ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2016)–With Zayat Stables’ Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah a unanimous selection as Horse of the Year and top 3-year-old male, Santa Anita-based connections fairly dominated last night’s Eclipse Awards ceremonies at Gulfstream Park as no less than nine Eclipse Award trophies went to people and horses who were headquartered at The Great Race Place. Trained by Bob Baffert, Santa Anita-based American Pharoah became the nation’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
The following are those locally based horses and individuals that were recognized as the Thoroughbred industry’s finest:
–HORSE OF THE YEAR, American Pharoah
–THREE YEAR OLD MALE, American Pharoah
–OWNER, Zayat Stables
–BREEDER, Zayat Stables
–TRAINER, Bob Baffert
–OLDER DIRT FEMALE, Beholder, who despite missing a much anticipated showdown with American Pharoah in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, breezed to her third lifetime Eclipse Award as she was undefeated in five starts last year. Owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm and trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder is being pointed to the Grade I Vanity Stakes here on June 4.
–THREE YEAR OLD FILLY, Stellar Wind, who is owned by Hronis Racing and trained by John Sadler. A winner of last year’s Grade I Santa Anita Oaks, Stellar Wind is due to resume training at Santa Anita in March.
–TWO YEAR OLD FILLY, Songbird. Undefeated in four starts for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, Songbird was a near unanimous selection. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, she is being pointed to Santa Anita’s Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes on Feb. 6.
–TWO YEAR OLD MALE, Nyquist. Owned by Paul Reddam and trained by Doug O’Neill, Nyquist was perfect in five starts, culminating with an authoritative half length win in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The bay colt by Uncle Mo is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade II, seven furlong San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 15.
The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be run at Santa Anita on Nov. 4 and 5.