By Emily Shields
The finalists for the 2020 Eclipse Awards were announced on Saturday, January 16, with the actual awards ceremony slated to take place on January 28. Normally a lavish affair, this year’s awards show will be virtual and hosted by Spendthrift Farm.
The candidates for Horse of the Year are Authentic, Improbable, and Monomoy Girl.
Authentic is the likely winner; the son of Into Mischief won five of seven starts and over $7.1 million for trainer Bob Baffert and the partnership of Spendthirft Farm, My Racehorse Stable, Madaket Stables, and Starlight Racing. He scored in the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) in July, then added the delayed Kentucky Derby (G1) in September. After narrowly missing in the Preakness Stakes (G1), Authentic capped the year with a tour de force in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
Improbable was his stablemate. He won three of five starts with two second place efforts in 2020, including the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup and Grade 1 Awesome Again at Santa Anita, and the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga. He finished second in the Breeders’ Cup, adding to a career that also had wins in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) as a juvenile, and the Shared Belief Stakes at three. Both Authentic and Improbable have since been retired.
Staying in training for 2021 is Monomoy Girl. The six-year-old daughter of Tapizar has won 13 of 15 lifetime starts, and even though she missed the entirety of 2019 she came back as good as ever in 2020. She went unbeaten in four starts, including two Grade 1 races, and won her second Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) for trainer Brad Cox.
A comprehensive list of the nominees for the 2020 Eclipse Awards is below:
Horse of the Year: Authentic, Improbable, Monomoy Girl
Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Bob Baffert, Brad Cox
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr., Joel Rosario, John Velazquez
Owner: Godolphin, Klaravich Stables, and the partnership of Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables, and Starlight Racing
Breeder: Calumet Farm, Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, WinStar Farm
Apprentice Jockey: Luis Cardenas, Yarmarie Correa, Alexander Crispin
Two-Year-Old Male: Essential Quality, Fire At Will, Jackie's Warrior
Two-Year-Old Filly: Aunt Pearl, Dayoutoftheoffice, Vequist
Three-Year-Old Male: Authentic, Nadal, Tiz the Law
Three-Year-Old Filly: Gamine, Shedaresthedevil, Swiss Skydiver
Older Dirt Male: Improbable, Maximum Security, Vekoma
Older Dirt Female: Midnight Bisou, Monomoy Girl, Serengeti Empress
Male Sprinter: Vekoma, Volatile, Whitmore
Female Sprinter: Gamine, Glass Slippers, Serengeti Empress
Male Turf Horse: Channel Maker, Order of Australia, Zulu Alpha
Female Turf Horse: Audarya, Rushing Fall, Tarnawa
Steeplechase Horse: Moscato, Rashaan, Snap Decision
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