All three Horse of the Year candidates are Keeneland sales graduates
Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduates Authentic, Improbable and Monomoy Girl are finalists for the title of Thoroughbred racing’s 2020 Horse of the Year and lead the 15 graduates of the September Sale who are candidates for Eclipse Awards as North American champions announced today by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. Meanwhile, additional finalists won stakes at Keeneland during the year.
Equine champions and outstanding horsemen of 2020 will be announced Thursday, Jan. 28 at the 50th annual Eclipse Awards Ceremony, a virtual event with presented by Spendthrift Farm in Lexington.
Authentic and Monomoy Girl captured races during the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland.
Winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in the final race of his career, Authentic recorded five races in seven starts in 2020. He also won the Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve, TVG.com Haskell Invitational (G1), San Felipe (G2) and Sham (G3). Authentic also is a finalist as champion three-year-old male.
Improbable, also a finalist as older dirt male champion, won three of five races during the year led by the Awesome Again (G1), Whitney (G1) and Hollywood Gold Cup (G1). He finished second to Authentic in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Monomoy Girl took the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) during her undefeated season that also included the La Troienne (G1) Presented by Oak Grove Racing and Gaming and Ruffian (G2). A finalist as older dirt female champion, Monomoy Girl was the champion three-year-old filly in 2018.
Additional alumni of Keeneland sales who are Eclipse finalists and their 2020 graded stakes wins are:
Two-Year-Old Male: Fire At Will, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) Presented by Coolmore America and Pilgrim (G2), and Jackie’s Warrior, who won the Champagne (G1), Runhappy Hopeful (G1) and Saratoga Special (G2) Presented by Miller Lite.
Two-Year-Old Filly: Vequist, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Spinaway (G1).
Three-Year-Old Male: Authentic and undefeated Nadal, who won a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1), Rebel (G2) and San Vicente (G2).
Three-Year-Old Filly: Gamine, who won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), Test (G1) and Acorn (G1); Shedaresthedevil, who won the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Indiana Oaks (G3) and Honeybee (G3), and Swiss Skydiver, who won the Preakness (G1), Alabama (G1), Santa Anita Oaks (G2), Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and Fantasy (G3).
Older Dirt Male: Improbable and Vekoma, who won the Runhappy Metropolitan (G1) and Runhappy Carter (G1).
Older Dirt Female: Midnight Bisou, who won the Fleur de Lis (G2); Monomoy Girl and Serengeti Empress, who won the Ballerina (G1) and Azeri (G2).
Male Sprinter: Vekoma and Volatile, who won the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1).
Female Sprinter: Gamine and Serengeti Empress.
Male Turf: Channel Maker, who won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) and Sword Dancer (G1).
Eclipse finalists represent Keeneland racing
Additional finalists for Eclipse Awards as North American champions won stakes in 2020 at Keeneland, which hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Essential Quality (two-year-old male) captured the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) during the Fall Meet before taking the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.
Another two-time winner at Keeneland is Aunt Pearl (IRE) (two-year-old filly), who won the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) during the Fall Meet and returned to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
Other Breeders’ Cup winners are Audarya (FR) (female turf), Glass Slippers (GB) (female sprinter), Order of Australia (IRE) (male turf), Tarnawa (IRE) (female turf) and Whitmore (sprinter).
During Keeneland’s Summer Meet, Rushing Fall (female turf) took the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) and Zulu Alpha(male turf) won the TVG Elkhorn (G2).
Finalists for Eclipse Awards as outstanding horsemen also are successful at Keeneland.
Trainer: Brad Cox, the leading trainer of the Fall Meet, joins Steve Asmussen and Bob Baffert.
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr., Joel Rosario and John Velazquez all won stakes at Keeneland in 2020.
These additional finalists all participate in Keeneland racing and sales.
Owner: Godolphin, Klaravich Stables and Spendthrift Farm, MyRacehorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing.
Breeder: Calumet Farm, Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds and WinStar Farm.