From Paddock To Post

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: January 18, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — On Monday, the racing world will step out to bring the year’s best to the final winner’s circle of 2007 at the Eclipse Awards.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), National Turf Writers Association (NTWA) and Daily Racing Form (DRF) announced the finalists for the 2007 Eclipse Awards earlier this year.

The Eclipse Awards are given each year to symbolize excellence in thoroughbred racing. As all the winners in all categories will be announced at a formal ceremony in Beverly Hills, California, I wanted to offer my vote selections since I intend to sip the champagne next year (smile).

The Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Two-Year-Old Male: Kodiak Kowboy, Pyro, War Pass

My vote: Pyro. A hard-charging colt that never gives up; gave Shaun Bridgmohan his first Breeders Cup in the $$$ finish and $40K for a good 2 minutes’ work.

Two-Year-Old Filly: Country Star, Indian Blessing, Proud Spell

My vote: Proud Spell. I think she’ll run even better as a three-year-old.

Three-Year-Old Male: Curlin, Hard Spun, Street Sense

My vote: A hard choice with one of the best 3YO crops in recent years. Gotta go with the one who will run at four. Racing needs Curlin and his star quality.

Three-Year-Old Filly: Octave, Panty Raid, Rags to Riches

My vote: Rags to Riches, no doubt about it; the lady gets it done at the Belmont.

Older Male: Corinthian, Invasor (ARG), Lawyer Ron

My vote: Invasor. The stud from Argentina runs on every surface, and faced all comers.

Older Female: Ginger Punch, Hystericalady, Nashoba’s Key

My vote: Hystericalady. She was three jumps from winning her BC race from a very bad post.

Male Sprinter: Fabulous Strike, Idiot Proof, Midnight Lute

My vote: Midnight Lute. By far the most impressive performance came in the BC Sprint, where it mattered most.

Female Sprinter: Dream Rush, Maryfield, River’s Prayer

My vote: Maryfield in a mild upset. She fired in the BC and beat heavily favored Dream Rush.

Male Turf Horse: After Market, English Channel , Kip Deville

My vote: Although Kip Deville was a noble beast for me, English Channel’s butt-whipping of Euro champ Dylan Thomas was awesome.

Female Turf Horse:Lahudood (GB), Nashoba’s Key, Precious Kitten

My vote: Lahudood and the soft turf over Precious Kitten.

Steeplechase Horse: Good Night Shirt, McDynamo, Planets Aligned.

My vote: Planets Aligned. See you at Saratoga.

Owner: Maggi Moss, Shadwell Stable, Stronach Stables

My vote: Stronach’s Canadian muscle gets the nod.

Breeder: Adena Springs, William S. Farish, Martin and Pam Wygod.

My vote: Too close to call here. Slight nod to Adena Springs.

Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Kiaran McLaughlin, Todd Pletcher

My vote: Asmussen year’s was good, McLaughlin’s great, but Todd Pletcher was the record-breaker.

Jockey: Robby Albarado, Garrett Gomez, John Velazquez.

My vote: As much I love Baby Cordero (Velazquez), Garrett Gomez had an exceptional year.

Apprentice Jockey: Tyler Pizarro, Alonso Quinonez, Joe Talamo.

My vote: To win in the competitive colony at Woodbine is no mean feat. Tyler Pizarro gets the duke.