Eclipse Awards

Sistercharlie Set to Continue Brown’s Ballston Spa Dominance

Trainer Chad Brown has won the last three runnings of the GII Ballston Spa S. and five of the last eight and he's likely to add to those totals when he sends out champion Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) Saturday afternoon at Saratoga. Never worse than fourth in her 15 career appearances, the Peter Brant colorbearer defeated her favored stablemate Rushing Fall (More Than Ready) in defense of her title in the GI Diana S. about this time last year and became the first in history to win the GI Beverly...

[ Read More ]
Asmussen Becomes All-Time Leading Trainer at Churchill

Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen surpassed Dale Romans as the winningest trainer in the history of Churchill Downs Friday, sending out Drop Dead Gorgeous (Strong Mandate) to win the opening race on the program. The victory was his 738th at the historic Louisville oval. "If anyone knows American horse racing, they know what Churchill Downs means to the sport," Asmussen said. "This is a very significant honor. I know the people who have been in this spot before, and been here consistently, and for us to have won the most...

[ Read More ]
Forty Niner Passes Away in Japan at 35

Forty Niner (Mr. Prospector--File, by Tom Rolfe), a four-time Grade I winner and champion of his generation in 1987 before becoming a sire of considerable importance, passed away Monday, May 18, in Japan due to the infirmities of old age. He had just celebrated his 35th birthday May 11. Owned and bred by Claiborne Farm and trained by Woody Stephens, Forty Niner won the 1987 GI Futurity S. and GI Champagne S. to clinch a divisional championship. A leading sophomore of 1988, Forty Niner missed by a neck to Winning...

[ Read More ]
British Idiom Meets Streaking Finite in Rachel Alexandra

Undefeated British Idiom (Flashback), recently crowned champion 2-year-old filly of 2019, will make her sophomore debut in Saturday's GII Rachel Alexandra S. at Fair Grounds, where she'll meet Finite (Munnings), winner of four straight, and five other rivals in the 1 1/16-mile test. Bought for $40,000 as a Fasig-Tipton October yearling, the chestnut debuted in a maiden race at Saratoga restricted to purchases of $45,000 or less and posted a 3 1/2-length pace-pressing success. Shipped to Keeneland and stretched out to two turns, she blew away her competition to the...

[ Read More ]
Got Stormy Finds Safe Launchpad in Endeavour

Eclipse finalist Got Stormy (Get Stormy), a multiple Grade I winner in 2019 who blossomed from a nice minor stakes horse into a bonafide star turf filly, will look to follow in the footsteps of Mark Casse champions Tepin (Bernstein) and World Approval (Northern Afleet) when getting her 5-year-old campaign underway as a prohibitive favorite at Tampa Bay Downs in Saturday's GIII Endeavour S. A winner of two listed stakes and a Grade III in the summer of 2018, the chestnut was stepped up to Grade I company for the...

[ Read More ]
Drew Mollica on the TDN Podcast

Drew Mollica started his career in racing as a jockey agent, but had an epiphany at the age of 47: he was miserable. While keeping his day job, Mollica enrolled in law school, and today, is the most popular and affable lawyer on the New York Racing circuit. Mollica joins Joe Bianca, Bill Finley, Brian DiDonato and Jon Green to talk about Ahmed Zayat and other legal issues in this edition of the Writers' Room. Listen to this week's TDN Writers' Room Podcast here. 

[ Read More ]
From Unknown to Champion, Storm the Court Readies for 3YO Encore

In the fall of 2016, trainer Peter Eurton saddled a big longshot in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita who rode a game upset to an improbable divisional championship. Three years later, he did the same thing, this time with an unheralded colt in the Juvenile, whose shocking and resolute victory propelled him to an unforeseeable Eclipse Award of his own. Eurton hopes the comparisons end there, however, as his Storm the Court (Court Vision) prepares to get his sophomore season underway while adding the weight of...

[ Read More ]
Bricks and Mortar Horse of the Year, Stars at Eclipse Awards

The stars of racing were out in full force for the 2019 Runhappy Eclipse Awards in Gulfstream Park's Sport of Kings auditorium Thursday night. The newly-minted hosting trio of TVG's Gabby Gaudet, NBC and TVG's Brittany Eurton and Gulfstream's Acacia Courtney led the evening's program, reflecting on a season that had it all--celebration, challenge and above all, tremendous change. While a total of 11 equine champions and five human divisions were crowned, it was a single individual that cast a thread through several of the victorious connections of the night....

[ Read More ]
Ortiz, Jr. Defends as Outstanding Jockey

Irad Ortiz, Jr. rode four Breeders' Cup winners at the 2019 World Championships--including GI Longines Turf hero and Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar (Giant's Causeway), who he was aboard for all six of his wins from six tries last term. Ortiz's other Breeders' Cup winners were GI Longines Classic winner Vino Rosso (Curlin), GI Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile victor Spun to Run (Hard Spun) and GII Juvenile Turf Sprint scorer Four Wheel Drive (American Pharoah). Ortiz won 35 graded stakes in 2019, including 11 at the highest...

[ Read More ]
Woodbine-Based Kimura Named Outstanding Apprentice

Japanese-born, Woodbine-based Kazushi Kimura built on a strong first season of riding in 2018 (104 wins, $2,451,326 in earnings) in 2019, booting home 148 winners (17%) and racking up $4,746,556 in earnings. Those stats were good for third-best by wins and fourth-best by earnings at Woodbine's April to December meet. He lost his bug Oct. 26. Accepting the Award... "First, I want to say congratulations to everyone. I am proud of the Eclipse Award and to be nominated with so many great trainers, owners and jockeys. Let me say thank...

[ Read More ]
Bricks and Mortar Named Horse of the Year

Having been nursed back to health over much of calendar year 2018 after being treated for a potentially career-ending case of stringhalt, Bricks and Mortar was an unstoppable force last year and became the first Horse of the Year for trainer Chad Brown Thursday evening. He was also a unanimous winner of the Eclipse Award for older turf male, the third in five years for a Brown trainee (Big Blue Kitten, 2015; Flintshire {GB}, 2016). Underfoot conditions were of no concern to the $200,000 Keeneland September graduate last season, as...

[ Read More ]
British Idiom and Storm the Court Named Top Juveniles

Modestly bred, British Idiom (Flashback) brought only $40,000 as a Fasig-Tipton October yearling in 2018, but by the time she debuted at Saratoga in August, the chestnut had attracted powerhouse connections in Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Madaket Stables and Bethlehem Stables and trainer Brad Cox. Backed to narrow favoritism in that six-furlong career bow, she pressed the pace and drew off to a 3 1/2-length score. Adding Lasix and stretching out to two turns in the GI Darley Alcibiades S. Oct. 4 at Keeneland, she was a powerful victress,...

[ Read More ]