06/06/2017 1:39PM

Twilight Eclipse to give eventing a try

Barbara D. Livingston
Twilight Eclipse set a world record for 1 1/2 miles in the 2013 Pan American at Gulfstream.

Grade 1 winner Twilight Eclipse has been retired from racing, and will be trained for a second career in eventing.

The 8-year-old Purim gelding finished his ontrack career with 8 wins in 40 starts over six seasons of racing for earnings of $2,103,953. He raced all but his first two starts for West Point Thoroughbreds, and was trained by Tom Albertrani for the bulk of his career. His final two starts were with trainer Graham Motion.

“Twilight Eclipse is one of racing’s unsung heroes, a durable and honest horse who showed up at the highest level time and time again,” said West Point president Terry Finley. “He took a great group of partners on an incredible journey all over the country and across the world to Dubai in 2014.

“He owes us nothing, and Mother Nature was telling us it’s time. I’m forever grateful to Tom Albertrani and his team for keeping him sound and at the top of his game for five years. We’ll miss having him in the barn, but look forward to seeing him excel in his second career.”

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Bred in Kentucky by Epona Thoroughbreds, Twilight Eclipse sold as a short yearling to John Langemeier for the upset price of $1,000 at the 2010 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale.

Unraced at 2, Twilight Eclipse debuted in June of his 3-year-old season. Owned and trained by Langemeier, the gelding won on debut over the Indiana Downs turf, then scored in allowance company in his second start at the same track. West Point Thoroughbreds purchased the horse privately after his second start.

Twilight Eclipse took a few starts to get going for his new connections, but finished his sophomore season with a win in the Grade 2 W. L. McKnight Handicap at Calder, a race he would win again the following year.

Though he was a five-time graded stakes winner, Twilight Eclipse will perhaps be best remembered for his long-running quest to score a victory in Grade 1 competition.

Prior to finally grabbing the brass ring at age 6 in the 2015 Man o’ War Stakes, Twilight Eclipse competed in 10 Grade 1 races and hit the board in six of them, including a third in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita. In total, the gelding won or finished in the money in 21 graded stakes races, including victories in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes and Pan American Stakes.

Twilight Eclipse set a world record for 1 1/2 miles of 2:22.63 winning the 2013 Pan American over the Gulfstream Park turf course.