Eclipse Awards

Crist: Eclipse voting mixed slam dunks with a few longshots

A few final thoughts on the voting for the 2015 Eclipse Awards, which were presented last Saturday at Gulfstream Park:

Hovdey: Borell getting ready for her next big horse

Maria Borell was in the tunnel getting ready to saddle her first horse at Gulfstream Park last Sunday when the trainer in the next stall caught her eye and came smiling forward.

“We need to get a picture,” he said, handing his smartphone to an innocent bystander. “Two Breeders’ Cup winners. That’s us.”

Hovdey: Eclipses come to roost for three top trainers

There were a whole bunch of firsts celebrated at the 45th Eclipse Awards dinner last Saturday night at Gulfstream Park, some of them historic, others merely adding a little zip to a long night.

First, I was genuinely surprised that my tuxedo fit, and remind me to send a note of appreciation to the guy who invented those adjustment clips on the beltline of the pants. Yes, I will have the key lime pie.

Zayat family reflects on ‘horse of a lifetime' at Eclipse Awards
Ahmed Zayat (center) celebrates with his family after winning Eclipse Awards as the top breeder and owner of 2015 on Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The Eclipse Awards on Saturday night at Gulfstream Park quite rightly turned into a celebration and coronation for American Pharoah, who was unanimously voted Horse of the Year and champion male 3-year-old, prompting his owner and breeder, Ahmed Zayat, to call American Pharoah “the horse of a lifetime.”

That horse was responsible for five Eclipse Awards: two for himself, two for Zayat Stables as owner and breeder, and one for trainer Bob Baffert, who said, “Every trainer dreams of having a horse like this.”

American Pharoah named Horse of the Year; Baffert, Zayat honored

Barbara D. Livingston
American Pharoah was named Horse of the Year and top 3-year-old male of 2015 at the Eclipse Awards dinner Saturday night.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – It’s unanimous! American Pharoah was the best horse in the country last year.

American Pharoah received all 261 votes for both Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male when the Eclipse Award winners for the 2015 racing season were announced Saturday night at a gala dinner at Gulfstream Park.

In the 45-year history of the Eclipse Awards, American Pharoah became only the second horse, joining John Henry in 1981, to get every first-place vote for Horse of the Year.

Hovdey: Rees follows Pharoah out at top of the game

There is something to be said for going out on top. No danger of the dreary second novel, the tepid second season, the uninspired second album. Sure, every artist would love to have a career with long legs, like Dylan or Bowie, forever leaving fans with the anticipation of “what’s next?” But there is something to be said for the way artists like James Dean, Jimi Hendrix, or Hank Williams were gone at the peak of their powers, the way great athletes like Jim Brown, Sandy Koufax, or Secretariat left the stage on top.

American Pharoah and Co. in spotlight at Eclipse Awards

Barbara D. Livingston
American Pharoah is a shoo-in to be named Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male Saturday night.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – There will be a final celebration of the historic year of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah when the 45th annual Eclipse Awards are held Saturday night here at Gulfstream Park, where American Pharoah is a shoo-in to be named Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male.

Much of the interest, though, will focus on how extensive the coattails are for American Pharoah because his trainer, jockey, and owner and breeder all are up for awards in their respective divisions.

Simon: Eclipse standards could use retooling

Maybe it’s time to establish rules for the Eclipse Awards. In other words, after 45 years, it would be nice if guidelines were drawn as to who is eligible to be on the ballot. A system that worked years ago might not work as well now given the paucity of starts horses make today compared with when the Eclipse Awards first started, while the establishment of the Breeders’ Cup has clearly changed how voters view the championship landscape.

Hovdey: California Chrome ready to retake center stage

California Chrome pulled Raul Rodriguez around the Santa Anita walking ring at a double-time hippity-hop last Saturday afternoon as the fans packed along the paddock fence oohed and ahhed. It was like old times.

Good old times, as it turned out. Twenty minutes later, California Chrome was standing in the Santa Anita winner’s circle, catching his breath and twitching his ears, having just dispatched the $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes with just enough authority to convince all but the most skeptical observers that he was back in the game.

Past, present, and future bright for Brown stable

Alternate title: 
Gulfstream: Past and future bright for Brown stable

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Chad Brown was disappointed that he did not win the Eclipse Award as leading trainer in 2014 and knows that the honor likely will go to someone else again when the 2015 winners are announced at Gulfstream Park next Saturday, Jan. 16. But Brown doesn’t need a trophy on his mantelpiece to rightfully take pride in what he and his barn have accomplished over the last two years.

Syndicate content