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IT’S DÉJÀ VU FOR HORSE OF THE YEAR WISE DAN, TOP FILLY BEHOLDER & GROUPIE DOLL, AS ALL THREE PARLAY SANTA ANITA BREEDERS’ CUP WINS INTO ECLIPSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-BASED SHE’S A TIGER, SHARED BELIEF & POINTS OFFTHEBENCH ALSO WIN
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2014)—As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” And although the iconic Yankee wasn’t referring to Saturday’s Eclipse Award results from Gulfstream Park, the statement would be fitting, as three reigning Eclipse Champions, led by Horse of the Year Wise Dan, parlayed Breeders’ Cup victories on Nov. 1 & 2 at Santa Anita Park into repeat triumphs as Eclipse Champions.
Hosted by Santa Anita Park in both 2012 and 2013, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships are scheduled to return to The Great Race Place for an unprecedented third consecutive year on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
In addition to “Dan,” the Richard Mandella-trained Beholder graduated from Champion 2-year-old Filly to 3-year-old Filly Champ, and the venerable Groupie Doll, trained by Buff Bradley, topped another incredible year by again winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint and thus repeat as Eclipse Champion Female Sprinter.
Owned and bred by Morton Fink and trained by Charles LoPresti, Wise Dan powered to a repeat victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile Nov. 2, capping a year in which he won six of seven starts—two of them over yielding turf courses.
And, for the second consecutive year, Wise Dan was also crowned Champion Older Male and Champion Male Turf Horse. Fink and LoPresti have stated that the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Mile, to be run at Santa Anita Nov. 1, is again their ultimate objective this year.
Owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, Beholder, a winner of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, saved her best for late in the year, as she won the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita Sept. 28 and cruised to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 1.
Trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder, a 4-year-old filly by Henny Hughes, finished 2013 with five wins and two seconds from seven starts. She too, is scheduled to make the 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships her ultimate destination this year.
Groupie Doll, a 6-year-old mare by Bowman’s Band, had two wins and two thirds from five starts in 2013. She finished the year with 11 overall wins from 22 career starts—good for lifetime earnings of $2,528,850.
Although she was disqualified from a nose victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Southern California-based She’s a Tiger was an easy winner of the 2-year-old Filly Eclipse Award.
Trained by Jeff Bonde and owned by Mark DeDomenico, LLC, Allen Aldrich, L. Hernandez, S. Downey and Phil Lebherz, Kentucky-bred She’s a Tiger was second in Santa Anita’s Grade I Chandelier Stakes on Sept. 28, her final prep for the Breeders’ Cup. She is expected to run through the year, with the Breeders’ Cup Distaff as her final 2014 stop on Oct. 31.
Ill-fated California-bred Points OfftheBench, a winner of his final start, the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 5, was voted Eclipse Champion Male Sprinter, despite the fact he was tragically euthanized prior to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Trained by Santa Anita-based Tim Yakteen, who is married to HRTV’s Millie Ball, and owned by Donnie Crevier and Charles V. Martin, the 4-year-old Benchmark gelding finished the year with four wins and a second from five starts.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Shared Belief, a runaway winner of the Grade I CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park Dec. 14, was crowned Eclipse Champion 2-year-old Male, despite the fact he did not run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nov. 2.
Owned by Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing LLC, KMN Racing LLC, Hollendorfer, Jason Litt, Alex Solis II and George Todaro, Shared Belief is tentatively scheduled to run next in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes Feb. 8 at Santa Anita.
Undefeated in three starts, Shared Belief, a Kentucky-bred gelding by Candy Ride, amassed earnings of $451,200.