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Eclipse with Mr.Wildman & His Sons
by George Stubbs
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2020 Eclipse Award Winners

Date: 01/28/2020

The 50th annual Eclipse Awards were presented Thursday night during a virtual ceremony presented by Spendthrift Farm honoring the champions of North American racing in 2020. Of the 249 eligible voters representing the NTRA, the NTWAB and Daily Racing Form, 238 (95.58%) 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.

horse racing
Authentic winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1)
Authentic was voted the 2020 Horse of the Year by a landslide, to go along with his nearly unanimous selection as Champion Three-Year-Old Male. His 5 for 7 record included Grade 1 wins in the Haskell, Kentucky Derby, and Breeders' Cup Classic, earning $7.17 million on track. Michael Behrens of co-owner MyRacehorse Stable said, "It's unbelievable how lucky we have been to have this horse bring this attention. I couldn't have scripted the goal of the platform any better than this. 'Surreal' is the right word, I guess." Trainer Bob Baffert added, "There were so many things going on in the world, worse things, people were dying, that I didn't really think (that racing would be conducted). Then we finally got to run, and you're just thankful to run. It really made me appreciate it. I thought of how lucky I am to have a job, to be able to keep working and keep my people employed. It's been a whirlwind." After the Classic he was immediately retired to stud at Spendthrift as the first classic winner for sire Into Mischief.

horse racing
Monomoy Girl winning the La Troienne (G1)
Second in Horse of the Year voting was Champion Older Dirt Female, Monomoy Girl, who was the Three-Year-Old Filly champion back in 2018 but missed all of 2019 due to colic and then a pulled muscle. In 2020 she was a perfect 4-for-4 including the Ruffian (G2), La Troienne (G1), and the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1). Trainer Brad Cox said, "I was fortunate that the ownership group gave us the opportunity to race her at 5. To get her back to the Grade 1 level was the biggest accomplishment ever for me and my team. After winning the La Troienne, the pressure was off, and the Breeders' Cup was icing on the cake." Sent to the Fasig-Tipton breeding stock sale after the season, Spendthrift Farm bought her for $9.5 million and sent her right back to Cox to race in 2021. Cox was named Outstanding Trainer for the first time in his career, in a season where his stable earned almost $19 million including 4 Breeders' Cup wins. He said, "You look down the list of the past award winners and you're like, 'Wow.' To be in that company is just shocking, actually, to me. It's an amazing accomplishment, and I owe so much to the people around me, the horses, and the clients."

horse racing
Swiss Skydiver winning the Santa Anita Oaks (G2)
Third in Horse of the Year voting was Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, Swiss Skydiver, who defeated the eventual Horse of the Year in an upset at the Preakness Stakes (G1), to go along with the Alabama Stakes (G1) and Grade 2 scores in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, Fantasy Stakes, and Santa Anita Oaks. She earned $1,791,820 on track and will race again this year. Trainer Ken McPeek said, "It's been an amazing year, she took us north, south, east, and west. She's such a special filly and we're really honoured to accept the award." As expected, Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) and Breeders' Futurity (G1) winner Essential Quality was voted Champion Two-Year-Old Male, while Spinaway (G1) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Vequist is Champion Two-Year-Old Female.

After Authentic's landslide in the Three-Year-Old Male category, Monomoy Girl's selection in the Older Female category was the next largest margin of victory in the voting, followed by Essential Quality in the Two-Year-Old Male category. The closest race was in the Apprentice Jockey category, where Alexander Crispin edged Yarmarie Correa by just 5 votes, followed by the 8 vote margin in the Female Turf Horse division as Rushing Fall, winner of the Diana (G1) and Jenny Wiley (G1), edged Tarnawa, who defeated her by a neck in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1).

All the winners for 2020 are listed below with the actual vote totals. A link to a full profile is given for each winner. You can look up past year's winners here. You can see how the awards are decided here.

horse racing
Horse of the Year: Authentic

Voting: Authentic, 224; Monomoy Girl, 7; Swiss Skydiver, 6.

horse racing
Two-Year-Old Male: Essential Quality

Voting: Essential Quality, 231; Jackie's Warrior, 6; Fire At Will, 1.

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Two-Year-Old Filly: Vequist

Voting: Vequist, 212; Aunt Pearl (IRE), 24; Malathaat, 1; Voter Abstention, 1.

horse racing
Champion Three-Year-Old Male: Authentic

Voting: Authentic, 236; Tiz the Law, 2.

horse racing
Champion Three-Year-Old Filly: Swiss Skydiver

Voting: Swiss Skydiver, 218; Gamine, 20.

horse racing
Older Male: Improbable

Voting: Improbable, 218; Knicks Go; 8, Vekoma, 5; Maximum Security, 4; Global Campaign, 1; Tom's d'Etat, 1; Whitmore, 1.

horse racing
Older Female: Monomoy Girl

Voting: Monomoy Girl, 234; Midnight Bisou, 4.

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Male Sprinter: Whitmore

Voting: Whitmore, 132; Vekoma, 83; Volatile, 16; Charlatan, 4; C Z Rocket, 3.

horse racing
Female Sprinter: Gamine

Voting: Gamine, 219; Serengeti Empress, 13; Frank's Rockette, 4; Guarana, 1; Voter Abstention, 1.

horse racing
Male Turf Horse: Channel Maker

Voting: Channel Maker, 180; Zulu Alpha, 17; Order of Australia (IRE), 15; Factor This, 7; United, 7; Gufo, 4; Domestic Spending (GB), 3; Arklow, 2; War of Will, 1; Voter Abstentions, 2.

horse racing
Female Turf Horse: Rushing Fall

Voting: Rushing Fall, 115; Tarnawa (IRE), 106; Magical (IRE), 8; Audarya (FR), 5; Starship Jubilee, 2; Newspaperofrecord (IRE) 1; Sharing, 1.

Steeplechase: Moscato

Voting: Moscato (GB), 155; Snap Decision, 28; Rashaan (IRE), 21; Iranistan,2; Voter Abstentions, 32.

horse racing
Owner: Godolphin LLC

Voting: Godolphin, LLC, 78; Spendthrift Farm, LLC, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, and Starlight Racing, 56; Klaravich Stables Inc., 47; Gary Barber, 23; Sackatoga Stables, 7; End Zone Athletics Inc., 6; Peter Callahan, 4; Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, LLC, The Elkstone Group LLC, and Bethlehem Stables, 3; Calumet Farm, 1; Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, 1; M and M Racing, 1; Maggi Moss, 1; Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey 1; Gary and Mary West, 1; Voter Abstentions, 8.

horse racing
Breeder: WinStar Farm LLC

Voting: WinStar Farm, LLC, 128; Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC, 52; Calumet Farm, 45; Godolphin, 6; Charles Fipke, 1; Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, 1; Voter Abstentions, 5.

horse racing
Trainer: Brad Cox

Voting: Brad Cox, 106; Bob Baffert, 69; Steve Asmussen, 44; Chad Brown, 8; Christophe Clement, 1; Michael Maker, 1; Peter Miller, 1; Ron Moquett, 1; Bill Mott, 1; Barclay Tagg, 1; Wesley Ward, 1; Voter Abstentions, 4.

horse racing
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Voting: Irad Ortiz, Jr., 162; Joel Rosario, 54; John Velazquez, 14; Florent Geroux, 3; Tyler Gaffalione, 2; Flavien Prat, 1; Luis Saez, 1; Voter Abstention, 1.

horse racing
Apprentice Jockey: Alexander Crispin

Voting: Alexander Crispin, 79; Yarmarie Correa, 74; Luis Cardenas, 38; Charlie Marquez, 15; Cristian Torres, 3; Sunday Diaz, Jr. 1; Voter Abstentions, 28.
The Media Eclipse Awards were announced on January 6 and this year's awards are highlighted by Natalie Voss, Editor-in-Chief of the Paulick Report, becoming the first individual to win two writing award categories in the same year since the late Bill Nack earned two awards in 1991. 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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