Triple Crown winner Justify has added another impressive award to his portfolio. Justify was awarded the prestigious Horse of the Year award at the recent 2018 Eclipse Award, beating his closest rival Accelerate by a few points. The Bob-Baffert-trained horse received 191 out of a possible 249 first-place votes, while the Breeder Cup champion Accelerate received just 54 first-place votes.
The 2018 Eclipse Award was held last month at Gulfstream Park, Florida. The event featured some of the biggest names in the horse racing industry, including racehorses, horse breeders, trainers, jockeys and horse owners.
The Horse of the Year award:
The Triple Crown winner Justify has retired from competition undefeated, with a perfect track record. The American Thoroughbred competed and won some of the biggest horse races, including Woodford Reserve’s Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, the NYRA Bets’ Belmont Stakes, and the Santa Anita Derby.
The Champion Older Dirt Male award:
Trained by John Sadler and owned by Hronis Racing, Accelerate has won 6 of his 7 starts in 2018, one of which included the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic in Churchill Downs. The Mike Abraham-bred racehorse now boasts a record score of 6-4-5 from 17 starts. Accelerate made his final career race in the recent $9-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational event at Gulfstream Park, where he finished third in that race.
The Champion Older Dirt Female award:
Trained and owned by Don Alberto Stable, Unique Bella is a 3-year-old filly that has made a big name in the 2017 Kentucky Oaks. Unique Bella’s signature wins include the Clement Stakes, the Santa Maria Stakes, and the Beholder Mile Stakes.
In addition to racehorses, the event also honored people in the racing industry. Chad Brown was awarded the Outstanding Trainer award, while John Gunther secured the Outstanding Breeder award. For the racing team category, Hronis Racing has won the Outstanding Owner award.
Other big winners include:
Stormy Liberal (Champion Turf Male award)
Sistercharlie (Champion Turf Female)
Monomoy Girl (Champion 3-year-old Filly award)
Game Winner (Champion 2-year-old Male)
Jaywalk (Champion 2-year-old Filly)
Roy H (Champion Male Sprinter award)
Shamrock Rose (Champion Female Sprinter).