Eclipse Awards

Watchmaker: Sizing up Eclipse Award contenders ahead of Breeders' Cup

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Watchmaker: Sizing up Eclipse ahead of Breeders' Cup
Shigeki Kikkawa
Arrogate, shown training this month at Santa Anita, should still be considered the favorite for the Horse of the Year title.

There is much on the line in the Breeders’ Cup, not the least of which are year-end championships. Here’s a look at one man’s opinion of the Eclipse Award scenarios going into this Breeders’ Cup.

Champion apprentice Ocasio plans to keep riding at Parx

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Champion apprentice Ocasio plans to keep riding at Parx
Horsephotos/NTRA
Luis Ocasio, 19, won 107 races and had purse earnings of more than $2.8 million in the United States last year.

Luis Ocasio, who was named the leading apprentice rider in North America at the Eclipse Awards dinner at Gulfstream Park last Saturday, is the third Mid-Atlantic rider in the last five years to win the award. He follows in the footsteps of Victor Carrasco, a top rider in Maryland who won in 2013, and Jose Montano, the leading rider at Charles Town each of the past five years who won in 2012.

City Zip makes it three Eclipse champions

Shigeki Kikkawa
Finest City, winning last Saturday's Santa Monica Stakes, became City Zip's third Eclipse winner.

As a bright chestnut with white points, City Zip is the sort of horse who catches the eye. But when it comes to his accomplishments in the breeding shed, he’s been somewhat overlooked despite a good deal of success.

Hovdey: A night of high notes ends on a sour one

At first glance, the Eclipse Awards ceremonies held at Gulfstream Park last Saturday night were a very traditional, by-the-numbers replay of dinners gone by. There was the gracious, personable host juggling introductions with a handful of thin jokes. There was the collection of video highlights, many of them flashing past with daunting speed. And there were the acceptance speeches, dizzy in their variety, from the raucously joyful to cool and classy, capped by an off-the-cuff ramble that channeled the spirits of both Don Rickles and Professor Irwin Corey.

WinStar's Eclipse Award result of a team effort

Barbara D. Livingston
Breeders' Cup Mile winner Tourist helped WinStar become the top breeders of 2016.

Only a handful of representatives for Kenny and Lisa Troutt’s WinStar Farm could get up on the stage to accept the operation’s Eclipse Award as outstanding breeder last Saturday night at Gulfstream Park. However, farm president and chief executive Elliott Walden noted that there were dozens who belonged there.

California Chrome crowned Horse of the Year for second time

Mathea Kelley/Dubai Racing Club
California Chrome's win in the Dubai World Cup last March was part of a brilliant 5-year-old campaign for the two-time Horse of the Year.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The Sunshine State became the Golden State on Saturday night at the 46th annual Eclipse Awards dinner, as California Chrome made off with the golden statuette as Horse of the Year for the second time and led a parade of California-based connections who won divisional titles.

California Chrome outpolled Arrogate for Horse of the Year, 202 to 40. Songbird received five votes and Highland Reel one.

Hovdey: Horse of the Year vote often shows respect for elders

The announcement of the 2016 Horse of the Year will cap the evening Saturday at Gulfstream Park when the Eclipse Awards are presented for the 46th time. If social-media chitchat and informal polls are right, then California Chrome, a 5-year-old last year, will top Arrogate for the honor, despite the fact that Arrogate, then 3, beat the older horse the only time they met in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. And, of course, polls are never wrong.

Chrome seeks rare Eclipse double

Barbara D. Livingston
California Chrome could win his second Horse of Year award, becoming only the second horse to do so in nonconsecutive years.

Since the Eclipse Awards began in 1971, just one horse – John Henry – has been named Horse of the Year in nonconsecutive years, a feat California Chrome could equal on Saturday night when the 46th annual Eclipse Awards dinner is held at Gulfstream Park.

Hovdey: Parallel minds intersect at Eclipse Award of Merit

Joe Hirsch won the Eclipse Award of Merit for 1992 because he was a tireless ambassador for Thoroughbred racing, because he was instrumental in the birth of such events as the Arlington Million, the Japan Cup, and the Dubai World Cup, and because he spent most of his career as a one-man Michelin Guide for any young reporter who needed a crash course in the game.

He was also a journalist.

Kruljac father, son divide weekend duties for Finest City

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Kruljac father, son divide weekend duties for Finest City

ARCADIA, Calif. – The itinerary is set, one that covers the nation from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to suburban Los Angeles with Kruljac men.

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