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California Chrome Voted 2016 Horse of the Year: Eclipse Awards Winners

Melanie Martines

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (Saturday, January 21, 2017) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters announced this evening that California Chrome, winner of the Dubai World Cup and the TVG Pacific Classic, and North America’s all-time leading money earning Thoroughbred, was voted as Horse of the Year, an honor which he also won in 2014, at the 46th Annual Eclipse Awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

The Eclipse Awards, honoring excellence in North American Thoroughbred racing, presented by The Stronach Group, Daily Racing Form and the Breeders’ Cup, are voted on by the NTRA, Daily Racing Form (DRF) and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters (NTWAB).

California Chrome becomes the first two-time Horse of the Year to win the honor in non-consecutive years since John Henry achieved it in 1981 and 1984. Owned by California Chrome LLC of Perry Martin and Taylor Made Farm, and trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome received 202 first-place votes for Horse of the Year. Juddmonte Farms’ 3-year-old Arrogate, who was named Outstanding 3-year-old Male, finished second with 40 votes; Fox Hill Farms’ 3-year-old filly Songbird finished third with five votes and Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith’s Highland Reel (IRE), received one vote. Songbird was voted the unanimous winner of the 3-Year-Old Filly Eclipse Award earlier this evening.

Watch Perry Martin’s speech here

California Chrome, who was also named the unanimous winner of the Older Dirt Male award, won 7 of 8 starts in 2016, including dominant victories in the $10 million Dubai World Cup and the TVG Pacific Classic, and propelled him to become the all-time leading North American money earner with $14,502,650.

Arrogate was spectacular in securing the 3-year-old title under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. A son of former 2-year-old champion Unbridled’s Song, Arrogate won the Travers Stakes by 13 ½ lengths, in 1:59.36, the fastest time in the 147-year history of the race. Eight weeks later he wore down California Chrome to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.  Arrogate is the seventh Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old trained by Baffert.

Songbird, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, won seven of eight starts last year on her way to Champion 3-Year-Old Filly title. Among her wins were grade one victories in the Santa Anita Oaks, the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Cotillion Stakes. She lost the only race of her career when defeated a nose to the champion Older Dirt Female winner Beholder in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

The complete list of 2016 Eclipse Awards winners and vote totals appears below:

(Horse ages in parentheses where applicable; Country codes indicate a foreign breeding designation)

Two-Year-Old Male: Classic Empire

Two-Year-Old Filly:  Champagne Room

Three-Year-Old Male:  Arrogate

Three-Year-Old Filly:  Songbird

Older Dirt Male:  California Chrome (5)

Older Dirt Female: Beholder (6)

Male Sprinter:  Drefong (3)

Female Sprinter: Finest City (4)

Male Turf Horse: Flintshire (GB) (6)

Female Turf Horse: Tepin (5)

Steeplechase Horse: Rawnaq (IRE) (9)

Owner: Juddmonte Farms, Inc.

Breeder: WinStar Farm LLC

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Apprentice Jockey: Luis Ocasio

Trainer: Chad Brown

The Eclipse Awards

Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon the Thoroughbred horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective divisions. The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-Century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.

Voting Overview

In voting that concluded January 3, 2017, Eclipse Awards voters cast their ballots to rank the top three horses and individuals in each Championship division on a 10-5-1 point system basis. This voting established the top three finalists in each division, whose names were released on Jan. 5, 2012. The tallies below represent only first-place votes from members of the consolidated voting entities, NTRA, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers And Broadcasters. The votes were tabulated and certified by Strothman and Company.

Voter participation rate: 248/264= 93.94%

Two-Year-Old Male (Name, First-Place Votes)

Classic Empire, 248.

Two-Year-Old Filly

Champagne Room, 202; New Money Honey, 21; Lady Aurelia, 11; Pretty City Dancer, 5; Shane’s Girlfriend, 3; Abel Tasman, 2; Miss Sky Warrior, 2; Victory to Victory, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Three-Year-Old Male

Arrogate, 243; Exaggerator, 2; Nyquist, 2; Gun Runner, 1.

Three-Year-Old Filly

Songbird, 248.

Older Dirt Male

California Chrome, 248.

Older Dirt Female

Beholder, 246; Stellar Wind, 2.

Male Sprinter

Drefong, 199; Lord Nelson, 29; A.P. Indian, 20.

Female Sprinter

Finest City, 185; Haveyougoneaway, 20; Paulassilverlining, 13; Taris, 12; Carina Mia, 11; Constellation, 2; Lightstream, 1; Songbird, 1. Voter Abstentions, 3.

Male Turf Horse

Flintshire (GB), 137; Highland Reel (IRE), 76; Tourist, 32; Da Big Hoss, 1. Voter Abstentions, 2.

Female Turf Horse

Tepin, 225; Found (IRE), 11; Queen’s Trust (GB), 7; Lady Eli, 2; Miss Temple City, 2; Catch a Glimpse, 1.

Steeplechase Horse

Rawnaq (IRE), 171; Top Striker, 31; Special Skills, 2; Bob Le Beau (IRE), 1; Portrade (IRE), 1. Voter Abstentions, 42.

Owner

Juddmonte Farms, Inc., 134; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 45; Klaravich Stables, Inc., and William Lawrence, 17; Spendthrift Farm, LLC, 17; California Chrome, LLC, 16; Reddam Racing LLC, 4; Fox Hill Farms, Inc. 3; John Oxley, 3; WinStar Farm, 2; End Zone Athletics, 1 Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc., 1. Voter Abstentions, 5.

Breeder

WinStar Farm, LLC; 164; Clearsky Farms, 62; Juddmonte Farms, Ltd., 4; Darley, 3; Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, 3; Adena Springs, 2; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 1; Machmer Hall, 1. Voter Abstentions, 8.

Trainer

Chad Brown, 208; Bob Baffert, 21, Mark Casse, 11; Art Sherman, 3; Steve Asmussen, 2; Karl Broberg, 1; Todd Pletcher, 1. Voter Abstention, 1.

Jockey

Javier Castellano, 146; Mike Smith, 44; Jose Ortiz, 41; Florent Geroux,12; Irad Ortiz, Jr., 2; Julien Leparoux, 1. Voter Abstentions, 2.

Apprentice Jockey

Luis Ocasio, 182; Lane Luzzi, 34; Eric Cancel, 1; Ashley Castrenze, 1. Voter Abstentions, 30.

Source: NTRA

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