The 47th Annual Eclipse Awards will air live on TVG on Thursday, January 25, at 8:00 p.m. ET in the Sport of Kings Theater at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. A total of 17 major horse racing awards will be given out, including the prestigious Horse of the Year. Though we don’t have an Eclipse Award vote, if we did, here’s what our ballot would look like:
Horse of the Year: 1. Gun Runner, 2. Collected, 3. Arrogate
There’s no debating this one – Gun Runner earned it on the track in every way possible. He’ll make the final start of his career next week in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup.
Two Year Old Male: 1. Bolt d’Oro, 2. Good Magic, 3. Solomini
There’s no wrong answer between Bolt d’Oro and Good Magic. Both are deserving, so it depends on what you value. Bolt d’Oro has the better resume, but Good Magic has the head-to-head win in the biggest race of the season for 2-year-olds.
Two Year Old Female: 1. Rushing Fall, 2. Caledonia Road, 3. Moonshine Memories
The 2-year-old females on dirt all left a lot to be desired in 2017. Rushing Fall was a brilliant three-for-three on the grass while winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf to round out her year.
Three Year Old Male: 1. West Coast, 2. Battle of Midway, 3. Oscar Performance
West Coast dominated the second half of the year, while the Triple Crown stars failed to hold form. He should be an easy winner.
Three Year Old Female: 1. Abel Tasman, 2. Elate, 3. Unique Bella
Abel Tasman’s fantastic year was headlined by Grade 1 wins in the Kentucky Oaks, the Acorn Stakes, and the Coaching Club American Oaks. She’s an easy winner.
Older Dirt Male: 1. Gun Runner, 2. Collected, 3. Arrogate
Again, Gun Runner is an easy winner.
Older Dirt Female: 1. Forever Unbridled, 2. Stellar Wind, 3. Songbird
Sadly, we only saw Forever Unbridled three times in 2017, but she won every start while competing against the best horses in her division. Her Breeders’ Cup Distaff win was fantastic.
Male Sprinter: 1. Roy H, 2. Imperial Hint, 3. Mind Your Biscuits
Roy H’s big win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint sends him to the front of this competitive group.
Female Sprinter: 1. Paulassilverlining, 2. Bar of Gold, 3. Ami’s Mesa
This division turned into a mess, as several of these horses had their quick moment in the sun. Paulassilverlining was not good at the end of the year, but her overall resume is enough to win a lackluster group.
Male Turf: 1. World Approval, 2. Beach Patrol, 3. Talismanic
Absolutely brilliant when cutting back to a mile, World Approval won three straight Grade 1s, including the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Female Turf: 1. Lady Eli, 2. Off Limits, 3. Wuheida
Lady Eli had a disappointing ending to her career at the Breeders’ Cup, but overall, it was another fantastic season for her.
Steeplechase: 1. Scorpiancer, 2. Modem, 3. All the Way Jose
These are always fun to watch! Scorpiancer only made two starts in 2017, but he won both, including the Grade 1 Iroquois Hurdle Stakes by 16 lengths.
Jockey: 1. Jose Ortiz, 2. Irad Ortiz Jr., 3. Javier Castellano
The younger Ortiz brother had a banner 2017 while quickly becoming the best jockey in the country. His earnings of $27.3 million was over $2 million more than second-place Castellano.
Trainers: 1. Steve Asmussen, 2. Chad Brown, 3. Bob Baffert
Chad Brown will likely win this award, but Steve Asmussen had a fantastic year. We love the fact that he’s more than willing to train horses at all levels and at all tracks. His operation is sensational.
Apprentice Jockey: 1. Evin Roman, 2. Hector Rafael Diaz Jr., 3. Katie Clawson
After taking California by storm in 2017, Roman could become a big-time rider for years to come on the west coast.
Owner: 1. Winchell Thoroughbreds, 2. Juddmonte Farms, 3. Sol Kumin
Winchell Thoroughbreds consistently campaigned great horses, including the amazing Gun Runner.
Breeder: 1. Clearsky Farms, 2. WinStar Farm, 3. Besilu Stables
The backbone of the industry, Clearsky Farms topped the 2017 North American earnings list with over $11 million, thanks to such stars as Arrogate and Abel Tasman.