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Zipse At The Track

The Alternative Eclipse Awards

Outstrip wins 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.


None of these are actually Eclipse Award categories, but maybe they should be...


Champion Two-year-old Turf MaleOutstrip - Despite only running once in America, his victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf was simply too good to ignore.


Champion Two-year-old Turf FillyChriselliam - See Outsrip.


Champion Three-year-old Turf MaleUp With the Birds He split time in the States and his native Canada, but his three races here, including the Grade 1 Jamaica, were all on turf, and all topnotch.


Champion Three-year-old Turf FillyDiscreet Marq - She quietly put together an excellent beginning to end season that we all want to see from our stars.


Champion Dirt Miler MaleFlat Out Goldencents won the biggest race of the division, but this seven-year-old's huge runs in the Westchester and Cigar Mile were enough to get the job done.


Champion Dirt Miler FemaleBeholder - The two-time Breeders' Cup winner is also a perfect two-for-two at the flat-mile distance, including an impressive score in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes.


Champion Turf Miler MaleWise Dan - Any questions?


Champion Turf Miler FemaleStephanie's Kitten - She may have missed the last several months due to injury, but back-to-back wins in the Distaff Mile, and the Grade 1 Just a Game were narrowly enough to carry the division. 


Champion Male Turf SprinterBen's Cat - Who needs the Breeders' Cup when you are as consistent as this Maryland mainstay?


Champion Female Turf Sprinter:  Mizdirection - Two-time Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint champ wins this division in a runaway.


Champion Male StayerCalidoscopio - The 10y.o. star from Argentina may never have never run another race, but his Brooklyn victory was spectacular, and enough to secure a rather thin division here in the U.S.


Champion Female StayerTannery - The Irish import was only 2-of-7 this year, but they were both important stakes, and she was competitive against the boys running long more than once.


Champion ROI Jockey: Paco Lopez - This young rider is the definition of underrated. If you did nothing but bet horses ridden by Lopez this year, you did quite well for yourself. 


Champion Turf Trainer: Chad Brown - A budding superstar in the training game, Brown's list of talented turf horses is huge.



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Older Comments about The Alternative Eclipse Awards...

that kind of bias will send even MORE of the good (and by the way BEST turfers in the world) away back to their home base. If they are dominant, which each year they usually are, they win. NO MATTER
NO horse that runs ONCE in this country deserves to win an Eclipse Award in my opinion. These awards are for American races and are supposed to be for the best whole year - not one race! If Animal Kingdom had won in England this year, you wouldnt see him getting a Cartier award...
I like the "ROI Jockey" category... and a BIG "Thanks" for giving Ben's Cat some love. He can win or turf and dirt. How many can on a consistent basis against stakes competition?
Each division should be awarded, surface also. Dani makes a good point. There should be a champion stayer for Turf and dirt. For the USA it should be 11-14f. Champion Middle distance 8.5-10f Turf/Dirt, Miler division Turf/Dirt, Sprint division Turf/Dirt. Then seperate it for Male/female.
Like to see my main man, Flat Out getting some love.
Discreet Marq beat Kitten's Dumplings both times they raced this year, and as far as Alterite, while excellent, her 1-for-3 record in the U.S. just could not stand up against the 8-4-3-1 mark of Discreet Marq.
I think I'd argue Kitten's Dumplings and Alterite have equally strong claims as Discreet Marq to best three year old turf filly - each split decisions with the other (except Alterite beating Discreet Marq the only time they met). Very much looking forward to seeing these three as older fillies next year!
you can't compare stayers on the lawn versus the main track...COMPLETELY DIFFERENT enegy profiles..Here is a good article about the stayer and a gentleman who evaluates them each season better than anyone else, a good friend Erwin
You have to LOVE Ben's Cat!
Great observations! Oh, and Happy New Year!
Depending on one's definition of stayer, I'd argue Big Blue Kitten deserves consideration. Two Grade 1 wins and a second in the Joe Hirsch when he may have been best that day; really hope he comes back next year.
Happy New Year to my favorite horse racing scribe Brian Zipse.
I argue that the Met Mile is the biggest race in the division, then the Cigar Mile, Breeder's Dirt Mile,...
It's older male, not older router. As for a champion stayer division, of course we need one, but it also needs criteria that makes it so it isn't just your turf champion every year.
There does need to be a champion stayer division, IMO. Anything 10f plus counts towards it. The Miles also need their division, as that distance is in limbo. Nobody like to qualify it as a sprint, nobody wants to qualify it as a route, so they do neither, and some spectacular horses end up losing out.

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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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