Eclipse Awards

Amid Eclipse glitz, a dose of reality

Horsephotos.com/NTRA
Shelley Blodgett, left, and Kelley Stobie accept the Special Eclipse Award for their rescue efforts at Camarero Racetrack. Responders to the San Luis Rey Downs fire also were recognized.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – On a night that celebrated the best achievements in racing on the track, it was the reflection on life-changing events off the track that provided the most poignant moments at the 47th annual Eclipse Awards dinner at Gulfstream Park on Thursday.

Gun Runner overwhelming winner as Horse of the Year

Barbara D. Livingston
An emphatic victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic helped to clinch Gun Runner's Horse of the Year title.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The wave of support for Gun Runner has reached from sea to shining sea. An award he secured at Del Mar in the Breeders’ Cup Classic more than two months ago was officially made his on Thursday night at Gulfstream Park, when Gun Runner was announced as the Horse of the Year for 2017 at the 47th annual Eclipse Awards dinner.

Gun Runner also was named champion older dirt male, downing Arrogate – the only horse to finish in front of him in 2017 – in both categories.

Hovdey: Luck helps to put new accent on Eclipses

Well, at least it will sound different.

Nick Luck and his spotless elocution will be at the helm of the 47th Eclipse Awards dinner at Gulfstream Park on Thursday evening, when the two-legged representatives of the industry enjoy their annual orgy of back-patting while the real stars of the show languish in the barns.

Camarero, San Luis Rey responders to get Special Eclipse Award

Jay Hovdey
Human responders to the devastating wildfire at San Luis Rey Downs training center will share a Special Eclipse Award with those who helped horses in Puerto Rico after a hurricane.

The administrators of the Eclipse Awards have voted to issue a Special Eclipse Award this year to the people who responded to two disasters affecting the racing community in 2017 – the hurricane in September that put more than 800 horses at risk in Puerto Rico, and the wildfire in December that killed 46 horses at San Luis Rey Downs training center.

Medaglia d'Oro represented by five Eclipse finalists

Courtesy of Godolphin Racing
Medaglia d'Oro sired five individual Eclipse Award finalists of 2017.

Medaglia d’Oro was represented by more Grade 1 winners than any other North American stallion in 2017, and that translated into five individual finalists when the 2017 Eclipse Awards candidates were announced last week, leading all stallions.

Hovdey: Navigating Eclipse Awards' gray waters

In order to be eligible for an Academy Award, a movie must comply with a long list of requirements laid out by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. A feature film must be at least 40 minutes in length.

At the very least, it must be shown in a theater in Los Angeles County between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 for no fewer than seven consecutive days, three times a day, for a paid admission.

2017 Eclipse Awards: Talismanic (GB)

It took one morning of Breeders’ Cup-week training for Talismanic to become a favorite of North American racing photographers. It took two minutes, 26 seconds of Breeders’ Cup racing for Talismanic to become an Eclipse Award finalist with a chance to be named champion turf male of 2017.

2017 Eclipse Awards: Beach Patrol

“Oh yeah, Beach Patrol. Nice horse. Really nice horse! Can’t win the big one, though.”

So a racing conversation might have gone as recently as this past Aug. 11, at which point Beach Patrol was, perhaps, testing his connections’ patience. Like, c’mon already, horse – go ahead and win a race.

2017 Eclipse Awards: World Approval

Barbara D. Livingston
World Approval

It’s an admirable approach, trainer Mark Casse’s orientation toward “what-if” questions.

What if, for instance, World Approval had during the summer of 2016 honed in on turf races at one mile or, at most, 1 1/8 miles?

Not really worth thinking about, according to Casse.

“I don’t look in the rearview mirror,” Casse said. “I’ve said a million times that training horses is like putting puzzles together: You try the pieces until you find one that fits.”

2017 Eclipse Awards: Moonshine Memories

When it comes to the Eclipse Awards, one race does indeed have the power to make or break you. Such a scenario may end up applying to Moonshine Memories, who was voted an Eclipse Award finalist in the 2-year-old filly division.

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