American Pharoah: history awaits. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

American Pharoah: likely Horse of the Year. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

From a National Thoroughbred Racing Association release

Led by Horse of the Year candidates American Pharoah, Beholder and Runhappy, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) today announced the finalists for the 2015 Eclipse Awards, recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing. Winners in 17 horse and human categories will be announced at the 45th annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony, presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group on Saturday evening, January 16, at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Of the 281 eligible voters representing the NTRA, the NTWAB and Daily Racing Form, 261 (92.88%) took part in this year’s voting. Finalists were determined in each category by voters’ top three selections, using a 10-5-1 point basis. Eclipse Award winners are determined solely by first place votes.


The 2015 Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Horse of the Year: American Pharoah, Beholder, Runhappy
  • Two-Year-Old Male: Airoforce, Mohaymen, Nyquist
  • Two-Year-Old Filly: Catch a Glimpse, Rachel’s Valentina, Songbird
  • Three-Year-Old Male: American Pharoah, Dortmund, Runhappy
  • Three-Year-Old Filly: Found (IRE), I’m a Chatterbox, Stellar Wind
  • Older Dirt Male: Honor Code, Liam’s Map, Tonalist
  • Older Dirt Female: Beholder, Sheer Drama, Stopchargingmaria
  • Male Sprinter: Private Zone, Rock Fall, Runhappy
  • Female Sprinter: La Verdad, Lady Shipman, Wavell Avenue
  • Male Turf Horse: Big Blue Kitten, Golden Horn (GB), The Pizza Man
  • Female Turf Horse: Found (IRE), Stephanie’s Kitten, Tepin
  • Steeplechase Horse: Bob Le Beau (IRE), Dawalan (FR), Demonstrative
  • Owner: Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc., Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, Zayat Stables
  • Breeder: Darley, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, Zayat Stables
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert, Chad Brown, Todd Pletcher
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano, Victor Espinoza, Irad Ortiz, Jr.
  • Apprentice Jockey: Eric Cancel, Angel Cruz, Tyler Gaffalione

In addition to honoring the 17 winners in the horse and human categories, owner, breeder and philanthropist Leonard Lavin of Glen Hill Farm will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of achievement in the Thoroughbred industry. John O’Neil will receive an Eclipse Award as the 2015 Horseplayer of the Year. Members of the media will be honored for outstanding coverage in six categories.

The Eclipse Awards, which will be shown live on, are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies. The Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements in North America have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Those awards are voted by NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB). Eclipse Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.