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Review Of The 2012 Horse Racing Eclipse Awards

Wednesday 23rd, January 2013 / 08:05 Written by
in Sports

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, the 42nd Annual Eclipse Awards took place in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The Eclipse Award is horse racing’s equivalent of an Oscar. Many of racings’ top owners, trainers, and jockeys attended the ceremony at Gulfstream Park, owned by Frank Stronach. The event was a black tie affair which lasted about 2 1/2 hours or so.

In this blog, I will be reviewing, and critiquing the award ceremony itself, and the winners. As there were quite a few categories, I will just write a sentence or two about the winner, and who I think should have won.

Let’s start with the following category:

Overall Ceremony

ESPN’s Jeanine Edwards was one again the hostess. She did a pretty good job keeping things moving. In her opening speech she made a little Manti Te’o/invisible girlfriend joke. I guess it had to be done.

What was different was that the awards people introduced a 90 second time limit for speeches. If the recipient went over, there will be music playing. It would be just like the Grammy Awards and the Oscars.

I understood they wanted to keep the show moving. That being said, the winners of the big awards like Horse of the Year, Outstanding 3 Year old, Outstanding 3 Year Old Female, etc., they should have let those people go a little longer. The speeches by the winners seemed rushed due to this change as well.

Overall, the ceremony was just drab. The stage set up was just ordinary. There was nothing to write home about concerning this ceremony.

Outstanding Apprentice Jockey:

Winner: Jose Montano
My comment: He was the highest money maker of all apprentice jockeys, so I had no problem with the pick.

Outstanding Jockey:

Winner: Ramon Dominguez
My Comment: First, I want to send my thoughts and prayers to Dominguez and his family. Dominguez, as of this writing, is in a New York hospital recovering from a fractured skull from a racing accident. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

That being said, Dominguez was North America’s leading rider, and broke Jerry Bailey’s money making record.

Outstanding Trainer:

Winner: Dale Romans, Jr.
My Comment: It was about time. Romans is not only a very nice guy, but he is an awesome trainer. His stars in 2012 included Little Mike, and Shackleford.

Outstanding Breeder:

Winner: Darley
My Comment: Good pick. Had great year. Bred and owned Questing.

Outstanding Owner:

Winner: Godolphin
My Comment: I definitely agree. They had great success with Alpha and Questing.

Outstanding Steeplechase Horse:

Winner: Pierrot Lunaire
My Comment: I do not follow Steeplechase racing, so I am fine with this.

Outstanding Female Turf Horse:

Winner: Zagora
My Comment: She won the Breeder’s Cup. Wow. I thought Marketing Mix should have won. I thought “Mix” had the better year.

Outstanding Male Turf Horse:

Winner: Wise Dan

My Comment: A well deserving win. I would’ve liked to have seen Little Mike get this award, but Wise Dan won on the turf both here and in Canada. Can’t complain too much.

Outstanding Female Sprinter:

Winner: Groupie Doll
My Comment: She definitely earned this award, and I agree. Amazing filly.

Outstanding Male Sprinter:

Winner: Trinneberg
My Comment: Even though I am still annoyed that his connections put this horse in the Derby, even though the horse had no chance to win, I am happy they came to their senses, and kept him in the sprinting division. Well deserved win.

Outstanding Older Female:

Winner: Royal Delta
My Comment: So happy she won. It was kind of obvious that she would win though. I hope to see her in the Classic this year.

Outstanding Older Male:

Winner: Wise Dan
My Comment: This horse pretty much dominated all year.

Outstanding Three Year Old Female:

Winner: Questing
My Comment: This was the only category that had any sort of suspense. Yes, Questing had a good year, but so did My Miss Aurelia who beat Questing in the Cotillion Stakes, and finished a game second in the BC Distaff to Royal Delta.

Unfortunately what cost My Miss Aurelia the title was her very close 3rd place finish in the La Brea Stakes on December 26, 2012 when her jockey, Corey Nakatani gave her a terrible ride. Sadly, voters held that against her, and Questing won the Outstanding 3 year old Female title by 4 votes.

The Eclipse Awards voters screwed this one up. I would have had My Miss Aurelia win.

Outstanding Three Year Old Male:

Winner: I’ll Have Another
My Comment: With all the retirements, and all, plus the fact that I’ll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Santa Anita Derby, who else would get this award?

Outstanding Two Year Old Female:

Winner: Beholder
My Comment: The Breeder’s Cup comes into play here as both Beholder and ExecutivePrivilege both had similar records. Beholder won the Breeder’s Cup, so she won the Title. In fact, Beholder was just upset in the San Ynez on January 21, 2013.

Outstanding Two Year Old Male:

Winner: Shanghai Bobby
My Comment: “Bobby” is undefeated, and he won the BC Juvenile. He was good as a two year old, so it is deserved.

Horse of the Year:

Winner: Wise Dan
My Comment: Well deserved. “Dan” dominated all year. He stayed healthy all year. I know there are people who wanted “Another” to win, but I just can not stomach a horse winning 4 races as “Horse of the Year.”

Wise Dan’s win also symbolized the lack of talent fans saw in 2012. “Dan” became the first horse to win the Turf, Older Male, and Horse of the Year since John Henry in 1981.

Other honorees were members of the racing press who received a bunch of press awards. I believe they were just announced, and they quickly came up to the podium to accept their honors.

Also honored was Michael Beychok, who got an award for Outstanding Handicapper. Beychok said that he discovered the horse that won the title for him, and claimed her. He also said he retired her, and sent her to a farm where she will be happy.

He gave a nice speech saying how bettors have to be concerned abuot horses and their well being after the horses finish racing. Beychok also stated that he will give 10% of his winnings to horse rescue/retirement groups.

Dr. Laura Javsicas, on the behalf of the Zayats, accepted the NTRA’s Moment of the Year (Paynter’s fight for his life) as well. As one of Paynter’s many fans, and supporters, I was so proud, and I admit that I cried. Great moment.

Well, that is my review of the 42nd Annual Eclipse Awards Ceremony. I hope you all enjoyed it.

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/giopontifan

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