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Racing Dudes’ 2018 Eclipse Awards

Was the Triple Crown enough to earn Justify the Horse of the Year Award? (Credit: Benoit Photo)

Accelerate or Justify? The debate has raged on social media and amongst horse racing fans ever since Accelerate crossed the wire first in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. Did his accomplishments outdo a Triple Crown winner? Has the Triple Crown lost its luster after occurring twice in the last four years? Those questions will be taken into account when the media casts their ballots for the 2018 Eclipse Awards, which honor the top horses and people in all major divisions. The finalists were recently announced, and although we weren’t asked to vote, here is how each member of the Racing Dudes writing team would have cast his ballot:

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 Jared WelchAaron HaltermanMike "Slim" SpectorCurtis "Magic" KallewardBrandon "B$" BauerMike SomichRacingDudes.com Consensus
Horse of the YearJustifyJustifyJustifyJustifyJustifyJustifyJustify
Two-Year-Old MaleGame WinnerGame WinnerGame WinnerGame WinnerGame WinnerGame WinnerGame Winner
Two-Year-Old FemaleNewspaperofrecordNewspaperofrecordNewspaperofrecordNewspaperofrecordBellafinaJaywalkNewspaperofrecord
Three-Year-Old MaleJustifyJustifyJustifyJustifyJustifyJustifyJustify
Three-Year-Old FemaleMonomoy GirlMonomoy GirlMonomoy GirlMonomoy GirlMonomoy GirlMonomoy GirlMonomoy Girl
Older Dirt MaleAccelerateAccelerateAccelerateAccelerateAccelerateAccelerateAccelerate
Older Dirt FemaleUnique BellaAbel TasmanAbel TasmanAbel TasmanVale DoriAbel TasmanAbel Tasman
Male SprinterRoy HRoy HRoy HRoy HRoy HMind Your BiscuitsRoy H
Female SprinterShamrock RoseMarley's FreedomMarley's FreedomMarley's FreedomMarley's FreedomFinley'sluckycharmMarley's Freedom
Male Turf HorseExpert EyeStormy LiberalGlorious EmpireStormy LiberalStormy LiberalGlorious EmpireStormy Liberal
Female Turf HorseEnableSistercharlieSistercharlieSistercharlieSistercharlieEnableSistercharlie
Steeplechase HorseZanjabeelZanjabeelOptimus PrimeZanjabeelZanjabeelOptimus PrimeZanjabeel
OwnerTeam JustifyEnd Zone AthleticsSol KuminHronis RacingHronis RacingSol KuminTIE - Sol Kumin & Hronis Racing
BreederWinStar FarmWinStar FarmGlennwood FarmGlennwood FarmGlennwood FarmWinStar FarmTIE - Glennwood Farm & WinStar Farm
TrainerBob BaffertBob BaffertBob BaffertChad BrownBob BaffertBob BaffertBob Baffert
JockeyIrad Ortiz, Jr.Mike SmithMike SmithIrad Ortiz, Jr.Irad Ortiz, Jr.Jose OrtizIrad Ortiz, Jr.
Apprentice JockeyEdgar MoralesEdgar MoralesReylu GutierrezReylu GutierrezReylu GutierrezWeston HamiltonReylu Gutierrez

Did we get it right? Who did we miss? Let us know in the Comments section below or on Twitter! You can follow each of us at @racing_dudes, @SaratogaSlim, @CurtisKalleward, @BbauerRacing, and @Somobomb18. The 48th Annual Eclipse Awards will be held at Gulfstream Park on January 24th, 2019.

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