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Finalists announced for Eclipse Awards

Press release

(Photo: Epicenter, a finalist for 3-year-old champion, was born and raised in Bowling Green, Ky., at Harris Farm and sold to Kentucky Downs co-owner Ron Winchell, who helped lead the 3-year-old colt into the Saratoga winner’s circle after the Travers Stakes. At left is Scott Blasi, chief assistant to Steve Asmussen, a finalist for Eclipse Award trainer. Coglianese Photography)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 7, 2023) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) today announced the finalists for the 2022 Eclipse Awards, recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing.

Winners in 17 horse and human categories will be announced on FanDuel TV, and other outlets, during the 52nd annual Eclipse Awards, presented by John Deere, Keeneland, and The Jockey Club,  on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The evening will culminate with the announcement of the 2022 Horse of the Year.

Of the 258 eligible voters represented by the NTRA, consisting of member racetrack racing officials and Equibase field personnel, the NTWAB, and Daily Racing Form, 246 (95.3%) took part in the 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. The 2022 Eclipse Awards Finalists, with the exception of Horse of the Year, (in alphabetical order) are:

Two-Year-Old Male: Cave Rock, Forte, Victoria Road (IRE)

Two-Year-Old Filly: Leave No Trace, Meditate (IRE), Wonder Wheel 

Three-Year-Old Male: Epicenter, Modern Games (IRE), Taiba

Three-Year-Old Filly: Nest, Secret Oath, Tuesday (IRE)

Older Dirt Male: Flightline, Life Is Good, Olympiad

Older Dirt Female: Clairiere, Goodnight Olive, Malathaat 

Male Sprinter: Cody’s Wish, Elite Power, Jackie’s Warrior

Female Sprinter: Caravel, Echo Zulu, Goodnight Olive

Male Turf Horse: Modern Games (IRE), Nations Pride (IRE), Rebel’s Romance (IRE)

Female Turf Horse: In Italian (GB), Regal Glory, War Like Goddess 

Steeplechase Horse: Down Royal, Hewick (IRE), Snap Decision

Owner: Peter Brant, Godolphin LLC, Klaravich Stables Inc.

Breeder: Godolphin, Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, Summer Wind Equine

Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Chad Brown, Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr., Flavien Prat, Joel Rosario

Apprentice Jockey: Jeiron Barbosa, Vicente Del-Cid, Jose Antonio Gomez

In addition to honoring the 17 winners in the horse and human categories, David Harrison will receive the Eclipse Award as the 2022 Horseplayer of the Year. Members of the media will be honored for outstanding coverage in six categories. Eclipse Awards voting is conducted by the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), and Daily Racing Form. The Eclipse Awards ceremony is produced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire, Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.

Keeneland represented by 13 sales graduates among the finalists

Thirteen graduates of Keeneland sales – 12 are alumni of the prestigious September Yearling Sale –are finalists for Eclipse Awards. They and their 2022 graded stakes victories are:
Two-Year-Old Male: Cave Rock, who won the American Pharoah (G1) and Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1);Forte, who won the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) both at Keeneland and the Hopeful (G1).
Two-Year-Old Filly: Wonder Wheel, who won the NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Darley Alcibiades (G1) both at Keeneland.
Three-Year-Old Male: Epicenter, who won the Runhappy Travers (G1), Jim Dandy (G2), Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star (G2) Presented by Lamarque Ford.
Three-Year-Old Filly: Nest, who won the Central Bank Ashland (G1) at Keeneland and the Alabama (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Beldame (G2).
Older Dirt Male: Life Is Good, who won the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Presented by 1/ST BET, Whitney (G1), Woodward (G1) and John A. Nerud (G2); Olympiad, who won the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), Alysheba (G2) Presented by Sentient Jet, New Orleans Classic (G2) and Stephen Foster (G2) and Mineshaft (G3).
Older Dirt Female: Malathaat, who won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), Juddmonte Spinster (G1) and Baird Doubledogdare (G3) at Keeneland and the Personal Ensign (G1).
Male Sprinter: Elite Power, who won the Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland and the Vosburgh (G2); Jackie’s Warrior, who won the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) and Churchill Downs (G1) Presented by Ford, the True North (G2) and the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3).
Female Sprinter: Echo Zulu, who won the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and Dogwood (G3).
Female Turf: Regal Glory, who won the Jenny Wiley (G1) at Keeneland, Matriarch (G1), Just a Game (G1) and TAA Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational (G3) Presented by PEPSI (G3); War Like Goddess, who won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1), Glens Falls (G2) and Keeneland’s Bewitch (G3).
In addition, these finalists for Eclipse Awards all captured 2022 Breeders’ Cup races at Keeneland:
Caravel (Female Sprinter) won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) after capturing the Franklin (G3) during Keeneland’s Fall Meet;
Cody’s Wish (Male Sprinter) won the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1);
Flightline (Older Dirt Male) won the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Two days later at Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale, a 2.5 percent ownership interest in Flightline sold for $4.6 million;
Goodnight Olive (Older Dirt Female, Female Sprinter) won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1);
Meditate (IRE) (Two-Year-Old Filly) won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1);
Modern Games (IRE) (Three-Year-Old Male, Male Turf Horse) won the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF;
Rebel’s Romance (IRE) (Male Turf Horse) won the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1);
Tuesday (IRE) (Three-Year-Old Filly) won the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1); and
Victoria Road (IRE) (Two-Year-Old Male) won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
Another finalist with a Keeneland stakes victory in 2022 is In Italian (GB) (Female Turf Horse), who won the First Lady (G1) Presented by UK HealthCare during the Fall Meet.
Meanwhile, every finalist for Eclipse Awards as outstanding horsemen is active at Keeneland:

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.