Race of the Week 2017

My Eclipse Award Selections

Below are the finalists for the 2011 Eclipse Awards. My humble opinion as to who should win can be found in bold. I welcome comments that show me where I went wrong.

Two-Year-Old Male:
Creative Cause, Hansen, Union Rags

Two-Year-Old Filly:
Grace Hall, My Miss Aurelia, Stephanie's Kitten

Three-Year-Old Male:
Animal Kingdom, Caleb's Posse, Shackleford

Three-Year-Old Filly:
It's Tricky, Plum Pretty, Royal Delta

Older Male:
Acclamation, Game on Dude, Tizway

Older Female:
Awesome Maria, Blind Luck, Havre de Grace

Male Sprinter:
Amazombie, Caleb's Posse, Regally Ready

Female Sprinter:
Hilda's Passion, Musical Romance, Sassy Image

Male Turf Horse:
Acclamation, Cape Blanco (Ire), St Nicholas Abbey (Ire)

Female Turf Horse:
Dubawi Heights (GB), Perfect Shirl, Stacelita (Fr)

Steeplechase Horse:
Black Jack Blues (Ire), Decoy Daddy (Ire), Tax Ruling (Ire)

Midwest Thoroughbreds, Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey, Team Valor

Adena Springs, Brereton C. Jones, Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey

Bob Baffert, Bill Mott, Todd Pletcher

Javier Castellano, Ramon Dominguez, John Velazquez

Apprentice Jockey:

Ryan Curatolo, Kyle Frey, Rosario Montanez 



And this just in from racing cartoonist, Marcy Leonard ...



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Older Comments about My Eclipse Award Selections...

Hansen was tested in the Breeders Cup Juvenile and led the entire race. Just because he was closed on at the end doesn't mean anything. Hansen ran three races. Never trailed. derbydeals.com
PLUS... Creative Cause or Union Rags are both better candidates for the 2 year-old male. Hansen failed to impress me even once... his competition wasn't all that.
  • kedez2012 · Hate to point out the obvious, but Hansen's competition was exactly the two colts you mentioned. You can argue all day that Union Rags had a wide trip, and yes, he did, but if he really were a much better horse than he would've run right by Hansen. Maybe Hansen doesn't have the award locked down, but if his win on a foreign surface in his first grade one race against the best in the nation doesn't impress you than you have my sympathy. · 2141 days ago
Hansen is the horse for the 2 year-old-male! So right!
I think Shackleford deserves the 3 year old award. He won a major and "danced every dance" so to speak. PLUS (!!) He was able to stay healthy and keep competing.
sorry about that, anyway 2yo male- tough one, I like Union Rags to win but would be just as happy with Hansen. 3yo male- Caleb's Posse over AK, like someone mentioned earlier was the 3yo to win on BC day and with that beat older horses. Older male- I like acclamation but game on dude will win most likely win.
I agree with most of your picks, but....
Of couse animal kingdom should win 3yo champ! He won the derby and was second in the preakness, its not his fault he was out for the year because of injury. Its not fair to have calebs posse hardly run in the beginning of the year, then use him as a fresh horse at the end of the year. As for shackleford, he had only won one majior race this year and lost the rest.
  • ruffian1 · Shackleford is the 3 yr old champ.1 win ,but look at his races this year.He never backed down!CP sat out the races that were not to his liking. AK is a great horse , sad that he was injured,but he was. Can not give the eclipse on what might have been. If that were the case Premier Pegusus or Uncle Mo would win. · 2146 days ago
I agree Frey over Curatolo. Curatolo was not consistent rider. I read a great deal of criticism of his rides especially by Andy Serling! Just becuae he rides the NY circuit does not make him the best apprentice.
Frey over Curatolo? I know Johnny V won the Derby & 2 BC races, but Ramon won a BC race, plus had more wins & money earned. It'll be close, but I'm pulling for Ramon.
Ha! Brian, my selections exactly (well OK--admitedly, I don't know my jumpers)! And I will go further to say older female be HOTY! HDG :D
Finalists for Horse of the Year will not be announced until the night of the ceremony (January 16.)
is the eclipse award for horse of the year nominees out yet im wondering who they picked and for three year old colt I want Animal Kingdom to win because of the way he wont the derby and had to be out most of the year with his injury but i would be happy with Caleb's Posse as well.
Annmatt- You need to calm down ....really. You disrespect Cape Blanco, and I won't stand for it. Your so called Older Male Acclamation was NEVER campaigned outside of California, except for the Charles Town Classic(where he finished last). Cape Blanco was Shipped in 3 separate times from Ireland, and won every time out. Staying in California, and beating only 2 good horses(TC, and GOD) in 6 races is nothing to toot your horn over. He lost to horses like Fluke, and Duke of Mischief. Sorry but Cape Blanco gets my vote for Older male, and Turf Male. When A horse wins the 3 biggest Turf races in the USA(aside from the BC Turf) Respect is a MUST. Or will the usual Dirt Bias win out.
  • annmatt · The disrespect is for Acclamation, and that is what I'm defending. I stand by every word. I did not cast aspersions on Cape Blanco. You however did put down Acclamation by suggesting his competition was weak and he didn't leave California. (yikes, are we suggesting an east/west bias!). Since you brought up competition, however, there are those who say that Cape Blanco's competition wasn't that great. You obviously have your opinion about how to assess some of these issues and you assign a certain amount of weight to those you consider important. Fine. We just have a difference of opinion. I sure can handle that! Probably not important, but I find it interesting that Cape Blanco is standing in Kentucky. Kind of makes those trips seem like a possible furtherance of a future objective, and they could have held him over at least saving one of those trips instead of running him back and forth. That was their choice to do that. Since none of us can vote, all of this is really kind of moot anyway. We all care about the sport or we wouldn't take the time to render an opinion. · 2147 days ago
Some inconsistencies here. For Older Male, Game On Dude was probably the best horse on dirt, but Acclamation had the better year. Conversely, Caleb's Posse had the better year, yet Animal Kingdom gets the award? As someone who believes that the Eclipse Awards should go to the best horse in each division, I agree with most of your selections. However, based on what I've seen of Cape Blanco and Acclamation I firmly believe that Acclamation was the superior racehorse. I'd give the award to him. As for HOTY, it should go to the best pound for pound horse to run in a given year. IMO, that horse is Game On Dude. I'm not nearly as passionate about this year's voting and if I was a turf writer I'd probably abstain, simply because I believe a horse should EARN Horse of the Year rather then just have it fall into their lap (Havre De Grace). 2011 simply had no worthy candidate. If it goes to her it wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would be a rather lackluster selection. As for top trainer, Todd Pletcher should never again be considered for the award after putting his ego before the equine and running yet another sick and underprepared horse in the Breeders Cup. After Life At Ten, John Veitch got sacked, John Velazquez got fined, and Pletcher, the trainer who is ultimately responsible for the animal's health, got a pass. How he kept his license is beyond me. It should go to either Mott or Baffert.
I agree completely. I don't want Animal Kingdom to win, but he probably will, unfortunately
  • kedez2012 · Also, I'd love to point out how impressive the Ramsey-breds were this year. They absolutely deserve that award hands down! Congrats to them! · 2147 days ago
Caleb's Posse 3 yr old without a doubt...beat older horses, only 3 yr old to win on Breeders Cup weekend. Derby vs. Breeders Cup races? 20 horse fields? should be easy decision
BTW zatt....I think your list is on the money. The union rags vs hansen might be up for debate but I have to agree that Hansen win it. But come next year, I believe Union Rags is going to smoke them.
LMAO...Someone would pick Acclamation over Cape Blanco..Are you for real? I'd like to see Acclamation make three trips like CB and then finish his last race with a bad leg and still win.
I agree with each of your picks, I guess it's true that great minds think alike!
Wow, I got a phooey! Thank you, Ann. Acclamation, as I have written, had a great year, but in each division he just fell short in my eyes. Very close in the older male, and turf male, but no cigar given by me. I also would have Caleb's Posse second in two divisions, which is a big achievement in it's own right. As for the respective 2011 seasons of Blind Luck versus Havre de Grace, I think there is a clear winner there. I do not take these choices lightly and attempt to do so with as much subjectivity as humanly possible.
  • annmatt · My friend, I understand all your arguments, and we will just have to agree to disagree! This is a friendly-fire exchange...no permanent damage, I can assure you. You are the tops as far as I'm concerned, and I promote your site because I love it and use it. I just ask you to run this through your brain a few more times and give it a fresh perspective. The voting is in, and as you said you weren't eligible to vote, so this discussion is for pure verbal jousting exercise only. I appreciate the opportunity to air my views! · 2147 days ago
  • zatt · No worries, we are still friends! ;-) And it is OK to disagree. · 2147 days ago

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