Curlin – Horse of the Year at Eclipse Awards
Just over a year ago no one would have guessed that the beautiful male horse, getting ready for his first racing start, would be outperforming many of his rivals and making a name for himself. Curlin was bred by Fares Farm and was bought after he won a maiden race at Gulfstream Park. He was transferred to the capable hands of trainer, Steve Asmussen, and is currently waiting to continue his training at Fair Grounds.
Eighty percent of Curlin is owned by Jess Jacksons’ Stonestreet Stable. Controversy as to Curlin’s future started to arise when his minority owners, Bill Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., who each own ten percent, entered into legal battles on federal fraud charges.
But all the legal woes and battles were forgotten as the 37th Annual Eclipse Awards kicked into full gear at the Beverly Wilshire Four Season Hotel. The winners of the Eclipse Awards, in each division, are chosen by the votes entered by voting members of the National Turf Writers Association, the Daily Racing Form, members of Equibase and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. And with Curlin raking in 262 of the 266 votes that were entered, his Horse of the Year Award was secured. The Eclipse Awards are one of the most prestigious awards to be received and Curlin not only walked away with the Horse of the Year award, but also took home the 3 year old male of the year award. His hard work, sincere courage and glorious wins at the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Preakness Stakes, and the Arkansas Derby, most definitely caught everyone’s eye.
Other worthy award winners included Lawyer Ron (Older Horse), War Pass (2Year Old Male), Indian Blessing (2 Year Old Female), Rags to Riches (3 Year Old Female), Ginger Punch (Older Female), English Channel (Turf Male), Lahudood (Turf Female), Midnight Lute (Male Sprinter), Maryfield (Female Sprinter), Good Night Shirt (Steeplechase), Shadwell Stable (Owner), Adena Springs (Breeder), Todd Pletcher (Trainer), Garrett Gomes (Jockey) and Joe Talamo (Apprentice Jockey).
Even though the future of Curlin’s minority owners hangs in the balance, it seems as though his racing career has only just begun. Curlin has proved to be a horse with immense grace, staggering power, unlimited courage and unwavering determination. He has shown the racing community and the world that he is a force to be reckoned with.