Eclipse Awards 2015; Who Should Win
Eclipse Awards 2015; Who Should Win: The year is nearly over, and usually, most of the year end honors are decided at the closing Breeders’ Cup Weekend. This year’s Breeders’ Cup was a mess! Horses that usually would have no shot in the top races won! The Juvenile Fillies was won by a 61-1 shot in Take Charge Brandi. The Mile (Turf) was won by a 30-1 shot from Japan. The Classic was won by a horse who should never have gotten the 10 furlongs. The Eclipse Awards is accused to be a vote of the popular, but the awards should be given to the best horse, and here is how the awards should go.
Champion Two-Year-Old Male: Carpe Diem. The colt has risen through the ranks faster than most. Previously undefeated before his second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to runaway winner Texas Red, Carpe Diem has shown he does merit the attention of Eclipse voters. While he has never faces American Pharoah, who is likely the better colt for the Triple Crown campaign next season?
Champion Two-Year-Old Filly: Lady Eli. Without a dirt filly shining this season, Lady Eli is glowing. Undefeated in three starts this year, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner has taken every step forward that trainer Chad Brown has given her.
Champion Three-Year-Old Male: California Chrome. This colt won five straight before a grabbed quarter caused him enough discomfort for him to not run his race in the Belmont Stakes. He took the summer off whole horses likes Wicked Strong, Tonalist, and Bayern continued on with their careers. Coming back in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby, the colt never got a chance to run, and returned to the barn without a deep breathe being taken. He came back to show he was still competitive in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Honestly, the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby, and the Preakness should hold more weight than the Woody Stevens, Haskell, and Pennsylvania Derby.
Champion Three-Year-Old Filly: Untapable. Undefeated in her division this year, the filly has really matured physically and mentally, and she ran a perfect race on her way to winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Sadly, her only loss of the year was a fifth in the Haskell (G1) against males. Will we see her face males next year?
Champion Older Male: Palace Malice. The four-year-old son of Curlin was undefeated in four starts before an undetected case of bone bruises caused him to never be competitive in the G1 Whitney. While he only won one grade one this season, it was over, now, two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents.
Champion Older Female: Close Hatches. This mare seemed unbeatable before the Spinster at Keeneland. She had won a grade two and three grade ones in a row before the head scratching performance in the Spinster. She had beaten horses this year like Don’t Tell Sophia, Princess of Sylmar, and Beholder. While she did not fair well in the Distaff (finishing last), she still has a good record for the year.
Champion Sprint Horse: Work All Week. This Illinois-bred is 5-for-6 in his 2014 season, with a second place finish. Also, the City Zip gelding is undefeated on dirt. A win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint over defending champion Secret Circle and Vosburgh winner Private Zone likely secured this award for him.
Champion Female Sprint Horse: Judy the Beauty. 4-for-5 this season, her best performance to date was her close win in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Mike Smith finally got his chance to ride her, just as Wesley Ward had wanted, and in the pairing, the mare finally got her Breeders’ Cup win.
Champion Male Turf Horse: Wise Dan. As far as many are concerned, Wise Dan is unbeatable at a mile on the grass. The seven-year-old Wiseman’s Ferry gelding started his season off G1 Makers 46 Mile and following up with the G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, in a narrow margin over Seek Again. Then, the horse was hit with colic. Coming back three months later, taking the G2 Berneard Baruch and following up with the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile. Sadly, Wise Dan was not back for a three-peat in the Breeders’ Cup Mile due to a slight fracture. LoPresti hopes to continue Wise Dan as an eight-year-old.
Champion Female Turf Horse: Dayatthespa. This City Zip mare loves the turf, and is 3-for-4, with a second, for the season. Breaking through to the big time on the Breeders’ Cup stage, the mare is the most consistent of the division for the year.
Horse of the Year: Main Sequence. With four consecutive grade one wins in four grade one races, Main Sequence is obviously a serious competitor and has blossomed since coming to the United States. He is the only possible candidate without a negative result in 2014.