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2018 Eclipse Award Winners

Date: 01/24/2019

The 48th 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 2018. Of the 271 eligible voters representing the NTRA, the NTWAB and Daily Racing Form, 249 (91.9%) 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, and there was one unanimous selection this year.

horse racing
Justify winning the Kentucky Derby (G1)
Justify was named the 2018 Horse of the Year and was the unanimous choice for Champion Three-Year-Old Male. The 13th Triple Crown winner was a perfect 6 for 6, with his entire racing career taking place this spring, starting with a debut win at Santa Anita on February 18, followed by an allowance win, then four straight Grade 1s, the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and then completing the sweep in the Belmont Stakes on June 9 before retiring to stud duty. Runner-up for Horse of the Year was Champion Older Male Accelerate, winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic and who will retire after competing in Saturday's Pegasus World Cup.

horse racing
Monomoy Girl winning the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1)
As expected Monomoy Girl was named Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, with only 2 voters not choosing her on top. If not for her disqualification in the Cotillion she would have been a perfect 7 for 7 including the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders' Cup Distaff, both run at Churchill Downs. The other near-unanimous choice was for Champion Two-Year-Old Male, awarded to Game Winner, winner of the Del Mar Futurity, American Pharoah, and Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

horse racing
Sistercharlie after winning the Diana Stakes (G1)
Among the equine categories the closest vote was for Champion Turf Female, where Sistercharlie, winner of the Neverly D. and the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, edged European superstar Enable, winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf. The Male Turf Horse category was similarly close, where 12 different horses earned first place votes, with Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint repeat winner Stormy Liberal getting the nod over Expert Eye and Glorious Empire. He is also the first sprinter to win the Turf Male award, even receiving 2 votes in the Male Sprinter category.

Joe Harper, the chief executive officer of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, was given the Award of Merit in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing, guiding the seaside track through a period of sustained growth and success. After serving as executive vice president at the Oak Tree Racing Association, he moved to a similar role at Del Mar in 1978. He introduced the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) in 1990, oversaw the reconstruction and opening of the new $80 mllion grandstand in 1993, and brought the Breeders' Cup World Championships to the San Diego County track in 2017.

Roy H repeated as Champion Male Sprinter and Unique Bella added a Champion Older Female title to her Champion Female Sprinter title from last year in the equine categories. Trainer Chad Brown added a third Outstanding Trainer title to his resume. Roy H is the only horse to win both the Breeders' Cup Sprint and the Eclipse Award for male sprinter in consecutive years.

All the winners for 2018 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: Justify

Voting: Justify, 191; Accelerate, 54; Monomoy Girl, 2; Enable, 1; Voter Abstention, 1.

horse racing
Two-Year-Old Male: Game Winner

Voting: Game Winner, 247; Bulletin, 1; Knicks Go, 1.

horse racing
Two-Year-Old Filly: Jaywalk

Voting: Jaywalk, 214; Newspaperofrecord, 31; Bellafina, 4.

horse racing
Champion Three-Year-Old Male: Justify

Voting: Justify, 249.

horse racing
Champion Three-Year-Old Filly: Monomoy Girl

Voting: Monomoy Girl, 247; Magical, 1; Rushing Fall, 1.

horse racing
Older Male: Accelerate

Voting: Accelerate, 245; Justify, 2; Discreet Lover, 1; Roy H, 1.

horse racing
Older Female: Unique Bella

Voting: Unique Bella, 182; Abel Tasman, 34; Marley's Freedom, 14; Blue Prize (ARG), 9; Wow Cat (CHI), 9; Voter Abstention, 1.

horse racing
Male Sprinter: Roy H

Voting: Roy H, 234; City of Light, 9; Imperial Hint, 3; Stormy Liberal, 2; Mind Your Biscuits, 1.

horse racing
Female Sprinter: Shamrock Rose

Voting: Shamrock Rose, 136; Marley's Freedom, 113.

horse racing
Male Turf Horse: Stormy Liberal

Voting: Stormy Liberal, 85; Expert Eye, 66; Glorious Empire, 43; Catholic Boy 14; Heart to Heart, 12; Catapult, 8; Channel Maker, 7; Raging Bull, 7; Robert Bruce, 2; Funtastic, 1; Oscar Performance, 1; Yoshida 1; voter abstentions, 2.

horse racing
Female Turf Horse: Sistercharlie

Voting: Sistercharlie, 130; Enable, 119.

Steeplechase: Zanjabeel

Voting: Zanjabeel, 176; Optimus Prime, 22; Jury Duty, 12; Iranistan, 4; Balance the Budget, 1; voter abstentions, 34.

horse racing
Owner: Hronis Racing

Voting: Hronis Racing LLC, 142; Peter Brant, 27; WinStar Farm, China Horse Club Intl., Starlight Racing, Head of Plains Partners, 25; Calumet Farm, 8; Klaravich Stables, Inc., 8; Godolphin Racing, 6; End Zone Athletics, 5; WinStar Farm, 5; Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen, 4; Sol Kumin 3; Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group, Bethlehem Stables, 2; China Horse Club, 1; China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, 1; Juddmonte Farms, 1; Loooch Racing Stables, 1; Voter Abstentions, 10.

horse racing
Breeder: John D. Gunther

Voting: John D. Gunther, 102; WinStar Farm, LLC, 68; Mike Abraham, 21; Calumet Farm, 14; Fred Hertrich III & John D. Fielding, 13; Juddmonte Farms, 8; Summer Wind Equine, 5; Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey, 3; Brereton C. Jones, 2; Besilu Stables, 1; FPF LLC & Highfield Ranch, 1; Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, 1; Spendthrift Farm, 1; Voter Abstentions, 9.

horse racing
Trainer: Chad Brown

Voting: Chad Brown, 137; Bob Baffert, 94; Steve Asmussen, 6; Brad Cox, 4; John Sadler, 2; Karl Broberg, 2; Jason Servis, 1; Jerry Hollendorfer, 1. Voter Abstentions, 2.

horse racing
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Voting: Irad Ortiz, Jr., 173; Mike Smith, 40; Jose Ortiz, 25; Joel Rosario, 8; Florent Geroux, 1; Javier Castellano, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Apprentice Jockey: Weston Hamilton

Voting: Weston Hamilton, 115; Edgar Morales, 87; Reylu Gutierrez, 11; Heriberto Figueroa, 7; Kazushi Kimura, 3; Assael Espinoza, 2; Evin Roman, 1; Johan Rosado, 1; Voter Abstentions, 22.
The Media Eclipse Awards were announced on January 4 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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