50th US Eclipse Awards

Authentic became the fourth horse in the last seven years to win both Horse of the Year and the 3-year-old male title, the highlight of the 50th annual Eclipse Awards, which were announced Thursday night.

It was a night of something old – with Monomoy Girl winning her second Eclipse Award, this time as champion older dirt female, and Irad Ortiz Jr. (photo) being named top jockey for the third straight year – and something new, with Brad Cox claiming his first title as champion trainer, beating out Bob Baffert, whose horses took home four of the 12 equine trophies.

Owner Gary Barber also had a big night, as two horses in whom he is partners – Channel Maker and Vequist – won Eclipse Awards, for turf male, and 2-year-old filly, respectively.

Whitmore parlayed his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint to the male sprint title.

In the closest vote in the equine categories, Rushing Fall captured champion female turf horse by 115-106 over Tarnawa, whose lone start in this country was a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf against males.

The closest vote of the night belonged to apprentice jockey, in which Alexander Crispin edged Yarmarie Correa by 79-74.

Moscato, the oldest Grade 1 winner last year at age 9, was named champion steeplechase horse.

This Eclipse Awards presentation was a departure from the norm owing to the ongoing pandemic. Instead of a black-tie optional dinner at a single location, this year’s event was largely pre-produced, with hosts, presenters, and winners taping their portions ahead of time at different locales. The final product was assembled in Kentucky, and much of the show was shot at Spendthrift Farm, where Authentic is about to begin stud duty next month.

The Eclipse Awards are voted on by members of Daily Racing Form, the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, whose bloc includes racing secretaries and field personnel for Equibase.

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