01/05/2004 12:00AM

Eclipse Awards finalists announced

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The were announced Monday by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the National Turf Writers Association, and Daily Racing Form. The awards are annually voted on and presented by the three organizations in recognition of excellence in Thoroughbred racing.

Winners in all categories will be announced at the 33rd annual Eclipse Awards ceremony, to be held Monday, Jan. 26, 2004 at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla.

Three finalists for Horse of the Year will be announced during the Eclipse Awards ceremony, where NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith will present the Horse of the Year trophy to the winning connections.

The list of finalists includes Horse of the Year favorites Mineshaft (older male), Congaree (older male, sprinter), and Funny Cide (3-year-old colts and geldings).

The finalists are:

Two-Year-Old Male: Action This Day, Birdstone, Cuvee

Two-Year-Old Female: Ashado, Halfbridled, Victory U.S.A.

Three-Year-Old Male: Empire Maker, Funny Cide, Ten Most Wanted

Three-Year-Old Female: Bird Town, Elloluv, Six Perfections

Older Male: Congaree, Medaglia d'Oro, Mineshaft

Older Female: Adoration, Azeri, Sightseek

Sprinter: Aldebaran, Cajun Beat, Congaree

Male Turf Horse: High Chaparral, Johar, Storming Home

Female Turf Horse: Heat Haze, Islington, Six Perfections

Steeplechase: McDynamo, Pelagos, Praise the Prince

Owner: Edmund Gann, Juddmonte Farms, Michael Gill

Breeder: Adena Springs/Stronach Entities, Flaxman Holdings & Niarchos Family, Juddmonte Farms

Trainer: Robert Frankel, Richard Mandella, Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Edgar Prado, Jerry Bailey, Patrick Valenzuela

Apprentice Jockey: Eddie Castro, Pablo Fragoso, Ryan Fogelsonger