01/17/2015 8:58PM

2014 Eclipse Awards Winners


2012 Eclipse Awards

Winners of the 2014 Eclipse Awards, selected by voters from Daily Racing Form, the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Click on a winner to read DRF's profile. Winners were announced Jan. 17 at the 44th Annual Eclipse Awards dinner at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

California Chrome

Horse of the Year
California Chrome

California Chrome proved as popular with Eclipse Award voters as he was with the general public, earning titles as both Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male at the 44th annual Eclipse Awards dinner Saturday night at Gulfstream Park. View Full Profile »

California Chrome, 143; Main Sequence, 53; Bayern, 36; Shared Belief, 12; Untapable, 11; Wise Dan, 6; Adelaide (IRE), 1; Take Charge Brandi, 1. Voter Abstentions, 2.
California Chrome

3-year-old male
California Chrome

On April 1, 2009, in an $8,000 claiming race going one mile at Golden Gate Fields, the 3-year-old filly Love the Chase finished last in a field of eight, beaten more than 13 lengths at odds of 28-1. It was the final start of a career that saw the daughter of Not For Love win once in six starts, for total earnings of $7,020. View Full Profile »

Voting: California Chrome 193, Bayern 56, Shared Belief 15, Voter abstentions 1


3-year-old female

Looking back with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, 4-1 was quite possibly the overlay of the year when Eclipse Award finalist Untapable made her 3-year-old debut in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes.View Full Profile »

Voting: Untapable 265


Javier Castellano

Javier Castellano set a high standard in 2013, when he won his first Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey after establishing a North American record for mount earnings in a year. Castellano again managed to reach significant heights in 2014, and because of his accomplishments, he is an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding jockey for the fourth time.View Full Profile »

Voting: Javier Castellano 203, John Velazquez 34, Mike Smith 8, Joel Rosario 8, Rosie Napravnik 5, Victor Espinoza 4, Irad Ortiz Jr, 2, Alexis Batista 1


Apprentice jockey
Drayden Van Dyke

Drayden Van Dyke jumped right into a career in racing following his high school graduation, traveling to Southern California from his home in Arkansas to work for trainer Tom Proctor. His ambitious move has paid dividends, as Van Dyke, 20, is an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding apprentice jockey of 2014. View Full Profile »

Voting: Drayden Van Dyke 225, Juan Saez 11, Trevor McCarthy 6, Taylor Rice 6, Voter abstentions 17


2-year-old male
American Pharoah

As he glanced at the board following the running of the fifth race at Golden Gate Fields on Oct. 19, track announcer Michael Wrona was taken aback by the fact that the debuting 2-year-old he had just called to victory had run six furlongs in 1:09.53. View Full Profile »

Voting: American Pharoah, 126; Texas Red, 111; Hootenanny, 16; Carpe Diem, 7; Dortmund, 3; Ocho Ocho Ocho, 2.

Take Charge Brandi

2-year-old female
Take Charge Brandi

She danced almost every dance at six different racetracks from coast to coast. She was very much the embodiment of the philosophy that trainer D. Wayne Lukas has demonstrated for four decades – that racehorses are meant to race. And the combination of her innate ability and Lukas’s faith in her enabled Take Charge Brandi to mount a late-season charge that made her the heavy favorite to win an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly. View Full Profile »

Voting: Take Charge Brandi, 236; Lady Eli, 23; Condo Commando, 3; Sunset Glow, 3


Todd Pletcher

In what has become a yearly tradition, Todd Pletcher topped all North American trainers in three key categories in 2014: earnings, stakes wins, and graded stakes victories. View Full Profile »

Voting: Todd Pletcher 100, Chad Brown 64, Art Sherman 45, Bob Baffert 20, Graham Motion 13, Jerry Hollendorfer 11, Steve Asmussen 6, D. Wayne Lukas 3, Karl Broberg 1, Edward Graham 1, Mike Maker 1


Ken and Sarah Ramsey

Owners and breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey are in familiar territory as Eclipse Award finalists. View Full Profile »

Voting: Ken and Sarah Ramsey 179, Midwest Throughbreds 21, Kaleem Shah Inc. 20, Others: Flaxman Holdings Ltd 18, Steven Coburn and Perry Martin 6, Maggie Moss 2, John Oxley 1, Robert Evans 1, voter abstentions 5

Main Sequence

Older male
Main Sequence

When a horse loses a race and the loss, which was only a plain, simple, happens-every-race kind of defeat, is news in itself, we are talking about a horse of real fame and accomplishment. We’re talking about a horse like Wise Dan. And yes, Wise Dan lost a race. On Oct. 5, he finished second in the Shadwell Turf Mile, a misnomer for a race that had been rained off grass. Wise Dan, wide on both turns, chased Silver Max all the way around Keeneland’s Polytrack and never caught him. For the first time since a narrow defeat June 16, 2012, in the Stephen Foster Handicap, Wise Dan returned to his stall after a race without first stopping to get his picture taken. It was news. And it opened a vein of skepticism that was mined for the three weeks between the Shadwell and the Breeders’ Cup Mile. View Full Profile »

Voting: Main Sequence 127, Palace Malice 103, Wise Dan 25 Goldencents 9, Game on Dude 1

Close Hatches

Older female
Close Hatches

Expectations were high for Close Hatches in 2014. She entered the year ranked among the leaders of the older female division following a 2013 campaign at age 3 that included Grade 1 wins and a runner-up finish in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. View Full Profile »

Voting: Close Hatches 155, Dayatthespa 64, Don't Tell Sophia 19, Judy the Beauty 15, Iotapa 7, Beholder 5

Work All Week

Male sprinter
Work All Week

In the span of three years, 2011-13, the Midwest Thoroughbreds operation of Rich and Karen Papiese won 1,362 races: 418 in 2011, 542 in 2012, and 402 in 2013. View Full Profile »

Voting: Work All Week 184, Goldencents 52, Palace 12, Private Zone 11, Bobby's Kitten 2, Bayern 1, Big Macher 1, Secret Circle 1, Shared Belief 1

Judy the Beauty

Female sprinter
Judy the Beauty

One year after coming within a half-length of winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, Judy the Beauty followed through in the 2014 renewal to put herself in a prime position to reign atop her division in Eclipse Award balloting. View Full Profile »

Voting: Judy the Beauty 261, Midnight Lucky 1, Living the Life (IRE) 1, La Verdad 1, Awesome Baby 1


Ken and Sarah Ramsey

Owners and breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey are in familiar territory as Eclipse Award finalists. View Full Profile »

Voting: Ken and Sarah Ramsey 129, Adena Springs 43, Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC 43, Others: Flaxman Holdings Ltd. 29, Steven Coburn and Perry Martin 6, Helen Alexander 3, Winstar Farm 3, Darley 1, Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. 1, voter abstentions 7

Divine Fortune

Steeplechase horse

North America’s Grade 1 steeplechase schedule includes just six races. They range from 2 1/16 miles to 3 miles, May to November, Tennessee to New York, flat/fast racetracks to hilly/taxing racecourses. Demonstrative made all six – putting up three wins, a second (by a nose), a third, and a sixth. The three Grade 1 wins led all 2014 steeplechasers. The $362,500 in earnings, the second-highest total for a season in history, did as well. View Full Profile »

Voting: Demonstrative 206, Divine Fortune 12, Decoy Daddy (IRE) 5, Makari 2, Voter abstentions 40

Main Sequence

Male turf
Main Sequence

The sharp bend into the homestretch on the tight Monmouth Park turf course is no place for a horse to hit peak stride while racing wide. What usually happens is this: The horse becomes unbalanced, loses momentum, and lacks time to recover before the finish wire pops up on a relatively short straightaway. View Full Profile »

Voting: Main Sequence 243, Wise Dan 18, California Chrome 2, Karakontie (JPN) 1, Adelaide (AUS) 1


Female turf

The New York-bred mare Dayatthespa long ago outgrew her roots. There were clues from the beginning that it could happen. View Full Profile »

Voting: Dayatthespa 260, Crown Queen 2, Coffee Clique 1, Room Service 1, voter abstentions 1

Jose Arias

As a part of the Eclipse Awards festivities and to salute horseplayers throughout North America, Jose Arias, of Bell Gardens, Calif., will be recognized as the winner of the $750,000 first-place prize, an Eclipse Award, and the title of 2014 DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year for capturing the 15th annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship last January at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. View Full Profile »

Special Eclipse Awards were presented to Tom Durkin and Old Friends Equine Retirement, and California Chrome's win in the Kentucky Derby was acknowledged as the NTRA Moment of the Year.

Media Eclipse Awards

John Scheinman for Blood-horse (feature writing), Joe Clancy of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred (news writing), Barbara Livingston of Daily Racing Form (photography), NBC (live television), NBC (television feature), and Blood-horse (multi-media).

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Congrats Dayatthespa, maybe you should have run against CC on the turf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait tfor California Chrome to show his true colors by getting nailed as a 4 year old. Oh that's right maybe he can run against his owners and get HOY for 2015.. Hey all of you suckers what was the excuse for CC losing the Classic except for the fact that he just didn't have what it takes to be a champion.
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
People need to get over Coburn's rant, that he has apologized for. people this was JUNE, we are in January of 2015...he has since more then made up for what he said, and is adored by the fans when they come into contact with him. Let it be. My gripe is Brown not winning Best trainer. He had half the starters todd did, and had the same win % and a higher in the money % then Todd. That is all.
mike More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bayern was third in the Horse of the Year vote? Beat Chrome twice and ran the race of the year @ the Haskelll, blowing away Untappable in the process, and was far and away the best of the entire 3 year old class. Did the voters see this race or the Classic? So how did this horse finish so far behind in both votes?
jakwebb444 . More than 1 year ago
Yea, I DID see that in the Classic Bayern fouled horses, pushed his only speed foe out of the race and won the race unfairly. He DIDN'T deserve HOY for that reason.....
Charles More than 1 year ago
I always thought these awards were bogus, now I'm sure of it . California Chrome was NOT the Horse Of The year 2014. Everybody knows it except the corrupt media who succumbed to the affection for Art Sherman, who is a gentleman for sure. The only race he won in the second half of the year was a turf race that he couldn't lose. Bayern was the Horse of the Year 2014 and everybody who has got the sense they were born with knows that. How can you fault Bob Baffert's three year old who not only beat 'Chrome in the Penn. Derby but won the BC Classic, again beating 'Chrome decisively not to mention the 4yo's and up like Pletcher's Belmont winner from 2013. These Awards are beginning to become worthless to anyone like myself who knows the racing scene and ALWAYS tells the truth without worrying about being nice to someone who may never have a horse of that caliber again. I'm sure winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness were enough for Mr. Sherman, but, to make him HOTY was Wrong and inconsiderate to Bayern's owner who know that they raced the Horse Of The Year, but were CHEATED out of the hardware by people who don't belong in their profession. This has been the Worst Horse of the Year choice I've ever seen and I've seen them since 1952. Shame on you all who voted for 'Chrome, this is not a popularity contest, It is for the Best Horse of the year, you idiots.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
yawn, null and VOID comment. next.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
He probably would have won if he won the Classic without the * attached to it.The voters drew a line through the race which they should have.Connections are probably just thankful he wasn't DQed.Congats to winning your bet on him in the Classic.It pays to be lucky.
mike More than 1 year ago
Charles,stop whining He deserves the award.
jakwebb444 . More than 1 year ago
You obviously think that Bayern won the Classic fair and square. HE DID NOT.....
Michele Wright More than 1 year ago
Children, children.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
didnt Rosie Napravnik win an award?
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Thankfully no.
Jane Franklin More than 1 year ago
I was pretty sure California Chrome would win for outstanding 3 yr but I was scared to hope for Horse of the Year. He deserved it and his late season rally sealed the deal for him. Congrats to Ken and Sarah Ramsey who really epitomize what it means to be an owner and a breeder.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Congrats to Drayden Van Dyke. Total class kid. His acceptance speech was the best of the night, as you could tell he was truly grateful and respectfully thanked Thomas Proctor and both his agents and remembered those great young people who passed away this past year. Very refreshing. Here's hoping he has a long successful career.
Melann Johnston More than 1 year ago
Congrats to all the winners!! Can't wait for next year to see what Chrome and Bayern do. I like them both!! I think my favorite speech of the night was Tom Durkin!! What a great guy!!
Lee Thorsgard More than 1 year ago
Bayern's first race was 1/14/14. From June-December 2014 Bayern raced 5 times. He won 4 Gr Stakes races, 2 were G1 including the Breeder's Cup Classic. He set a track record in the Pennsylvania Derby. California Chrome's first race was 4/26/13. From June-December 2014 he raced 4 times and won 1 race. He won the turf $300,000 G1 Hollywood Derby taking a huge drop in class. In 10 starts all of them in 2014, Bayern earned $4,389,680. California Chrome has earned $4,222,650 in 16 starts between 2013 and 2014. A G1 win with a purse of $300,000 is not the equivalent of a G1 win with a purse of $5,000,000; no matter the running surface. While CC dominated the first half of 2014, Bayern ruled the second half. Bayern earned $438,968 per start to CC’s $263,916 per start. Clearly, 2014 Horse of the Year Honors were measured on a quantitative and not qualitative scale. Bayern’s BCC win trumps both CC’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins. Bayern matured later than CC and his accomplishments in his first year of racing, particularly the 2nd half of 2014 were nothing less than spectacular. Both Bayern and CC were ranked 66th by wins in 2014. Bayern was ranked first by earnings in 2014 and CC was ranked 2nd. I thought Horse of the Year and was based on merit not popularity. So sad.
LouisA More than 1 year ago
In addition the Pennsylvania Derby should have been a G1 this year, where he set the track record
Melann Johnston More than 1 year ago
The Hollywood Derby was a G1?? That wasn't a drop in class at all!! I was just on turf that was the difference!!
Anon ymous More than 1 year ago
To the contrary. Bayern’s BC Classic win doesn't remotely "trump" CC’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins, if for no other reason than CHROME had but two weeks rest between Dual Classic wins. At no point in Bayern's career has he even been asked to cope with the type of Temporal Compression that involves 2 straight Grade One stakes wins, spaced fourteen days apart. Neither has Shared Belief, nor Main Sequence. Each of CC's 6 wins (of 9) was a stakes win. Only 4 of Bayern's 6 wins (of 10) were in stakes. Six of CC's 8 stakes races, were wins; only 5 of Bayern's 8 stakes races were wins. When these stales races are narrowed to Grade One races ONLY, CC owns 4 of them, a 3rd (BCC), and a 4th Belmont). Whereas Bayern owns only 2, plus a 3rd (Arkansas), a Ninth (Preakness) and a Tenth (Travers). Still no soap. After a 3rd in Arkansas, Bayern skipped the Kentucky Derby, finished 9th in the Preakness, skipped the Belmont, then won a Grade 2 sprint (Woody Stephens) followed a smart win in a soft Haskell, & flopped a Travers (10th!). Is that supposed to be competitive? After that, Bayern sped to an easy trip / bias-aided Pennsylvania Derby wherein CC was not only a short horse, just back from months-long convalescing, but inside was carefully herded & boxed-in (with both C.J's AWESOME and PROTONICO curiously racing counter to their usual running styles). Last, before eking out his Badly Acted Breeders Cup Classic score, Bayern was 3 for 7, going in. CC? 5 for 7. But all declarations of *Late Maturation* aside, if you can make a more compelling case for Bayern, based on "merit" please do so.
jakwebb444 . More than 1 year ago
When a speed horse like Bayern has no competition after the start it's most likely he'll wire the field. IMHO the Classic was a throw-out.