Anyone who follows racing can predict Eclipse Award winners after the Breeders Cup has ended, but how about in January before the real racing even begins? We’ve decided to give it a shot today! How many can I correctly predict? Maybe zero, but it’s still a lot of fun to get people thinking about all the possibilities of what could happen throughout the year. Here goes nothing…
Horse of the Year: Will Take Charge – Come on…who else would we put here?! Other than the fact he’s our favorite horse, you can definitely make a case for him being the top horse in racing already. He was a nose away from winning this award in 2013, and we expect him to avenge that loss this year. It could be one of the best older horse campaigns since Curlin.
3 Year Old Male of the Year: Top Billing – He’s my way too early pick to win the Kentucky Derby so he fits into this spot for me at this time. His stablemate Honor Code may have something to say about this, as well as many others in what seems to be a deep crop of three-year old males.
3 Year Old Female of the Year: Ireland – That’s right…I’m predicting a one race winner to win this division! This might make me look like the dumbest handicapper of all time, but I really don’t care. Ireland is a full sister to Dublin, and Lukas will give this horse every opportunity to be successful in the big races. In a division loaded with questions, maybe the light bulb has come on with Ireland and she’ll be the one that stands out when the first Friday in May rolls around.
Older Male of the Year: Will Take Charge – Horse of the Year and Older Male would be quite an accomplishment, and we see it happening.
Older Female of the Year: Beholder – Haven’t been this excited about a filly or mare since Zenyatta. A Beholder vs. Princess of Sylmar match up would be the race of the year. With the biggest race for older fillies being held at Santa Anita once again, Beholder looks strong in this category.
2 Year Old Male of the Year: Jess’s Dream – Pretty hard to pick a horse in this category, but lets just go strictly with awesome breeding and pick Rachel’s first baby. No offense to Zenyatta…but Curlin as a sire trumps Bernardini in my opinion.
2 Year Old Female of the Year: A horse from the Pletcher barn – Just playing the odds with this one.
Sprinter of the Year: Secret Circle – He might be the best horse in Baffert’s barn! As long as he stays healthy you’d have to think he can do big things considering he won the divisions most prestigious race on only his second start back off a long layoff last year.
Female Sprinter of the Year: Dance Card – Going with an up and coming horse that I hope improves as a four-year old. She was a solid third in the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint last year, so she won’t have to improve all that much to be in the mix with this division.
Male Turf Horse of the Year: Wise Dan – People like to complain about Wise Dan…I’ll just keep enjoying him.
Female Turf Horse of the Year: Emollient – This is an all class filly who was pretty competitive as a three-year old on turf or synthetics, but could be even stronger as a four-year old.
Owner of the Year: Midwest Thoroughbreds – Most people criticize that their wins aren’t of great quality, but they make a presence at almost every race track across the country. Their mass volumes of wins should be rewarded.
Trainer of the Year: Todd Pletcher – He wins too many big races for me to try to predict someone else will win this award.
Jockey of the Year: Joel Rosario – Probably would have won it this year if not for injury. He’s riding great at Gulfstream right now, and will most likely have the mount on a few live horses in the big races down the road.