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Up commands $2.2 million price to highlight day two of Keeneland January sale

Since its inception in 2002, consignor Four Star Sales have prepared countless horses for their time in the sales ring with such stars like champion Uncle Mo among their notable graduates.

 
No horse led over by the Four Star crew ever commanded as much protracted attention as the beautiful mare bearing Hip No. 537 in their Keeneland January consignment. When Up departed the pavilion Tuesday, she did so with a new owner in Ran Jan Racing and the distinction of being the new standard bearer for Four Star Sales after bringing a final price of $2.2 million during a steady second session of the January Horses of All Ages sale.

 
The combination of Coolmore Stud’s leading sire Galileo and Claiborne Farm stallion War Front continued to produce fireworks as Up, a daughter of the former selling in foal to the latter, became the highest priced mare to sell at the Keeneland January sale since Irish Cherry went for $2.7 million in 2008 and the highest priced horse consignors Four Star Sales have sold at public auction.

 
Mares boasting the Galileo-War Front 1-2 punch have been major collectors’ items in the sales area. At the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November sale, Betterbetterbetter – a daughter of Galileo in foal to War Front – sold for an auction-topping $5.2 million. Similar results occurred at the 2014 Keeneland November sale when Aloof, another daughter of Galileo selling in foal to War Front, topped all offerings when she elicited a final bid of $3.9 million.

 
Out of the Spectrum mare Halland Park Lass, Up is a half-sister to Group I winner Dutch Art and was a multiple Group winner on the track herself. Adding to the six-year-old mare’s appeal was her bay yearling filly by War Front that sold for $800,000 to LNJ Foxwoods moments after, an exceptional physical specimen in her own right.

 
“They were the kind of horses were you look at them each day and…they just exude class,” said Kerry Cauthen, who founded Four Star Sales with John T.L. Jones, Jr., David Greathouse and Dan Kenny and consigned both Up and her yearling filly. “I think she (Up) was a very special mare and I really didn’t doubt she would get sold. I thought it was a very fair price.

 
“When you have horses of this caliber, the people who are aware of them and who want them and can buy them, they’re looking for them because they just don’t come along. They’re one of a kind. These are special individuals and she was a very special mare.”

 
Frank Taylor of Taylor Made Sales signed the ticket for Up on behalf of Ran Jan principals Jan Vandebos and Robert Naify, saying their desire to own a Galileo mare pushed them to stretch to that price level.

 
“We just love the pedigree, love War Front, love Galileo,” said Taylor. “They had been wanting a Galileo mare for a long time so she was the one. We’re going to take her back, foal her out. They could sell (the foal), they could race, they’re not sure yet. But they’re happy to have her.”

 
Up’s yearling filly by War Front saw Katey Caddel of Solis/Litt Bloodstock sign the ticket after purchasing her on behalf of LNJ Foxwoods. The amount is the sixth-highest price paid for a yearling filly in the history of the January Sale.

 
“They plan on racing her and hopefully she will join the broodmare band eventually,” said Caddel. “She was a real good physical, good length to her.”

 
The expected staunch bidding for Up and her filly kept the January auction tracking along at decent levels with the average showing a slight increase as overall gross and median declined heading into the final two days of the sale.

 
The cumulative gross of $27,798,400 is down 8.88 percent from 2014. The average jumped 2.40 percent over last year’s total to $61,501 while the median of $30,000 is down 14.29 percent.

 
The demand for newly-turned yearlings remains strong with three selling for $200,000 or more on Tuesday. Polarization in the market is also tangible, however, as the overall rate of horses not sold is currently at 29.15 percent, up from 20.50 percent a year ago.

 
“The top yearlings, there was plenty of money for them today,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “Again, breeding stock sales vary from year to year and what people are aiming for changes from year to year. (The buyback rate) is a factor of the market, but we’d certainly like it to be less.”

 
The sale continues Wednesday beginning at 10 a.m.

 
Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676.  Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com. Twitter: @horseracinghl.

Ran Jan Racing lands regally-bred Up for $2.2 million at Keeneland January sale

The combination of international leading sire Galileo and Claiborne Farm stallion War Front continued to produce fireworks at public auction as the royally-bred mare Up, a daughter of the former selling in foal to the latter, was purchased for $2.2 million by Ran Jan Racing to highlight Tuesday’s session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale.

Mares boasting the Galileo-War Front 1-2 punch have been prized collector’s items in the sales area. At the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November sale, Betterbetterbetter – a daughter of Galileo in foal to War Front – sold for an auction-topping $5.2 million. Similar results occurred at the 2014 Keeneland November sale when Aloof, another daughter of Galileo selling in foal to War Front, topped all offerings when she elicited a final bid of $3.9 million.

Frank Taylor of Taylor Made Sales signed the ticket for Up on behalf of Ran Jan principles Jan Vandebos and Robert Naify, saying their desire to own a Galileo mare pushed them to stretch to that price level.

“We just love the pedigree, love War Front, love Galileo,” said Taylor. “They had been wanting a Galileo mare for a long time so she was the one. We’re going to take her back, foal her out. They could sell (the foal), they could race, they’re not sure yet. But they’re happy to have her.”

Out of the Spectrum mare Halland Park Lass, Up is a half-sister to Group I winner Dutch Art and was a multiple Group winner on the track herself.

Up becomes the highest priced mare to sell at the Keeneland January sale since Irish Cherry went for $2.7 million in 2008 and also is the highest priced horse consignors Four Star Sales have sold at public auction.

“I think whenever you are dealing with collector’s items, you have people who own them and they don’t just give them away,” said Kerry Cauthen of Four Star Sales, which consigned both Up and her War Front filly that sold for $800,000 immediately after her. “I think she was a very special mare and I really didn’t doubt she would get sold. I thought it was a very fair price.’

“When you have horses of this caliber, the people who are aware of them and who want them and can buy them, they’re looking for them because they just don’t come along. They’re one of a kind. These are special individuals and she was a very special mare.”

Up’s yearling filly by War Front saw  Katey Caddel of Solis/Litt Bloodstock sign the ticket after purchasing her on behalf of LNJ Foxwoods. The amount is the sixth-highest price paid for a yearling filly in the history of the January Sale.

“A great foal out of a Grade II-winning mare,” said Caddel of Solis/Litt. “They plan on racing her and hopefully she will join the broodmare band eventually. She was a real good physical, good length to her.”

 

 

 

 

Middle market carries opening session of Keeneland January sale

The top end of Thoroughbred marketplace has been reliably bullish in recent times with fair money dutifully following quality as it emerges.

 
The opening session of the  Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale, however, showed that the upper echelon is still affected by restraint. And with the day’s expected fireworks quelled, it fell upon the middle market to set the tone for the four-day auction.

 
Champion Blind Luck lived up to her billing of garnering the most in-ring attention during the sale’s initial session. But a final bid of $1.4 million was not enough to get her a new home as the 2010 Kentucky Oaks winner failed to meet her reserve during a respectable day of selling that produced a decline in gross but showed an uptick in average.

 
Seven-figures horses aren’t the norm at the workmanlike January sale with only 25 offerings reaching that level in the auction’s history.

 
Blind Luck figured to up that mark having previously sold for $2.5 million at the 2011 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale when Mark DeDomencio, who owned 50 percent of the mare during her race career, bought out the other partners. After opening with a bid of $100,000 and quickly reaching the seven-figure barrier Monday, the price for the eight-year-old daughter of Pollard’s Vision stalled as she became the highest priced buyback at the January sale since 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri was an RNA at $4.4 million in 2009.

 
“I thought she was worth twice that,” said John Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales, which consigned Blind Luck. “She was on the market at what we believed to be fair money and it didn’t happen. Mares of her comparable ability, race record…in November (sales) they were making a lot more money.

 
“It would have been nice  (to get her sold) but…it couldn’t get done. Now we’ll breed her and go forward.”

 
Out of the Best of Luck mare Lucky One, Blind Luck was mated to Hill ‘n’ Dale stallion Midnight Lute this March but lost the foal.

 
As the bidding continuously hit the wall without reaching the half-million mark consignors with special offerings reacted in kind. Stakes winner Foxy Danseur, the only mare in foal to leading sire Tapit slated to sell in the January sale, was announced as a late out for the session while her filly by Medaglia d’Oro was also withdrawn.

 
“They were wanting a nice price for her and there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of the top end buyers here,” said Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Sales, which consigned Foxy Danseur and her filly.

 
“We didn’t have any other mares at that level…and I think what we’ve had has sold well. But we just started looking at the people who weren’t here who could buy that type of mare and just thought it might be better to bring her back, bring back the foal.”

 
Even with the big buyback and notable scratches, there was competitive money pushing the sale forward. The overall gross of $12,607,200 from 204 head sold was down 8.08 percent from 2014 but the average improved 4.54 percent to $61,800 with the median coming in equal to last year at $35,000.

 
The rate of horses not sold  increased to 33.11 percent from 23.93 for the corresponding session in 2014.

 
“It was disappointing we couldn’t get Blind Luck sold but that is the market. And the rest of the sale I thought went very well,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “We assumed the broodmare prospects would sell well and they did. Besides not selling the big mare and having a couple of late outs, overall it was a very good day.”

 
The honor of being the day’s session topper went to stakes winner Premier Steps who sold to representatives of Shadai Farm in Japan for $400,000. Consigned by Denali Stud, the five-year-old daughter of Footstepsinthesand was Group III placed in Europe before heading stateside where she captured the Sweetest Chant Stakes over eventual Grade I winner Discreet Marq in January 2013.

 
“That was significantly more than I thought (she would bring),” said Pete Bradley, who had purchased Premier Steps for Swift Thoroughbreds and campaigned her in partnership. “She had some real potential as a racehorse and if you look at who she ran against in Europe..she was right there amongst the very best of them.”

 
The sale continues on Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m.

 
Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676.  Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com. Twitter: @horseracinghl.

Champion Blind Luck fails to meet reserve after getting final bid of $1.4M

Champion Blind Luck will be heading back to owner Mark DeDomenico after failing to meet her reserve following a final bid of $1.4 million during Monday’s opening session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale.

Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, Blind Luck was expected to be among the most desirable of mares in the January catalog on the strength of her impeccable race record and commercial appeal. The 2010 Kentucky Oaks winner previously sold for $2.5 million at the 2011 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale when DeDomencio, who owned 50 percent of the mare during her race career, bought out the other partners.

Blind Luck was mated to Hill ‘n’ Dale stallion Midnight Lute this March but aborted the foal. The 8-year-old chestnut mare is a daughter of Pollard’s Vision out of the Best of Luck mare Lucky One.

“Mares of her quality come around seldomly,” said John Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales. “I thought she was worth twice that. She was on the market at what we believed to be fair money and it didn’t happen. We’ll pick a great mate and continue on the road.”

Blind Luck earned the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old filly of 2010 following a season that she her notch three Grade I victories.  She retired following the 2011 season with a record of 12 wins from 22 starts,  including six total Grade I victories, with earnings of $3,279,520.

“Mares of her comparable ability, race record…in November (sales) they were making a lot more money,” Sikura said. “We were here to get her sold at a fair price. It wasn’t a fire sale. But it couldn’t get done and now we’ll breed her and go forward. You don’t get them all sold. It would have been nice but it didn’t happen. The owner was very fair in where he wanted to be.”

 

Premier Steps sets early standard at Keeneland January sale

Stakes winner Premier Steps elicited the top bid during the first half of the opening session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale Monday when she sold to representatives of Shadai Farm in Japan for $400,000.

Consigned by Denali Stud, Premier Steps is by Footstepsinthesand and is out of the winning mare Primissima. The five-year-old bay mare  was Group III placed in Europe before heading stateside where she captured the Sweetest Chant Stakes over eventual Grade I winner Discreet Marq  in January 2013.

“That was significantly more than I thought (she would bring),”said Pete Bradley, who purchased Premier Steps for Swift Thoroughbreds and campaigned her in partnership. “She had some real potential as a racehorse and if you look at who she ran against in Europe, that’s why you saw Coolmore and the Europeans bidding on her. She was right there amongst the very best of them.

“She’s a pretty mare, she had some race record behind her and we got lucky. It’s a great way to start off the year.”

Bradley was also a co-owner of multiple Grade I winner Dayatthespa, who is a heavy favorite to take home the Eclipse Award for champion turf female of 2014 this Saturday evening.

 

 

 

Positive indicators ahead of Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale

Breeding stock sales in the Thoroughbred industry are an inherent mixed bag with their make up and quality dependent on far more variables that those of the bellwether yearling auctions.

 
The all-encompassing, Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale is an annual example of why year-to-year comparisons can be an apples to oranges exercise. While this year’s catalog is a bit all over the map in terms of substance, overall steadiness within the marketplace is expected to yield positive outcomes as the first major domestic Thoroughbred auction of 2015 begins it four-day run on Monday.

 
Keeneland’s January sale is often viewed as a blue-collar extension of its November Breeding Stock exercise, with the latter providing gains in gross and average as well as a record-tying median a couple months ago.

 
Buying at the top end of the market remains a bear of a task even for ambitious shoppers. Given that more than a few buyers left November with orders still to fill after knocking heads with the biggest outfits, the January catalog provides an opportunity to snag some good, young mares and newly-turned yearlings at competitive, but fair prices.

 
“January is always kind of a little different in that there are mixed offerings,” said Andrew Cary of Select Sales Agency. “You’ll have some high dollar mares but there is less consistency horse to horse on what they’re going to bring. But there are still plenty of people shopping, a lot of people are still looking for good quality mares, nice babies to pinhhook.

 
“I think it’ll be a typical  January sale. The market has been steadily growing and I think that will continue this year.”

 
A total of 1,610 horses have been cataloged for this year’s January sale, which runs through Thursday. The 2014 January sale saw its gross of $41,025,700 decline 9.25 percent from the year prior but that auction was one day shorter than it was in 2013.

 
As the Thoroughbred market has righted itself in recent years, buyers have showed a renewed commitment towards the long-term investment that comes with buying broodmares.

 
In a case of success breeding success, there has also been a willingness by those who may have been on the sidelines during the market correction to dip a toe back in. Hence, the demand for foals was very strong in November and expectation is that the inventory of freshly-turned yearlings will be heavily sought after this week.

 
“I think the foals, the short yearlings are going to again sell well,” said Meg Levy of Bluewater Sales. “In the past few years, we’ve seen investors who are not breeders wanting to go short term with the short yearlings into the yearling market. Then when those prices build up, I think breeders get back in and it just kind of feeds on itself. Then people start saying, we need to stick with the quality, we need to buy something by a mare that gets the good foal. It’s just that quality wins out.”

 
Though the January sale typically does not lure the level of international shoppers that attend in November, the global appeal of certain pedigrees could provide a top-end boost this coming week.

 
Champion Blind Luck, winner of the 2010 Kentucky Oaks, is slated to sell in Monday’s session while Group II winner Up, a daughter of leading sire Galileo, is set to highlight Tuesday’s offerings.

 
Consigned by Four Star Sales, Up is selling in foal to top Claiborne Farm stallion War Front. The Galileo-War Front combination has produced huge numbers on multiple occasions including the Keeneland November auction when Aloof – a daughter of Galileo in foal to War Front – sold for a sale-topping $3.9 million.

 
“For a while there, you couldn’t give away the mares. Now, the good mares are hard to buy,” said Pope McLean Jr. of Crestwood Farm. “The lesser quality is always going to struggle. Everyone tends to land on the same horses, the real standouts. I think it will be more of the same here, but I think it will be okay.”
Sessions for the Keeneland January sale begin at 10 a.m. each day.

 
Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676.  Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com. Twitter: @horseracinghl.

Fasig-Tipton expands Winter Mixed Sale to two days

Edited release:

Fasig-Tipton announced Friday it has catalogued 534 entries for this year’s Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale and will hold the auction over two days, February 8 and 9, at Fasig-Tipton’s Lexington, Kentucky headquarters.

As a result of the high volume of entries, the sale will now be held over two sessions on Sunday and Monday, instead of the initially scheduled single Monday session.  The Sunday session, which will offer hips 1 – 200, will begin at 3 pm.  The Monday session, which will offer hips 201-534, as well as the supplemental catalogue, will begin at 10 am.

“The success and growth of the ‘February Sale’ in recent years has once again generated strong participation from our consignors,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning.  “Buyers of all budgets will find increased quality among the in foal mares, and racing and broodmare prospects.  A large contingent of newly turned yearlings should draw significant interest, as well.”

The sale will also feature a supplemental catalogue. Fasig-Tipton will continue to accept selected entries, on an approval basis, over the next few weeks.

The Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale catalogue will be available online and in print by Monday, January 19.  The catalogue will also be available via the equineline sales catalogue app.

Belmont runner-up Commissioner set for 4-year-old debut

Edited Gulfstream Park release:

A year after opening his 3-year-old season with an optional claiming allowance victory at Gulfstream Park, Belmont Stakes runner-up Commissioner looks to kick off his 4-year-old campaign in similar fashion.
The WinStar Farm homebred, trained by Todd Pletcher, drew post four of eight horses scheduled to go 1 1/16 miles on the main track in Saturday’s third race. Javier Castellano is named to ride.
It marks the first start for the bay son of A.P. Indy since finishing second by a head to Tonalist at odds of 28-1 in the Belmont Stakes on June 7 at Belmont Park. He had surgery to remove an ankle chip following the race, and was given the rest of the year off.
“We gave him plenty of time, more time than he actually needed with the idea that we’d have hopefully a fresh horse for his 4-year-old campaign,” Pletcher said. “Based on his pedigree, you would anticipate he should be coming into his own as a 4-year-old. Hopefully he has a big year ahead of him.”
Commissioner shows a steady string of works at Palm Beach Downs for his return, most recently going five furlongs in 1:00 on January 4.
“We’ve been very happy with the way he’s been training, and we were looking for a race to get him back under way,” Pletcher said. “He was eligible to this so it kind of made sense as a possible prep for races down the road which could possibly include the Donn should he run well.”
The first major stakes of the year for older horses, the Grade I, $500,000 Donn Handicap will highlight a six-stakes card at Gulfstream on February 7.
Commissioner returned from a four-month layoff to capture a 1 1/8-mile optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream by a neck over Top Billing last January. He then ran in five consecutive graded stakes, finishing sixth in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream and Arkansas Derby, third in the Sunland Derby  and second to Tonalist in the Peter Pan immediately prior to the Belmont.
“He ran well here once last year and then didn’t seem to run quite as well in the Fountain of Youth as we expected him to,” Pletcher said. “At that time of the year, the track became very speed-favoring which probably worked against his style a little bit. We’re hoping that he gets back in form and runs well here, and we’ll see if that would lead him into the Donn or look for something else.”
Also entered in Saturday’s third are Secretive and multiple Grade III-placed Ulanbator, both coming off allowance victories, and Dudeman, second to Atreides in the Aventura Handicap on December 7 at Gulfstream.

Oaklawn postpones opening of meet due to extreme cold

 Edited release:

Because of concern for the well-being of horses and riders, Oaklawn has postponed the opening of the 2015 live racing season until Thursday, Jan. 15.

 

Temperatures tumbled to as low as 11 degrees with high winds in Hot Springs Wednesday night, and the decision to postpone live racing was made early Thursday morning following a meeting between track management and horsemen representatives.

 

“Our track maintenance crews worked to maintain the racing surface all night,” said Director of Racing David Longinotti. “It became clear shortly after sunrise that we were not going to be able to hold it. The safety of the horses and riders is always our first concern and this weather is just not conductive for racing. We look forward to kicking off things next week.”

 

Oaklawn remains open for gaming and simulcast racing. The newly expanded game room will have normal business hours of 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday.

 

The track will now open for live racing with a five-day race week that includes the special Martin Luther King Jr. card featuring the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes. The opening day card will feature the traditional $.50 corned beef sandwiches and the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes. The $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes will be the run Friday, Jan. 16. The Dixie Belle and Fifth Season had been scheduled to be run Jan. 9 and 10, respectively and will be redrawn.

 

 

 

Revised Oaklawn Racing Schedule:

 

Thursday, Jan. 15:           1 p.m. First Post

$100,000 Dixie Belle

50-Cent Corned Beef Promotion

 

Friday, Jan. 16:                1 p.m. First Post

$100,000 Fifth Season

 

Saturday, Jan. 17:           1 p.m. First Post

$100,000 Pippin

 

Sunday, Jan. 18:               1:30 p.m. First Post

 

Monday, Jan. 19:             1 p.m. First Post

$100,000 Smarty Jones Stakes

Free Ball Cap Giveaway

Main Sequence, Bayern, California Chrome lead Eclipse Award finalists

What figures to be one of the closest races for Horse of the Year in recent seasons comes down to two brilliant sophomores against a turf standout as dual classic winner California Chrome, Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Bayern and multiple Grade I winner Main Sequence were announced as 2014 Eclipse Award finalists for top honors on Wednesday.

 
The finalists for all 17 horse and human categories for the 44th annual Eclipse Awards were revealed on HRTV with the winners set to being honored on January 17 at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

 
Of the 280 eligible voters representing the NTRA, the NTWAB and Daily Racing Form, 265 (94.6 percent) 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.

 
Along being finalists for respective divisional honors, California Chrome, Bayern and Main Sequence all make viable cases why each would be a worthy choice in the Horse of the Year balloting.

 
California Chrome, who along with Bayern and 2013 juvenile champion Shared Belief is a finalist for champion 3-year-old male, was the darling of the racing world off his victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Though the son of Lucky Pulpit lost three straight races in the second half of the year –  including a third place finish behind Bayern in the Breeders’’ Cup Classic – California Chrome ended his season with a victory in the Grade I Hollywood Derby in his first try on turf, giving him six wins from nine outings in 2014.

 
Bayern didn’t make his career debut until January 4 of last year but put together a versatile campaign that saw the Bob Baffert-trainee notch six triumphs from 10 starts at eight different tracks, winning graded stakes at distances from seven furlongs to 1 1/4-miles. The son of Offlee Wild prevailed by 7 1/4 lengths in the Grade I Haskell Invitational and scored a gate-to-wire victory in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, though that win was tainted by controversy as he survived a stewards’ inquiry for coming sharply over into previously unbeaten Shared Belief at the start of the race.

 
Main Sequence arrived in the states last year after making his first 14 career starts in England and was almost immediately felled by a bout of pneumonia that kept him in a New York clinic for a month.

 
Once recovered, the 5-year-old gelding put together a 4-for-4 2014 campaign under the guidance of trainer Graham Motion, notching all his victories in Grade I races culminating with a half length triumph over international rivals in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

 
In addition to being in the running for Horse of the Year, Main Sequence is also a finalist and favorite to take home honors in the champion turf male and champion older male divisions.

 
Should Main Sequence sweep all three categories, he would emulate two-time defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan who has won those trio of honors the past two seasons. Wise Dan, unbeaten in four starts in 2014 despite undergoing emergency colic surgery in May and suffering an ankle injury in October, joins Main Sequence as a finalist for both older male and turf male.

 
While the most notable omissions amongst the finalists were Motion not being among the top three for Outstanding Trainer and the late Juan Saez not being a finalist for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey, the categories were largely devoid of major surprises.

 
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable, winner of six of seven starts in 2014 including the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff, is likely to be a unanimous pick for champion 3-year-old filly.

 
Dayatthespa, winner of the Grade I First Lady at Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, is a strong favorite to earn champion turf female honors and is also a finalist along with Grade I winners Close Hatches and Don’t Tell Sophia for champion older female.

 
Nicholasville-based Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who swept the Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Owner and Outstanding Breeder in 2013, are again finalists in those divisions. The Ramseys led all owners by earnings ($10,544,148), stakes wins (29) and graded stakes wins (10) in 2014 and have their Grade I winning-mare Stephanie’s Kitten among the Eclipse finalists for champion turf female.

 

The 2014 Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

 

Horse of the Year:           Bayern, California Chrome, Main Sequence

Two-Year-Old Male:      American Pharoah, Hootenanny, Texas Red

Two-Year-Old Filly:        Condo Commando, Lady Eli, Take Charge Brandi

Three-Year-Old Male:   Bayern, California Chrome, Shared Belief

Three-Year-Old Filly:     Stopchargingmaria, Sweet Reason, Untapable

Older Male:                      Main Sequence, Palace Malice, Wise Dan

Older Female:                  Close Hatches, Dayatthespa, Don’t Tell Sophia

Male Sprinter:                 Goldencents, Private Zone, Work All Week

 Female Sprinter:             Artemis Agrotera, Judy the Beauty, Sweet Reason

Male Turf Horse:            Karakontie, Main Sequence, Wise Dan

Female Turf Horse:        Crown Queen, Dayatthespa, Stephanie’s Kitten

Steeplechase Horse:     Demonstrative, Divine Fortune, Makari

Owner:                                Kaleem Shah, Midwest Thoroughbreds, Ken and Sarah Ramsey

Breeder:                             Adena Springs, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Winchell Thoroughbreds

Trainer:                               Bob Baffert, Chad Brown, Todd Pletcher

Jockey:                                Javier Castellano, Joel Rosario, John Velazquez

Apprentice Jockey:        Angel Cruz, Taylor Rice, Drayden Van Dyke

 

In addition to honoring the 17 winners in the horse and human categories, longtime New York Racing Association track announcer Tom Durkin will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit and Old Friends Farm will be recognized with an Eclipse Special Award. Jose Arias will receive an Eclipse Award as the Handicapper of the Year. Members of the media will be honored for outstanding coverage in six categories.

 

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