01/25/2013 6:01PM

Letters to the Editor Jan. 27


Eclipse for owner an unjust snub of vital outfit

I am dumbfounded by both the process and by the voters who voted Godolphin as Eclipse Award winner for leading owner of 2012.

What are the criteria to win this award? I looked at the statistics on Equibase, and Godolphin shouldn't have even been a finalist. In 2012, in North America, Godolphin won a grand total of 15 races for $3,749,075. So 15 wins makes for leading owner in North America?

But nearly $10 million in earnings from Dubai World Cup night got included into the figures presented to voters. How can this be? So the voters basically voted for the top owner in Dubai running first and second in the richest race at their own track, overseas, and that makes them top owner in North America?

If this is the standard being set for the Eclipse Awards, then there is no doubt Frankel should have been Horse of the Year, Turf Male, and Older Male, beating out Older Female, Female Sprinter, and Female Turf champ Black Caviar.

Back to the injustice that is leading owner. Godolphin was voted a runaway winner based on Dubai earnings while we had an owner in North America in Midwest Thoroughbreds that won 542 races for more than $10 million in North America, more than double the next-closest owner. Midwest was the first owner in the history of racing to win 500 races in a year, toppling the record for wins by an owner in a single season, yet while Frankel and Black Caviar were at least given mention at the Eclipse Awards, not even a word was said about this incredible feat.

Without large stables like Midwest Thoroughbreds, we don't have racing in North America. These are the horses who fill our races daily across the country and provide us fans and bettors an opportunity to play the races.

In North America in 2012, Godolphin won 31 percent of their races from a grand total of 48 starts, while Midwest won 29 percent of their races from 1,857 starts. That's racing excellence.

Shame on the voters who chose Godolphin as leading owner in 2012. Shame on the Eclipse Awards for allowing Dubai World Cup earnings to be included, and making no mention of a great accomplishment.

And while Godolphin won 15 total races in North America in 2012, Midwest Thoroughbreds has already won 18 races just three weeks into 2013.

Chris Roberts - Chicago