The 2017 Eclipse Award winners were finally announced this week with Gun Runner taking home two more trophies. Breeders’ Cup champions were able to double down along with other notable winners who had incredible seasons. Below is a list of all the winners.
2017 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year – Gun Runner
No surprise here. The 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner was always expected to take home this honor after dusting Arrogate in their epic showdown. He’s next expected to win the 2018 Pegasus World Cup where he’s listed as a 4/5 favorite. Catch the big event on Saturday night on NBC starting at 4:30pm ET or on the TwinSpires mobile app. Gun Runner will likely retire so this is your big chance to catch a glimpse of the Horse of the Year.
Connections for Gun Runner beamed about the process of watching this consistent competitor blossom after a third place finish in the 2016 Kentucky Derby where he was pretty much treated as an afterthought behind the rivalry of Nyquist and Exaggerator, who have also been retired. “He’s the best horse I’ve ever been around, and I’ve been lucky to have been around and helped quite a few people with their programs,” said Doug Cauthen, vice chairman of Three Chimneys Farm, who also gushed about Steve Asmussen and assistant trainer Scott Blasi. “To be that consistent for that long is amazing, and it’s a testament to Steve and Scott. People sometimes forget he was a good 2-year-old, and he was a really good 3-year-old. But he was a great 4-year-old. He just got stronger, and he’s been pretty amazing.”
Gun Runner took home 248 of a potential 250 votes. He was also awarded the Older Dirt Male award as well.
2017 Eclipse Award for Older Dirt Female – Forever Unbridled
The five-year-old mare was obsenley impressive during a brief campaign where she was undefeated in three starts. Her biggest win was the in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, where she trounced competition that included Stellar wind. She also racked up wins in the Personal Ensign and Fleur de Lis.
2017 Eclipse Award for 3 Year Old Filly – Abel Tasman
Stepping up her game to challenge older fillies and mares, Abel Tasman showed well in finishing second during the Distaff and the Cotillion. Wins in the Kentucky Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks and the Acorn secured her place as the best in her class.
2017 Eclipse Award for 3 Year Old Male – West Coast
While West Coast didn’t run in the Triple Crown, he emerged during the summer as the best three-year-old colt in the country. He bested both the Travers Stakes and Penn Derby in dominant fashion, and then went on to finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic behind Gun Runner and Collected. He is slated for the 2018 Pegasus World Cup and is line to have a huge year if his trajectory stays on track.
2017 Eclipse Award for 2 Year Old Champion – Good Magic
This award could have rightfully gone to a handful of potential winners, but Good Magic’s victory in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile sealed it. He had finished as runner-up in the Champagne Stakes as well. Bolt d’Oro, who finished third in the Juvenile had won the the FrontRunner Stakes and Del Mar Futurity prior and was also in the running, so to speak. Both are yet to make their debuts on the Road to the Kentucky Derby but will be the focal point of the prep race circuit.
2017 Eclipse Award for 2 Year Old Filly – Caledonia Road
The gifted filly won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and came second in the Frizette.
2017 Eclipse Award for Female Turf – Lady Eli
Despite suffering an upset in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, where she placed seventh, Lady Eli was once again dominant the entire year. She placed second in the Jenny Wiley, but then ripped off three consecutive wins in the prestigious Gamely Stakes, Diana and Ballstan Spa Handicap.
2017 Eclipse Award for Male Turf – World Approval
Undeniably one of the most gifted on turf, World Approval had just one hiccup the entire year in finishing fifth during the Manhattan. He scored in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Fourstardave and Woodbine Mile convincingly.
2017 Eclipse Award for Female Sprinter – Unique Bella
The upstart scored through three races to open the season, but fell to seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. She rebounded to end her year with a victory in the La Brea.
2017 Eclipse Award for for Male Sprinter – Roy H
The five-year-old gelding had a revelation season with four wins including the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, Santa Anita Sprint Championship and True North. He also finished second in the Bing Crosby Stakes. He literally came out of nowhere but produced incredible results for his sire More Than Ready and trainer Peter Miller.
2017 Eclipse Award for Steeplechase – Scorpiancer
2017 Eclipse Award for Breeder – Clearsky Farms
2017 Eclipse Award for Owner – Juddmonte Farm
2017 Eclipse Award for Jockey – Jose Ortiz
2017 Eclipse Award for Assistant Jockey – Evin Roman
2017 Eclipse Award for Trainer – Chad Brown