Keeneland Presents American Graded Stakes Standings: Thoughts On The Eclipse Awards

by | 01.12.2018 | 11:50am
Jose Ortiz, aboard Good Magic #6, weaves through the pack during the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile race on Day 2 of the 2017 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Del Mar Racing Club on November 4, 2017 in Del Mar, California. (Photo by John Durr/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup)

The finalists for the 2017 Eclipse Awards were announced last week, and while many of the nominees were expected, there did wind up being a few surprises sprinkled throughout the categories. Let's take a quick look at a few of the divisions this week.

2-Year-Old Male: Finalists – Bolt d'Oro, Good Magic, Solomini. Despite finishing third as the favorite in the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Bolt d'Oro is the likely favorite in this category. The son of Medaglia d'Oro was undefeated in three starts heading into the Breeders' Cup, with two of his wins coming in G1 races – the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner Stakes. Good Magic earned the first win of his young career when he captured the BC Juvenile by 4 ¼ lengths. Prior to that race, he was second in a maiden special weight and second in the G1 Champagne. He could spring a mild upset and get the championship over Bolt d'Oro. The third candidate in this category is Solomini, who was disqualified from his win in the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity and placed third. Prior to that race, he was second in both the BC Juvenile and FrontRunner. Officially, he only has one win to his credit, his maiden victory in September.

2-Year-Old Filly: Finalists – Caledonia Road, Moonshine Memories, Rushing Fall. Another year in which the fillies were evenly matched. Caledonia Road holds a slight advantage with her sharp score in the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Prior to that race, the daughter of Quality Road had a maiden win and a second-place finish in the G1 Frizette. In most years, Moonshine Memories would be considered the favorite for the championship, since two of her three wins came in G1 races – the Del Mar Debutante and the Chandelier. However, throwing in a clunker in the BC Juvenile Fillies (she finished seventh) may have ruined her championship hopes. Rushing Fall is undefeated in three career starts, and certainly deserves to be a finalist in this category. All three of her wins, however, have come on the turf (including the G1 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf), so she's an outsider here.

3-Year-Old Male: Finalists – Always Dreaming, Battle of Midway, West Coast. In this category we have one colt that was brilliant in the spring, one that was on top of his game in the late summer/early fall, and another that finally broke through on the big stage in November. In other words, no one dominated the season. Always Dreaming was sharp in the spring, winning the G1 Florida Derby and G1 Kentucky Derby. He then finished eighth in the G1 Preakness, third in the G2 Jim Dandy, and ninth in the G1 Travers, which was his last start of the year. It may come as a surprise to some that Battle of Midway is a finalist in this category. After all, he only boasts one G1 win to his credit – the G1 BC Dirt Mile. However, he finished third in the G1 Kentucky Derby, second in the G1 Santa Anita Derby, and a second in the G3 Oklahoma Derby. Other wins include the G3 Affirmed and in the Shared Belief Stakes. West Coast may hold a slight advantage, though, after he rattled off five straight wins (including the G1 Travers, G1 Pennsylvania Derby, G3 Los Alamitos Derby and listed Easy Goer Stakes) prior to finishing third in the G1 BC Classic. For the year, West Coast boasts a record of six wins, two seconds and one third-place finish in nine starts.

3-Year-Old Filly: Finalists – Abel Tasman, Elate, Unique Bella. Abel Tasman should be considered the favorite in this category, having never finished worse than second in her seven starts as a 3-year-old. Her wins included the G1 Kentucky Oaks, G1 Acorn, and G1 Coaching Club American Oaks; she finished second in the G1 BC Distaff, G1 Cotillion, G1 Santa Anita Oaks and G3 Santa Ysabel. Elate was a late-blooming filly last year, finishing second in the G1 CCA Oaks prior to winning the G1 Alabama and G1 Beldame. She closed out her year with a fourth-place finish in the G1 BC Distaff. Unique Bella looked to be a monster early last year, especially after she rattled off wins in the G2 Santa Ynez, G2 Las Virgenes and G3 Santa Ysabel. She then was sideline for the spring and summer, missing a proposed start in the G1 Kentucky Oaks. She returned with a victory in the G3 LA Woman in October, but lost for the first time in the G1 BC Filly and Mare Sprint. She concluded her season with a victory in the G1 La Brea Stakes.

Next week we'll take a look at the Sprint, Turf, and Older Male/Female categories

*All chart information is valid through Dec. 31, 2017

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Graded Stakes Wins by Sales Company     
RankNameWins
1Keeneland146 (171)
2Fasig-Tipton60 (70)
3OBS52 (57)
4Tattersalls9 (12)
5Goffs9 (11)
Graded Stakes Winners by Sale      
RankNameWinners
1Keeneland Sept.116
2Keeneland Nov.41
3OBS March21
4FTK October19
5FT August16
Graded Stakes Winners by Sale Year     
RankNameSales
1Yearling208
22-Year-Old74
3Weanling36
44-Year-Old13
53-Year-Old8
Graded Stakes Winners by Consignor     
Rank 3 (4)NameWinners
1Taylor Made19
2Lane's End12
3Eaton Sales9
4Gainesway8
Wavertree Stable8
Graded Stakes Winners by Sire     
RankNameWinners/Ws
1Scat Daddy12 (12)
2Quality Road11 (13)
3Medaglia d'Oro10 (17)
Tapit10 (17)
5Curlin8 (14)
Malibu Moon8 (14)
Graded Stakes Winners by Breeder     
RankNameWinners/Ws
1WinStar Farm7 (10)
2Juddmonte Farms6 (9)
3Darley6 (8)
4Live Oak4 (8)
5Clearsky Farms4 (6)
Graded Stakes Winners by Owner     
RankNameWinners/Ws
1Head of Plains Partners11 (16)
2Gary Barber7 (9)
Godolphin Racing7 (9)
WinStar Farm7 (9)
5Sheep Pond Partners6 (10)
Graded Stakes Winners by Trainer     
RankName Winners/Ws
1Chad Brown35 (47)
2Todd Pletcher20 (24)
3Bob Baffert18 (30)
4Mark Casse18 (26)
5Graham Motion11 (12)
Total Graded Stakes Wins by Horse     
RankNameWins
1Gun Runner5
Unique Bella5
3Sharp Azteca4
Vale Dori (Arg)4
World Approval4