California Chrome capped off his spectacular 2016 campaign by taking down the hardware for top older male and Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards on Saturday night at Gulfstream Park.
The five-year-old won seven of his eight starts, his lone blemish a runner up finish to Arrogate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). He won three Grade 1 races in 2016—the Dubai World Cup, Pacific Classic and Awesome Again.
He becomes the 12th horse to win more than one Horse of the Year award and just the third to win it in non-consecutive years.
There were few surprises during the evening, other than a rambling seven-minute speech by Perry Martin, co-owner of California Chrome that had the audience and his connections squirming.
Arrogate took down the Eclipse Award for top three-year-old despite not having competed in the Triple Crown. The colt won the Travers (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
California Chrome and Arrogate will renew their rivalry this Saturday in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park, which will be Chrome’s final race of his career.
The brilliant Songbird won the Eclipse for top three-year-old filly while Beholder took down her fourth Eclipse Award, taking top honors in the older female division.
Classic Empire won for the top juvenile and is the early betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1), his current betting odds at US Racing at 5-1.
Tepin won her second consecutive Eclipse Award for top female turf horse while Flintshire won for top turf male.
Javier Castellano won his fourth consecutive Eclipse Award for top jockey while Chad Brown won his first as top trainer.
The 2016 Eclipse Award Winners:
Horse of the Year
Two-Year-Old Male (Name, First-Place Votes)
Classic Empire, 248.
Champagne Room, 202; New Money Honey, 21; Lady Aurelia, 11; Pretty City Dancer, 5; Shane’s Girlfriend, 3; Abel Tasman, 2; Miss Sky Warrior, 2; Victory to Victory, 1; Voter Abstentions, 1.
Arrogate, 243; Exaggerator, 2; Nyquist, 2; Gun Runner, 1.
Older Dirt Male
California Chrome, 248.
Older Dirt Female
Beholder, 246; Stellar Wind, 2.
Drefong, 199; Lord Nelson, 29; A.P. Indian, 20.
Finest City, 185; Haveyougoneaway, 20; Paulassilverlining, 13; Taris, 12; Carina Mia, 11; Constellation, 2; Lightstream, 1; Songbird, 1. Voter Abstentions, 3.
Male Turf Horse
Flintshire (GB), 137; Highland Reel (IRE), 76; Tourist, 32; Da Big Hoss, 1. Voter Abstentions, 2.
Female Turf Horse
Tepin, 225; Found (IRE), 11; Queen’s Trust (GB), 7; Lady Eli, 2; Miss Temple City, 2; Catch a Glimpse, 1.
Rawnaq (IRE), 171; Top Striker, 31; Special Skills, 2; Bob Le Beau (IRE), 1; Portrade (IRE), 1. Voter Abstentions, 42.
Chad Brown, 208; Bob Baffert, 21; Mark Casse, 11; Art Sherman, 3; Steve Asmussen, 2; Karl Broberg, 1; Todd Pletcher, 1. Voter Abstention, 1.
Javier Castellano, 146; Mike Smith, 44; Jose Ortiz, 41; Florent Geroux,12; Irad Ortiz, Jr., 2; Julien Leparoux, 1. Voter Abstentions, 2.
Luis Ocasio, 182; Lane Luzzi, 34; Eric Cancel, 1; Ashley Castrenze, 1. Voter Abstentions, 30.
Juddmonte Farms, Inc., 134; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 45; Klaravich Stables, Inc., and William Lawrence, 17; Spendthrift Farm, LLC, 17; California Chrome, LLC, 16; Reddam Racing LLC, 4; Fox Hill Farms, Inc. 3; John Oxley, 3; WinStar Farm, 2; End Zone Athletics, 1; Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc., 1. Voter Abstentions, 5.
WinStar Farm, LLC; 164; Clearsky Farms, 62; Juddmonte Farms, Ltd., 4; Darley, 3; Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, 3; Adena Springs, 2; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 1; Machmer Hall, 1. Voter Abstentions, 8.
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