The NHL lockout is over and the season started Saturday night, but there were more hat tricks at the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park.
Wise Dan took down three pieces of hardware, winning the Eclipse Award for Older Male, Turf Male, and Horse of the Year.
Ramon Dominguez, recovering at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center with a fractured skull after being involved in a spill during the running of Friday’s seventh race at Aqueduct won his third consecutive Eclipse Award for top jockey.
Wise Dan won five of his six starts in 2012 including three Grade 1 races on turf, capping off the year by winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 3.
The five-year-old gelding, who is trained by Charles Lopresti, missed being perfect on the year when he came up a head short of Ron the Greek in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 16.
The gelding garnered 194 votes, with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another a distant second with 30 votes.
The Eclipse Award for Top Turf Horse was supposed to be close between Wise Dan and Little Mike, who won three Grade 1 races in 2012 including the Breeders’ Cup Turf, but the voting also was not close, Wise Dan holding a 170 to 79 edge.
In the Older Male division Wise Dan received 139 votes. Next in line was Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, who had 109 votes.
The closest race came in the Three-Year-Old Filly division where Questing edged My Miss Aurelia by four votes.
There were no real surprises, although the undefeated Shanghai Bobby was one vote short of being a unanimous selection. One voter cast a ballot in favor of Uncaptured, who won six of seven starts while not competing in a Grade 1 race.
Dale Romans won his first Eclipse Award for top Trainer, getting 119 votes to Todd Pletcher’s 87. Romans had a banner year, winning a trio of Grade 1 races with Little Mike, Tapitsfly won the Just a Game and First Lady, Shackleford won the Met Mile and Clark Handicap, and Dullahan won a couple of Grade 1 races on polytrack, taking the Blue Grass and Pacific Classic.
Dominguez was named the Eclipse Award winning jockey for the third year in a row, as he racked up purse earnings of over $25 million despite missing over a month with an ankle injury.
Dominguez dominated in New York including setting an all-time record with 68 winners at the Saratoga meeting. He won six races on a card twice during the meeting.
Among the Grade 1 winning horses he rode in 2012 include Little Mike, Stay Thirsty, Alpha, Dance Card, Desert Blanc, Get Stormy, Samitar, and Tapitsfly.
Here is the voting breakdown for the 2012 Eclipse Awards:
Horse of the Year
Wise Dan 194; I’ll Have Another 30; Fort Larned 12; Royal Delta 8; Little Mike 6; Groupie Doll 1; Shanghai Bobby 1; Frankel. Voter Abstention, 1.
Two-Year-Old Male (Name, First-Place Votes)
Shanghai Bobby, 253; Uncaptured, 1.
Beholder, 225; Executiveprivilege, 27; Dreaming of Julia, 1; So Many Ways, 1.
I’ll Have Another, 247; Bodemeister, 3; The Lumber Guy, 1; Paynter, 1; Union Rags, 1; Voter Abstention, 1.
Questing (GB), 106; My Miss Aurelia, 102; Believe You Can, 17; Contested, 13; Dance Card, 6; Lady of Shamrock, 5; In Lingerie, 4; Zo Impressive, 1.
Wise Dan, 139; Fort Larned, 109; Little Mike, 4; Game On Dude, 1; Shackleford, 1.
Royal Delta, 231; Groupie Doll, 22; It’s Tricky, 1.
Trinniberg, 233; Shackleford, 11; The Lumber Guy, 8; Caixa Eletronica, 1; Voter Abstention, 1.
Groupie Doll, 250; Mizdirection, 3; Contested, 1.
Male Turf Horse
Wise Dan, 170; Little Mike, 78; Point of Entry, 5; No Vote, 1.
Female Turf Horse
Zagora (FR) 242; Marketing Mix, 5; Lady of Shamrock, 4; Dayatthespa, 2; Voter Abstention, 1.
Pierrot Lunaire, 116; Demonstrative, 99; Arcadius, 1; Divine Fortune, 1; Woodmont, 1; Voter Abstentions, 36.
Godolphin Racing, LLC, 138; Midwest Thoroughbreds, 50; Reddam Racing, LLC, 26; John C. Oxley, 13; Morton Fink, 12; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 2; Janis Whitham, 2; Zayat Stables, 2; Repole Racing, 1; Starlight Racing, 1; Voter Abstentions, 7.
Darley, 170; Adena Springs, 25; Morton Fink, 20; Brereton C. Jones, 15; Janis Whitham, 4; Phipps Stable, 3; Harvey Clarke, 2; Fred and William Bradley, 1; William D. Graham, 1; Palides Investments, 1; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 1; Stonestreet Thoroughbreds, 1; Voter Abstentions, 10.
Dale Romans, 119; Todd Pletcher, 87; Bob Baffert, 35; Chad Brown, 2; Bill Mott, 2; Jamie Ness, 2; Doug O’Neill, 2; Steve Asmussen 1; Ian Wilkes, 1; Voter Abstentions, 3.
Ramon Dominguez, 201; John Velazquez, 37; Rosie Napravnik, 4; Russell Baze, 2; Rafael Bejarano, 2; Javier Castellano, 2; Mario Gutierrez, 1; Mike Smith, 1; Voter Abstentions, 3; No Vote, 1.
Jose Montano, 127; Irad Ortiz, Jr., 34; Angel Suarez, 25; Eswan Flores, 16; Wilmer Garcia, 4; Eliska Kubinova, 4; C.J. McMahon, 2; Jose Ortiz, 2; Hugo Sanchez, 2; Nicolas Milford, 1; Voter Abstentions, 37.
Michael Dempsey provides his full card handicapping report each racing day from New York. His Aqueduct Report is available every day Wednesday through Sunday. Michael has covered the New York circuit daily for more than two decades.