Finalists in the Eclipse Awards were announced Saturday night. Many Kentucky-based connections were included among the finalists including trainer Dale Romans and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby, owned by the Louisville-based syndicate, Starlight Racing Partners. Winners will be announced Saturday, January 19 at the award ceremony being held this year at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.
The Eclipse Awards honor the horses and individuals in the horse industry that, through their achievements throughout the year, have earned the title of Champion in their respective fields. The Eclipse Awards are like what the Oscars are to the movies or the Grammys to music.
Members of the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and the Daily Racing Form cast their ballots to determine the nominees and winners in each category. Voters select a first, second, and third choice for each category with the top-three first-place vote getters comprising the nominees in the respective category.
Eclipse Awards are also given to the winner of the Daily Racing Form/National Handicapping Championship and members of the media recognized for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.
This year may be unlike past years when it was relatively obvious which horse or person would be crowned divisional champion or Horse of the Year. Although there are a few of the 17 categories in which one should expect a landslide victory (Shanghai Bobby for Two-Year-Old Male or Groupie Doll for Female Sprinter), many of the categories are up for grabs, including Horse of the Year.