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Eclipse with Mr.Wildman & His Sons
by George Stubbs
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2017 Eclipse Award Winners

Date: 01/25/2018

The 47th annual Eclipse Awards were held Thursday night in the Sport of Kings Thatre at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, honoring the champions of North American racing in 2017. Of the 269 eligible voters representing the NTRA, the NTWAB and Daily Racing Form, 250 (92.9%) 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. Unlike in past years, there were no unanimous winners, however Horse of the Year was the closest to unanimous in 2017.

horse racing
Gun Runner winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1)
Gun Runner was named the 2017 Horse of the Year as well as the Champion Older Male. He was 5 for 6 for the year for trainer Steve Asmussen, winning the Razorback Handicap (G3), finishing 2nd to Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup (G1), and then won the Stephen Foster (G1), Whitney (G1), Woodward (G1), and the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) to nail down the title. He was almost unanimous in both categories, with just 2 votes for Arrogate for Horse of the Year and 3 for Arrogate for Older Male. He will make his final career start in Saturday's Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream before retiring to Three Chimneys Farm. Owner Ron Winchell said, "What I reflect on is how fortunate we are. How, for this horse, for whatever reason, everything has come so easy for him. He’s just been one of those horses where things have gone so right for him. His recovery from races is unbelievable; he always has unbelievable energy levels. There are always positives when I get phone calls about Gun Runner, and that’s unusual in this game."

horse racing
Abel Tasman winning the Acorn Stakes (G1)
Abel Tasman was voted Champion 3-Year-Old Filly with just 6 votes cast against her. Raced by China Horse Club and trained by Bob Baffert, she won the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Acorn (G1), and Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and finished the season finishing a close second in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) to Forever Unbridled, who was voted the Champion Older Female. Forever Unbridled was a perfect 3-for-3 in 2017, winning the Fleur de Lis (G2) and Personal Ensign (G1) as well.

horse racing
World Approval winning the Woodbine Mile (G1)
World Approval was named a finalist for Horse of the Year but did not receive any first place votes. However, the Live Oak Plantation homebred was the easy winner of the Male Turf Horse award, off his wins in the Dixie (G1), Fourstardave (G1), Woodbine Mile (G1), and Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) for trainer Mark Casse. The Three-Year-Old Male award went to a colt who did not compete in the Triple Crown series at all. West Coast won the Los Alamitos Derby (G3), Travers (G1), and Pennsylvania Derby (G1) before finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).

There was a Special Eclipse Award given to the disaster responders of the tragic events at both San Luis Rey Downs in California, which was affected by wildfires, and Camarero Racetrack in Puerto Rico, flooded after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island territory. Trainer Peter Miller spoke about the thrill of winning 2 Breeders' Cup races at his home track of Del Mar, and then a month later, he was at Los Alamitos as his staff at San Luis Rey worked to save his horses from the oncoming flames. Miller said, "This restored my faith in humanity."

There were no repeat winners in the equine categories, however Juddmonte Farms won its 4th Eclipse (and 2nd year in a row) as Outstanding Owner while Chad Brown repeated as Outstanding Trainer.

All the winners for 2017 are listed below with the actual vote totals. A link to a full profile is given for each horse. 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.

horse racing
Horse of the Year: Gun Runner

Voting: Gun Runner, 248; Arrogate, 2

Older Male: Gun Runner

Voting: Gun Runner, 247; Arrogate, 3.

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Two-Year-Old Male:
Good Magic

Voting: Good Magic, 131; Bolt d’Oro, 113; Catholic Boy, 3; Firenze Fire, 1; Mendelssohn, 1; Solomini, 1.

horse racing
Two-Year-Old Filly:
Caledonia Road

Voting: Caledonia Road, 161; Rushing Fall, 68; Moonshine Memories, 17; Dream Tree, 2; Dream It Is, 1; Road to Victory, 1.

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Champion Three-Year-Old Male: West Coast

Voting: West Coast, 229; Always Dreaming, 14; Battle of Midway, 5; Irap, 1; Mastery, 1.

horse racing
Champion Three-Year-Old Filly: Abel Tasman

Voting: Abel Tasman, 244; Unique Bella, 5; Elate, 1.

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Older Female: Forever Unbridled

Voting: Forever Unbridled, 237; Songbird, 8; Stellar Wind, 4; Voter Abstentions, 1.

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Male Sprinter: Roy H

Voting: Roy H, 241; Imperial Hint, 5; Drefong, 1; Mind Your Biscuits, 1; Stormy Liberal, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1.

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Female Sprinter: Unique Bella

Voting: Unique Bella, 90, Paulassilverlining, 60; Ami’s Mesa, 41; Bar of Gold, 36; Lady Aurelia, 8; By the Moon, 5; American Gal, 3; Finley’sluckycharm, 1; Voter Abstentions, 6.

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Male Turf Horse: World Approval

Voting: World Approval, 211; Beach Patrol 20; Talismanic (GB), 11; Highland Reel (IRE), 8.

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Female Turf Horse: Lady Eli

Voting: Lady Eli, 203; Wuheida (GB), 33; Off Limits, 12; Cambodia, 1; La Coronel, 1.

Steeplechase: Scorpiancer

Voting: Scorpiancer (IRE), 92; All the Way Jose, 70; Mr. Hot Stuff, 35; Modem (GB), 7; Diplomat, 4; Swansea Mile (IRE), 3; Voter Abstentions, 39.

horse racing
Owner: Juddmonte Farms

Voting: Juddmonte Farms, 143; Winchell Thoroughbreds, 31; Godolphin Racing, 21; Sol Kumin, Head of Plains, Sheep Pond Partners, 19; Klaravich Stables, Inc., and William H. Lawrence, 11; Calumet Farm, 7; End Zone Athletics, 3; Charles Fipke, 2; Coolmore, 1; e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, 1; Fox Hill Farm, 1; Live Oak Plantation, 1; John Oxley, 1; Stonestreet Stables, 1; Voter Abstentions, 7.

horse racing
Breeder: Clearsky Farms

Voting: Clearsky Farms, 141; WinStar Farm, 72; Charles Fipke, 8; Belisu Stables, 7; Live Oak Stud, 6; Godolphin Racing/Darley, 4; Brereton C. Jones, 3; Adena Springs, 1; Calumet Farm, 1; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 1; Voter Abstentions, 6.

horse racing
Trainer: Chad Brown

Voting: Chad Brown, 215; Bob Baffert, 16; Steve Asmussen, 13; Mark Casse, 2; Todd Pletcher, 2; Voter Abstentions, 2.

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Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Voting: Jose Ortiz, 189; Mike Smith, 45; Irad Ortiz, Jr.,10; Javier Castellano, 4; Voter Abstentions, 2.

Apprentice Jockey: Evin Roman

Voting: Evin Roman, 232; Katie Clawson, 4; Jenn Miller, 1. Voter Abstentions, 13.
The Media Eclipse Awards were previously announced and the winners can be viewed here:

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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