Champion and 2018 Eclipse finalist Abel Tasman to sell Monday at January Sale
Keeneland sales produced the three finalists for the title of Thoroughbred racing’s 2018 Horse of the Year – Accelerate, Justify and Monomoy Girl – as well 14 other candidates for Eclipse Awards as North American champions that were announced today by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. Meanwhile, additional finalists won stakes at Keeneland during the year.
Abel Tasman, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2017 and a finalist for 2018 champion older dirt female following wins in the Ogden Phipps (G1) and Personal Ensign (G1), is cataloged to Monday’s opening session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale.
The champions will be announced Thursday, Jan. 24, at the 48th annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony at Gulfstream Park.
Horses sold at Keeneland sales who are Eclipse finalists and their 2018 graded stakes wins:
Horse of the Year: Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Accelerate, Triple Crown winner Justify and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Monomoy Girl. All three sold at the September Yearling Sale.
Accelerate accumulated five Grade 1 wins in 2018, including the aforementioned Breeders’ Cup Classic, as well as the Awesome Again (G1), $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic (G1), Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) and Santa Anita Handicap Presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino (G1). (Click here for a video of Accelerate at the 2014 September Sale.)
Undefeated Justify took the Santa Anita Derby (G1) before winning the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), Preakness (G1) and Belmont Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) to become racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner. (Click here for a video of Justify at the 2016 September Sale.)
Monomoy Girl’s six wins this year began with the Rachel Alexandra (G2) and continued with the Central Bank Ashland (G1) at Keeneland, Kentucky Oaks (G1), Acorn (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Distaff. (Click here for a video of Monomoy Girl at the 2016 September Sale.)
Two-Year-Old Male: Undefeated Game Winner, winner of the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), American Pharoah (G1) and Del Mar Futurity (G1); Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity (G1) winner Improbable; and Knicks Go, winner of the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up.
Two-Year-Old Female: Bellafina, winner of the Chandelier (G1), Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Sorrento (G2), and Jaywalk, winner of the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Frizette (G1).
Three-Year-Old Male: Catholic Boy, winner of the Runhappy Travers Presented by NYRA Bets (G1), Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) and Pennine Ridge (G3); Justify; and McKinzie, winner of the Malibu (G1), Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and Sham (G3).
Three-Year-Old Female: Midnight Bisou, winner of the Cotillion (G1), Santa Anita Oaks (G1), Mother Goose (G1), Santa Ynez (G2) and Santa Ysabel (G3), and Monomoy Girl.
Older Dirt Male: Accelerate and City of Light, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), Triple Bend (G1) and Oaklawn Handicap (G2).
Older Dirt Female: Abel Tasman; Marley’s Freedom, winner of the Ketel One Ballerina (G1), Great Lady M (G2), Go for Wand (G3) and Desert Stormer (G3); and 2017 champion female sprinter Unique Bella, winner of the Beholder Mile (G1), Clement L. Hirsch (G1) and the Santa Maria (G2).
Male Sprinter: Roy H, the 2017 champion male sprinter who won the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) for the second consecutive year, along with the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) and Palos Verdes (G2).
Female Sprinter: Finley’sluckycharm, winner of the Madison (G1) at Keeneland and Honorable Miss (G2), and Marley’s Freedom.
Several finalists for Eclipse Awards as North American champions and outstanding horsemen competed at Keeneland in 2018.
The aforementioned Finley’sluckycharm and Monomoy Girl won stakes during the Spring Meet, and Knicks Go was a stakes winner here during the Fall Meet.
Additional Eclipse finalists who won stakes at Keeneland in 2018 are A Raving Beauty (GER), Rushing Fall, Shamrock Rose and Sistercharlie (IRE).
Rushing Fall won the Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association during the Spring Meet and captured the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1) in the fall.
Sistercharlie, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1), won the Coolmore Jenny Wiley during the Spring Meet.
During the Fall Meet, A Raving Beauty won the First Lady (G1) and Shamrock Rose took the Lexus Raven Run (G2) before winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).
A Raving Beauty, Rushing Fall and Sistercharlie were trained by Chad Brown, a finalist for the Eclipse as outstanding trainer. During the Spring Meet, Brown also won the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) with Good Magic and the Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) with Analyze It.
Sistercharlie raced for Peter Brant, a finalist for the Eclipse as outstanding owner. Brant, along with other Eclipse Award finalists for outstanding owner and breeder, WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, Starlight Partners, Head of Plains Partners, John D. Gunther, Mike Abraham and Hronis Racing, are major players at Keeneland racing and sales.
Steve Asmussen, also an Eclipse finalist as outstanding trainer, won Keeneland’s Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) during the Fall Meet with Chanteline.
Jose Ortiz, a finalist as outstanding jockey, won 18 races during the Spring Meet and rode stakes winners Analyze It and Good Magic for Brown. During the Fall Meet, Ortiz won the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) on Current. Edgar Morales, a finalist as outstanding apprentice, won nine races during the Fall Meet.