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Eclipse with Mr.Wildman & His Sons
by George Stubbs
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2016 Eclipse Award Winners

Date: 01/21/2017

The 46th annual Eclipse Awards were held Saturday night at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, honoring the champions of North American racing in 2016. Of the 264 eligible voters representing the NTRA, the NTWAB and Daily Racing Form, 248 (93.94%) took part in this year's voting. Finalists were determined in each category by voters' top three selections, using a 10-5-1 point basis. Eclipse Award winners are determined solely by first place votes. There were three categories with a unanimous winner this year: 2-year-old Male, 3-year-old Female, and Older Male.

horse racing
California Chrome winning the 2016 Dubai World Cup
California Chrome was named Horse of the Year as well as the unanimous choice for Champion Older Male. These gave him a total of four Eclipse title along with Champion 3-year-old Male and Horse of the Year in 2014. California Chrome won 7 of 8 starts this year, including the Dubai World Cup and the TVG Pacific Classic to become the all-time leading North American money earner with $14,502,650. He is only the third horse since the award was made official in 1938 to be named Horse of the Year in non-consecutive years, after 1952 and 1954 champion Native Dancer, and 1981 and 1984 champion John Henry. They plan to retire him after next weekend's Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Art Sherman said, "It's really an honor. People don't realize how hard that is to be Horse of the Year, and I appreciate it. It gives me a chance to say, 'Wow.' I got the Horse of the Year trophy when he won it the last time we were here. It's a gorgeous trophy. This will be another one in my trophy case. It's been filled up pretty good by Chrome, I can tell you that."

Beholder, who retired after her 2016 Breeders' Cup Distaff victory, just missed a unanimous decision by 2 votes (to Stellar Wind) to take Champion Older Female. This was her fourth career Eclipse, also winning Champion 2-year-old Filly in 2012, Champion 3-year-old Filly in 2013, and Champion Older Female in 2015. Trainer Richard Mandella said, "My life will never be the same without her."

There were several other repeat winners this year, including Songbird who won her second Eclipse Award, taking 3-year-old filly this year and 2-year-old filly last year. Tepin won her second straight Champion Turf Female title and Javier Castellano won his fourth straight Eclipse for Champion Jockey. Castellano said, "I truly love what I do. It is a joy to do it every day. God bless America."

All the winners for 2016 are listed below with the actual vote totals. A link to a full profile is given for each horse and past performances for all the finalists are available here from Daily Racing Form. To see all this years finalists, check here. You can look up past year's winners here. You can see how the awards are decided here.

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Horse of the Year: California Chrome

Voting: California Chrome, 202; Arrogate, 40; Songbird, 5; Highland Reel, 1.

Older Male: California Chrome

Voting: California Chrome 248.

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Two-Year-Old Male:
Classic Empire

Voting: Classic Empire 248.

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Two-Year-Old Filly:
Champagne Room

Voting: Champagne Room, 202; New Money Honey, 21; Lady Aurelia, 11; Pretty City Dancer, 5; Shane’s Girlfriend, 3; Abel Tasman, 2; Miss Sky Warrior, 2; Victory to Victory, 1; Voter abstentions, 1.

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Champion Three-Year-Old Male: Arrogate

Voting: Arrogate, 243; Exaggerator, 2; Nyquist, 2; Gun Runner, 1.

horse racing
Champion Three-Year-Old Filly: Songbird

Voting: Songbird 248.

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Older Female: Beholder

Voting: Beholder, 246; Stellar Wind, 2.

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Male Sprinter: Drefong

Voting: Drefong, 199; Lord Nelson, 29; A.P. Indian, 20.

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Female Sprinter: Finest City

Voting: Finest City, 185; Haveyougoneaway, 20; Paulassilverlining, 13; Taris, 12; Carina Mia, 11; Constellation, 2; Lightstream, 1; Songbird, 1. Voter abstentions, 3.

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Male Turf Horse: Flintshire

Voting: Flintshire, 137; Highland Reel, 76; Tourist, 32; Da Big Hoss, 1. Voter abstentions, 2.

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Female Turf Horse: Tepin

Voting: Tepin, 225; Found, 11; Queen’s Trust, 7; Lady Eli, 2; Miss Temple City, 2; Catch a Glimpse, 1.

Steeplechase: Rawnaq

Voting: Rawnaq, 171; Top Striker, 31; Special Skills, 2; Bob Le Beau, 1; Portrade, 1. Voter abstentions, 42.

horse racing
Owner: Juddmonte Farms

Voting: Juddmonte Farms, 134; Ken and Sarah Ramsey, 45; Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, 17; Spendthrift Farm, 17; California Chrome, LLC, 16; Reddam Racing, 4; Fox Hill Farms, 3; John Oxley, 3; WinStar Farm, 2; End Zone Athletics, 1; Midwest Thoroughbreds, 1. Voter abstentions, 5.

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Breeder: WinStar Farm

Voting: WinStar Farm, 164; Clearsky Farms, 62; Juddmonte Farms, 4; Darley, 3; Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, 3; Adena Springs, 2; Ken and Sarah Ramsey, 1; Machmer Hall, 1. Voter abstentions, 8.

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Trainer: Chad Brown

Voting: Chad Brown, 208; Bob Baffert, 21; Mark Casse, 11; Art Sherman, 3; Steve Asmussen, 2; Karl Broberg, 1; Todd Pletcher, 1. Voter abstention, 1.

horse racing
Jockey: Javier Castellano

Voting: Javier Castellano, 146; Mike Smith, 44; Jose Ortiz, 41; Florent Geroux, 12; Irad Ortiz Jr., 2; Julien Leparoux, 1. Voter abstentions, 2.

horse racing
Apprentice Jockey: Luis Ocasio

Voting: Luis Ocasio, 182; Lane Luzzi, 34; Eric Cancel, 1; Ashley Castrenze, 1. Voter abstentions, 30.

How the Awards are Decided

The old three-bloc voting system was replaced in 2003 with a one vote per person system, where every voter's selection is weighted equally. Voters rank their top three selections in each of the 16 voting categories and points are awarded on a 10-5-1 basis. The voting point system determines the three finalists in each category, but the winner is determined by first-place votes only.

More about the Eclipse Awards:

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