Wise Dan Leads KY Assault on Eclipse
Category : News
Sun 19/01/2014 - 15:43 EST
Led by now two-time reigning Horse of the Year, Wise Dan, Kentucky-bred horses dominated the Eclipse Awards as the best US thoroughbred race horses in 2013. For the first time in 43 years of the Eclipse Awards a horse won three awards in consecutive years, as Wise Dan also claimed the title of Older Male Horse and Male Turf Horse, the same honors he collected in 2012. Wise Dan began the year by winning the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes at Keeneland, and ended it by winning his second straight Breeders’ Cup Mile. In all he won six graded stakes, including three Grade I events.
Royal Delta picks up third lifetime Eclipse
Another repeat winner was Royal Delta, who claimed her second consecutive title as Older Female, to go along with the three-year-old female title she won in 2011. Although not as dominant as she was in 2012, two grade one wins and three wins overall in seven starts was enough for her to claim the title. Beholder, who defeated Royal Delta to win the BC Distaff, took the award as champion three-year-old female, following up on her 2012 award as champion two-year-old filly. That title this year went to She’s A Tiger, never worse than second in six starts. Groupie Doll won her second straight female sprinter award.
Dank breaks Kentucky string as turf female
Of the awards on the male side that didn’t go to Wise Dan, Shared Belief claimed the champion two-year-old title with an undefeated campaign over three races, including a Grade I win. Will Take Charge, who started the season with a disappointing Triple Crown but got better as the season when on, was named champion three-year-old male. Points Off thebench, who was fatally injured while training for the Breeders’ Cup was honored as champion sprinter. The only Eclipse not clamed by a KY-bred was turf female, which went to the UK-bred Dank, winner of two US Grade I races.
One of the most historic - and controversial - editions of the Kentucky Derby is in the books and the next leg of the US Triple Crown moves to Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course for the running of the Preakness Stakes. The 1 3/16 test over the Pimlico dirt track is drawing a wide-open field of three-year-old thoroughbreds gunning for the $1.5 million purse.
Led to the gate by pre-race morning line favorite Omaha Beach, a full field of 20 are set to line up for the 145th Kentucky Derby on late Saturday afternoon. They're running for a total purse of $3 million on the 1 1/4 mile Churchill dirt course and making their bid to follow 2018 winner Justify as Triple Crown champions.
The $100,000 Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes July 2 at Churchill Downs features a field of nine up-and-coming two year olds in a race that may be as confusing as it is competitive.
With the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster the centerpiece of a stellar Downs After Dark racing card June 18 at Churchill Downs, the expected field of seven older runners presents an interesting handicapping puzzle.