; Ian Wilkes, 1; voter abstention, 1


Godolphin Racing LLC

It had been six years since Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum’s Godolphin Racing last won the Dubai World Cup, and when the stable’s signature blue silks entered the winner’s circle at Meydan Race Course with Monterosso, it capped off a dominant evening for the operation. View Full Profile »
Votes: Godolphin Racing LLC, 113; Midwest Thoroughbreds, 50; Reddam Racing, 26; John Oxley, 13; Morton Fink, 12; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 2; Janice Whitham, 2; Zayat Stables, 2; Repole Racing, 1; Starlight Racing, 1; voter abstentions, 7



Darley Stud, owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, led all breeders in American graded stakes wins last year. Nine Darley-breds won 15 graded races during the season. View Full Profile »
Votes: Darley, 170; Adena Springs, 25; Brereton Jones, 15; Janice Whitham, 4; Phipps Stable, 3; Harvey Clarke, 2; Fred and William Bradley, 1; William Graham, 1; Palides Ivestments, 1; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 1; Stonestreet Thoroughbreds, 1; voter abstentions 10

Ramon Dominguez

Ramon Dominguez

Ramon Dominguez is a finalist to win a third consecutive Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey after a 2012 season in which he set a record for purse earnings by a rider in a single year. Dominguez’s mounts racked up $25,582,252, besting the mark of $23,354,960 set by Jerry Bailey in 2003. Dominguez achieved the record on Nov. 9. View Full Profile »
Votes: Ramon Dominguez, 201; John Velazquez, 37; Rosie Napravnik, 4; Javier Castellano, 2; Russel Baze, 2; Rafael Bejarano, 2; Mario Gutierrez, 1; Mike Smith, 1; voter abstentions, 3; no vote, 1

Jose Montano

Apprentice jockey
Jose Montano

Jose Montano led all North American-based apprentice jockeys in wins in 2012, and for the accomplishment he is an Eclipse Award finalist. Montano’s case for outstanding apprentice jockey was made from Jan. 1 through Oct. 14, when he won 187 races from 899 mounts before losing his apprentice allowance. During that period, the horses he rode earned $2,891,906. View Full Profile »
Votes: Jose Montano, 127; Irad Ortiz, Jr., 34; Angel Suarez, 25; Eswan Flores, 16; Wilmer Garcia, 4; Eliska Kubinova, 4; CJ McMahon, 2; Jose Ortiz, 2; Hugo Sanchez, 2; Nicholas Milford, 1; voter abstentions, 37


Michael Beychok

As a part of the Eclipse Awards festivities, and to salute horseplayers throughout North America, the Eclipses will honor Michael Beychok, who won the $1 million first-place prize and title of 2012 Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association Handicapper of the Year by a single dollar at the 13th annual DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship last January at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. View Full Profile »


Award of Merit

Award of Merit – Nick Nicholson

Media Eclipse Awards

Photography – Tom Keyser, Daily Racing Form; “Brooklyn Handicap,” July 12, 2012.

Writing – Feature/Commentary - Ryan Goldberg, Daily Racing Form; “Keiber Coa presses on a year after father's fateful spill,” July 7, 2012.

Writing - News/Enterprise – Mary Simon, Thoroughbred Times; “Added Obstacle,” June 9, 2012.

Television - Feature - ESPN, “Notinrwildestdremz”; Heather Lombardo, Producer and Director; Oct. 30, 2012.

Television - Live Racing - NBC, “2012 Kentucky Derby,” Rob Hyland, Coordinating Producer; May 5, 2012.

Audio and Multi-Media Internet – Glenye Cain Oakford, Daily Racing Form; “Zenyatta: Wait for first foal combines art, science, and anticipation,” Feb. 28, 2012. 

MORE: Full list of 2012 Eclipse Awards finalists and DRF profiles