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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Eclipse Award Selections - Of the 21st century!

Eclipse Award Selections - Of the 21st century!
As the racing world prepares for the announcement of 2011 Eclipse Award winners, ZATT takes it to whole new level with a look at not just the best of last year, but rather the best of the entire 21st century. Below are my finalists for each division. Feel free to visit each horse's page on Horse Racing Nation, and like, favorite, and vote them up, if you believe they deserve to be. Also, see where are all these stars rank on the HRN Power Rankings of all-time greatsHave fun and tell me who you think the winners should be ... write-in votes are welcome. Check back later for the the results. I will announce my selections for each division at 4PM Eastern.

Two-Year-Old Male:
Uncle Mo, Vindication, War Pass
And the winner is: Uncle Mo - I don't think anyone in the last 12 years could have beaten Mo as a juvenile. He was that good.

Two-Year-Old Filly:
HalfbridledMy Miss Aurelia, Storm Flag Flying
And the winner is: Halfbridled - Not only was she an undefeated BC winner, but she won the Juvenile Fillies from the 14-hole.

Three-Year-Old Male:
Bernardini, Curlin, Point Given, Tiznow
And the winner is: Curlin - From unraced maiden to romping BC Classic winner in 2007, he did it all year long against an excellent crop of sophomores.

Three-Year-Old Filly:
Ashado, Blind Luck, Rachel Alexandra, Rags to Riches
And the winner is: Rachel Alexandra - Her 2009 campaign was as great as any 3yo filly in the history of the sport, in my humble opinion.

Older Male:
Ghostzapper, Invasor, Mineshaft, Tiznow
And the winner is: Invasor - Undefeated in America, his streak of the Pimlico Special, Suburban, Whitney, BC Classic, Donn, and Dubai World Cup was something special.

Older Female:
Azeri, Havre de Grace, Zenyatta
And the winner is: Zenyatta - From 2008 through 2010, Zenyatta ruled the older mare division like no one else in the sport ever has.

Male Sprinter:
Kona Gold, Lost in the Fog, Midnight Lute
And the winner is: Kona Gold - It was tough to go against the consecutive BC wins for Midnight Lute, but the consistency Kona Gold demonstrated in running in five straight BC Sprints, with one win, is enough for me.

Female Sprinter:
Honest Lady, Indian Blessing, Xtra Heat
And the winner is: Xtra Heat - She was so dominant that she was voted 3yo filly champ, despite only sprinting. 25 stakes wins is something you don't see any more

Male Turf Horse:
Conduit, English Channel, Gio Ponti, High Chaparral
And the winner is: Conduit - Tough call here, but his two wins in the Breeders' Cup Turf were so brilliant that I believe he would have won the race in most editions of the last 12 years.

Female Turf Horse:
Goldikova, Islington, Ouija Board
And the winner is: Goldikova - Three consecutive Breeders' Cup wins is a record that may never be broken, and she wasn't far off from a fourth last year.

Horse of the Year:
Curlin, Ghostzapper, Invasor, Rachel Alexandra, Tiznow, Zenyatta
And the winner is: Invasor - A champion on three different continents, Invasor, like Zenyatta, only lost once in his career. He gets the award by the slightest of nods over Zenyatta because of his travel and more consistent competition.


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Older Comments about Eclipse Award Selections - Of the 21st century!...

Oops, meant 21st century. I'm only 12 years behind. :-)
I'm with winplaceshow. I think Ghostzapper is the best horse of the 20th century thus far. There are some other great horses mentioned here, but GZ would have left them all eating his dirt.
sorry! missed her in 3yo
really havre? Did we forget about rags to riches !
i don't think zen could beat curlin and zen hasn't smoked anyone she nips you at the wire. runs hard enough to win. she should have smoked all the washed up girls, nope runs hard enough just to win.
Though all were great, I think Ghostzapper was the most freakish (and just as dominating) of the group and would be my pick for HOY.
Zenyatta would've smoked Curlin.
another potential monster we were robbed of seeing mature
Afleet Alex was fantastic, and his Preakness was unbelievable, hard to keep him off the list ... Invasor was a champion in three continents, and beat an excellent BC Classic field.
Afleet Alex's Preakness victory was the most astounding and impressive recovery from near disaster I've ever seen in 50 years of watching racing. This race alone should place him in the top 100. Check this video of the race which includes super slomo of the incident. I get a sick feeling every time I see it - a reminder of the razor edge between tragedy and triumph. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfFzODoD7YY
Afleet Alex's Preakness victory was the most astounding and impressive recovery from near disaster I've ever seen in 50 years of watching racing. This race alone should place him in the top 100. Check this video of the race which includes super slomo of the incident. I get a sick feeling every time I see it - a reminder of the razor edge between tragedy and triumph. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfFzODoD7YY
Afleet Alex was a pretty strong 3YO and never considered Invasor the best of that bunch. He ran in an era of "who-dat's" as well...
Well Armed, a winner of 7 or 24 lifetime races, won the DWC by 14 lengths. Volponi, a winner of 7 of 31 races lifetime, won a BCC by 6 lengths. I guess that makes them real all time favorites, certainly a better horse than Zenyatta. Too bad Zenyatta never got to face Macho Again and Flashing and Persistently. Then maybe we could mention her in the same sentence as all these greats.
Curlin was pronounced steroid free in 2008. It makes perfect sense his races as a 4yo did not equal his steroid enhanced 3yo campaign.
I know this is from the what could have been category, but still Barbaro deserves a mention for his win in the '06 Derby and his undefeated campaign up to that point.
Also remember 2 year old filly – Sweet Catomine, 3 year old male – Summer Bird, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex & Barbaro who i feel was twice the horse Bernardini ever was.
  • slteam17 · Totally agreed! Great selections. Barbaro was a winner and would be tops on this list if it wasn't for his tragic day at the Preakness. · 2101 days ago
You should give Blame some kind of award to make up for last year's travesty.
Two losses taking risks not many other top horses are willing to take. How often do we see a to dirt or turf star try and switch surfaces? Invasor faced some weak field in 06 too.
I love this idea! But you know me, I have to go with Midnight Lute.
Like I said before, Curlin was a fantastic horse, but frankly his five races in the U.S. in 2008, or after returning from Dubai, include two losses and three weak fields. I just didn't think he was quite the same as he was before going to Dubai.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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