It's finalist day for the 2009 Eclipse Awards. With perhaps the exception of Dolphus Morrison as a finalists for breeder, no real surprises among the list of candidates. Headlined by Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta as the only two listed in the Horse of the Year category, the complete list of the finalists are listed below.
Female superstars Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta lead an all-star cast of finalists for the 2009 Eclipse Awards, recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing. Winners in all categories will be announced at the 39th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony, to be held Monday evening, January 18, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The announcement of the finalists was made today by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), National Turf Writers Association (NTWA) and Daily Racing Form (DRF), the three presenting organizations of the Eclipse Awards.
The three-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra, winner of all eight of her starts in 2009, including the Preakness Stakes; and the five-year old mare Zenyatta, who won all five of her races last year and culminated her undefeated career by becoming the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic, are the two candidates for Horse of the Year. Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta were the only two horses to receive votes in the Horse of the Year category.
The Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
· Horse of the Year: Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta
· Two-Year-Old Male: Lookin At Lucky, Noble's Promise, Vale of York (IRE)
· Two-Year-Old Filly: Blind Luck, Hot Dixie Chick, She Be Wild
· Three-Year-Old Male: Mine That Bird, Quality Road, Summer Bird
· Three-Year-Old Filly: Careless Jewel, Flashing, Rachel Alexandra
· Older Male: Einstein (BRZ), Gio Ponti, Kodiak Kowboy
· Older Female: Life Is Sweet, Music Note, Zenyatta
· MaleSprinter: Dancing in Silks, Kodiak Kowboy, Zensational
· Female Sprinter: Informed Decision, Music Note, Ventura
· Male Turf Horse: Conduit (IRE), Gio Ponti, Presious Passion
· Female Turf Horse: Goldikova (IRE), Midday (GB), Ventura
· Steeplechase Horse: Mixed Up, Red Letter Day, Spy in the Sky
· Owner: Godolphin Racing, Juddmonte Farms, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S. Moss
· Breeder: Adena Springs, Juddmonte Farms, Dolphus C. Morrison
· Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Bob Baffert, John Shirreffs
· Jockey: Ramon Dominguez, Garrett Gomez, Julien Leparoux
· Apprentice Jockey: Luis Batista, Christian Santiago Reyes, Luis Saez
The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.
The 2009 Eclipse Awards ceremony will be held on January 18 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., and televised live on TVG.
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