American Horse of the Year

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Horse of the Year
Flat racing clipart.svg
Country United States
Official website Eclipse Award

The American Award for Horse of the Year, one of the Eclipse Awards, is the highest honor given in American thoroughbred horse racing. Because Thoroughbred horse racing in the United States has no governing body to sanction the various awards, "Horse of the Year" is not an official national award.[1]

The Champion award is a designation give to a horse, irrespective of age, whose performance during the racing year was deemed the most outstanding. The list below is a Champion's history compilation beginning with the year 1887 published by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's The Blood-Horse magazine (founded 1961),[2] described by ESPN as "the Thoroughbred industry's most-respected trade publication".[3]

In 1936 a Horse of the Year award was created by a poll of the staff of The New York Morning Telegraph and its sister newspaper, the Daily Racing Form (DRF), a tabloid founded in 1894 that was focused on statistical information for bettors.[4] At the same time a rival poll was organised by the Baltimore-based Turf and Sport Digest magazine.[5] Formed in 1942 as an advocacy group, the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA) inaugurated a competing award in 1950, selecting its winners from votes by racing secretaries from member tracks across the United States. The three systems resulted in different opinions as to "Horse of the Year" Champions in 1949, 1952, 1957, 1965, and 1970.[6] In 1971, the DRF and TRA made an agreement with the National Turf Writers Association to merge into one set of awards, called the Eclipse Awards.[7]

Historical notes on winners[edit]

In a rare occurrence, two two-year-olds topped the balloting for 1972 American Horse of the Year honors with Secretariat edging out the filly, La Prevoyante. Secretariat received the votes of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America and the Daily Racing Form, while La Prevoyante was chosen by the National Turf Writers Association.[1]

Kelso, who placed 4th in The Blood-Horse magazine ranking of the top 100 U.S. thoroughbred champions of the 20th Century, won "Horse of the Year" honors five consecutive years. Omaha is the only winner of the U.S. Triple Crown that was not voted "Horse of the Year" honors.

Records[edit]

Most wins:

  • 5 - Kelso (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

Honorees[edit]

Eclipse Awards[edit]

Year
Horse
Trainer
Owner
Age Gender
2013 Wise Dan Charles LoPresti Morton Fink 6 G
2012 Wise Dan Charles LoPresti Morton Fink 5 G
2011 Havre de Grace J. Larry Jones Fox Hill Farms 4 F
2010 Zenyatta John Shirreffs Jerry & Ann Moss 6 F
2009 Rachel Alexandra Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Stables 3 F
2008 Curlin Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Farm et al. 4 C
2007 Curlin Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Farm et al. 3 C
2006 Invasor Kiaran McLaughlin Shadwell Racing 4 C
2005 Saint Liam Richard E. Dutrow, Jr. M/M William K. Warren, Jr. 5 C
2004 Ghostzapper Robert J. Frankel Frank Stronach 4 C
2003 Mineshaft Neil J. Howard Farish / Webber / Elkins 4 C
2002 Azeri Laura de Seroux Michael Paulson 4 F
2001 Point Given Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corp. 3 C
2000 Tiznow Jay M. Robbins M. Cooper & Cecilia Straub-Rubens 3 C
1999 Charismatic D. Wayne Lukas Bob and Beverly Lewis 3 C
1998 Skip Away Sonny Hine Carolyn Hine 5 C
1997 Favorite Trick Patrick B. Byrne Joseph LaCombe 2 C
1996 Cigar William I. Mott Allen E. Paulson 6 C
1995 Cigar William I. Mott Allen E. Paulson 5 C
1994 Holy Bull Warren A. Croll, Jr. Warren A. Croll, Jr. 3 C
1993 Kotashaan Richard Mandella La Presle Farm 5 C
1992 A.P. Indy Neil D. Drysdale Tomonori Tsurumaki 3 C
1991 Black Tie Affair Ernie T. Poulos Jeffrey Sullivan 5 C
1990 Criminal Type D. Wayne Lukas Calumet & Jurgen K. Arnemann 5 C
1989 Sunday Silence Charlie Whittingham H-G-W Partners 3 C
1988 Alysheba Jack Van Berg Dorothy & Pamela Scharbauer 4 C
1987 Ferdinand Charlie Whittingham Elizabeth A. Keck 4 C
1986 Lady's Secret D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 4 F
1985 Spend A Buck Cam Gambolati Hunter Farm 3 C
1984 John Henry Ron McAnally Dotsam Stable 9 G
1983 All Along Patrick Biancone Daniel Wildenstein 4 F
1982 Conquistador Cielo Woody Stephens Henryk de Kwiatkowski 3 C
1981 John Henry Ron McAnally Dotsam Stable 6 G
1980 Spectacular Bid Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm 4 C
1979 Affirmed Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 4 C
1978 Affirmed Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 3 C
1977 Seattle Slew William H. Turner, Jr. Karen & Mickey Taylor 3 C
1976 Forego Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Lazy F. Ranch 6 G
1975 Forego Sherrill W. Ward Lazy F. Ranch 5 G
1974 Forego Sherrill W. Ward Lazy F. Ranch 4 G
1973 Secretariat Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 3 C
1972 Secretariat Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 2 C
1971 Ack Ack Charlie Whittingham Buddy Fogelson 5 C

Daily Racing Form, Turf & Sport Digest and Thoroughbred Racing Association Awards[edit]

Year
Horse
Trainer
Owner
Age Gender
1970 Fort Marcy (DRF)[8] J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stables 6 G
1970 Personality (TRA)[9] John W. Jacobs Ethel D. Jacobs 3 C
1969 Arts and Letters[10] J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stables 3 G
1968 Dr. Fager[11][12][13] John A. Nerud Tartan Stable 4 C
1967 Damascus[14][15] Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Edith W. Bancroft 3 C
1966 Buckpasser[16][17] Edward A. Neloy Ogden Phipps 3 C
1965 Roman Brother (DRF)[18] Burley Parke Harbor View Farm 4 G
1965 Moccasin (TRA)[19] (TSD)[20] Harry Trotsek Claiborne Farm 2 F
1964 Kelso[21] Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 7 G
1963 Kelso[22][23] Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 6 G
1962 Kelso[24] Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 5 G
1961 Kelso[25] Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 4 G
1960 Kelso[26] Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 3 G
1959 Sword Dancer[27] J. Elliott Burch Brookmeade Stable 3 C
1958 Round Table[28] William Molter Kerr Stable 4 C
1957 Dedicate (TRA)[29] G. Carey Winfrey Jan Winfrey Burke 5 C
1957 Bold Ruler (DRF)[30] (TSD)[31] Jim Fitzsimmons Wheatley Stable 3 C
1956 Swaps[32][33] Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 4 C
1955 Nashua[34][35] Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 3 C
1954 Native Dancer[36][37] William C. Winfrey Alfred G. Vanderbilt II 4 C
1953 Tom Fool[38][39] John M. Gaver, Sr. Greentree Stable 4 C
1952 Native Dancer (TRA)[40] (TSD)[41] William C. Winfrey Alfred G. Vanderbilt II 2 C
1952 One Count (DRF)[42] Oscar White Sarah Jeffords 3 C
1951 Counterpoint[43][44] Sylvester Veitch C. V. Whitney 3 C
1950 Hill Prince[45] Casey Hayes Christopher Chenery 3 C

Daily Racing Form and Turf & Sport Digest Awards[edit]

Year
Horse
Trainer
Owner
Age Gender
1949 Capot (DRF)[46] John M. Gaver, Sr. Greentree Stable 3 C
1949 Coaltown (TSD)[47] Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 4 C
1948 Citation[48] Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 3 C
1947 Armed[49] Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 6 G
1946 Assault[50] Max Hirsch King Ranch 3 C
1945 Busher[51] George M. Odom Louis B. Mayer 3 F
1944 Twilight Tear[52][53] Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 3 F
1943 Count Fleet[54] Don Cameron Fannie Hertz 3 C
1942 Whirlaway[55] Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 4 C
1941 Whirlaway[56] Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 3 C
1940 Challedon[57] Louis J. Schaefer Branncastle Farm 4 C
1939 Challedon[58] Louis J. Schaefer Branncastle Farm 3 C
1938 Seabiscuit[59] Tom Smith Charles S. Howard 5 C
1937 War Admiral[60] George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 3 C
1936 Granville[61][62] Jim Fitzsimmons William Woodward, Sr. 3 C

Informal and retrospective awards[4][edit]

Year
Horse
Trainer
Owner
Age Gender
1935 Discovery Joseph H. Stotler Alfred G. Vanderbilt II 4 C
1934 Cavalcade Robert A. Smith Brookmeade Stable 3 C
1933 Equipoise Thomas J. Healey Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney 5 C
1932 Equipoise Thomas J. Healey Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney 4 C
1931 Twenty Grand James G. Rowe, Jr. Greentree Stable 3 C
1930 Gallant Fox Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 3 C
1929 Blue Larkspur Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 3 C
1928 Reigh Count Bert S. Michell Fannie Hertz 3 C
1927 Chance Play John I. Smith Log Cabin Stable 4 C
1926 Crusader George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 3 C
1925 Sarazen Max Hirsch Virginia Fair Vanderbilt 4 G
1924 Sarazen Max Hirsch Virginia Fair Vanderbilt 3 G
1923 Zev David J. Leary Rancocas Stable 3 C
1922 Exterminator Henry McDaniel Willis Sharpe Kilmer 7 G
1921 Grey Lag Sam Hildreth Rancocas Stable 3 C
1920 Man o' War Louis Feustel Samuel D. Riddle 3 C
1919 Sir Barton H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross 3 C
1918 Johren Albert Simons Harry P. Whitney 3 C
1917 Old Rosebud Frank D. Weir Weir & Hamilton Applegate 6 G
1916 Friar Rock Sam Hildreth August Belmont, Jr. 3 C
1915 Regret James G. Rowe, Sr. Harry P. Whitney 3 F
1914 Roamer Jack Goldsborough Andrew Miller 3 G
1913 Whisk Broom II James G. Rowe, Sr. Harry P. Whitney 6 C
1912 The Manager Thomas C. McDowell Thomas C. McDowell 3 C
1911 Meridian Albert Ewing Richard F. Carman 3 C
1910 Fitz Herbert Sam Hildreth Charles Kohler 4 C
1909 Fitz Herbert Sam Hildreth Sam Hildreth 3 C
1908 Colin James G. Rowe, Sr. James R. Keene 3 C
1907 Colin James G. Rowe, Sr. James R. Keene 2 C
1906 Burgomaster John W. Rogers Harry P. Whitney 3 C
1905 Sysonby James G. Rowe, Sr. James R. Keene 3 C
1904 Beldame John J. Hyland August Belmont, Jr. 3 F
1903 Hermis John H. McCormack H. M. Ziegler 4 C
1902 Hermis John H. McCormack H. M. Ziegler 3 C
1901 Commando James G. Rowe, Sr. James R. Keene 3 C
1900 Commando James G. Rowe, Sr. James R. Keene 2 C
1899 Imp Charles E. Brossman Daniel R. Harness 5 F
1898 Hamburg William Lakeland Marcus Daly 3 C
1897 Ornament Charles E. Patterson Charles E. Patterson 3 C
1896 Requital James G. Rowe, Sr. Brookdale Stable 3 C
1895 Henry of Navarre John J. Hyland August Belmont, Jr. 4 C
1894 Henry of Navarre Byron McClelland Byron McClelland 3 C
1893 Domino William Lakeland James & Foxhall Keene 2 C
1892 Tammany Matthew Byrnes Marcus Daly 3 C
1891 Longstreet Hardy Campbell, Jr. Michael F. Dwyer 5 C
1890 Salvator Matthew Byrnes James Ben Ali Haggin 4 C
1889 Salvator Matthew Byrnes James Ben Ali Haggin 3 C
1888 Emperor of Norfolk Robert W. Thomas E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin 3 C
1887 Hanover Frank McCabe Dwyer Brothers Stable 3 C

References[edit]

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  5. ^ Chapel, Jessica. "How the Eclipse Awards Came to Be". Helloracefans.com. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  6. ^ "American Racing Champions 1936 - 1970: Horse of the Year". Tra-online.com. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  7. ^ "TRA Eclipse Awards: Horse of the Year". Tra-online.com. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  8. ^ "Fort Marcy Top Horse". Ottawa Citizen. 1970-12-01. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  9. ^ "How Horse of the Year voters play the game | Daily Racing Form". Drf.com. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  10. ^ "Arts and Letters named 1969 Horse of the Year". Ellensburg Daily Record. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  11. ^ "Dr Fager named Horse Of the Year". Evening News. 1968-12-05. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  12. ^ "D. Fager Named Horse Of The Year". Lewiston Morning Tribune. 1968-11-27. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  13. ^ "Dr Fager Top Horse". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 1968-11-13. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  14. ^ "Damascus Chosen Horse of Year". Pittsburgh Press. 1967-11-24. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  15. ^ "Damascus Only Pick for Horse of Year". Schenectady Gazette. 1967-11-28. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  16. ^ "Horse-of-Year Honors Gained by Buckpasser". New York Times. 1966-11-23. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  17. ^ "Racing Magazine Names Buckpasser Horse of Year". New York Times. 1966-12-06. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  18. ^ "Roman Brother:Horse of the Year". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  19. ^ "Filly Takes Horse of the Year". Youngstown Vindicator. 1965-12-03. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  20. ^ "Moccasin choice as top horse". Beaver County Times. December 7, 1965. Retrieved 2012-04-30. 
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  27. ^ "Sword Dancer Picked as Horse of the Year". Montreal Gazette. 1959-12-20. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
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  29. ^ "Horsemen Argue Top Selection". Washington Reporter. 1957-12-06. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  30. ^ "Bold Ruler Captures Horse of the Year Honors". St. Petersburg Times. 1957-11-26. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
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  32. ^ "Swaps Top Horse". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. 1956-12-19. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
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  34. ^ [ Displaying Abstract ]. "Poll Names Nashua Horse Of The Year". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  35. ^ "And Now It's Official, Nashua is the Champ". Ocala Star-Banner. 1955-12-09. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
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  42. ^ "Name One Count Horse of the Year". Greensburg Daily Tribune. 1952-11-24. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
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  49. ^ "Armed Selected Horse of Year". Spokesman-Review. 1947-12-16. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
  50. ^ "Assault is Named Horse of the Year". Edmonton Journal. 1946-12-06. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
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  57. ^ "Experts name Challedon for Horse of the Year". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1940-12-11. Retrieved 2012-02-27. 
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  60. ^ "War Admiral gets High Award". Herald-Journal. 1937-12-10. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  61. ^ "Granville retired...". Calgary Daily Herald. 1936-12-17. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
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