It’s Post Time by Jon White: Who Are The Top Ten Horses During The Eclipse Awards Era?

The Eclipse Awards were created in 1971 to recognize outstanding achievements in North America by Thoroughbreds and individuals.

 

The three organizations responsible for determining Eclipse Award recipients are the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.

 

To help celebrate 50 years of the Eclipse Awards, the NTRA recently announced that voting is under way at www.NTRA.com in the NTRA Eclipse 50 contest, which asks fans to select their Top 10 Eclipse Award equine champions, along with one top trainer and one top jockey, from the past 50 years.

 

One of the contest participants will be chosen to win a trip for two to Lexington, Ky., and spend the day at the races at Keeneland Race Course, tour the Four Roses Bourbon Distillery and visit historic Spendthrift Farm. Spendthrift is home to Into Mischief, sire of Authentic, winner of this year’s Grade I Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic and widely considered the favorite to be voted 2020 Horse of the Year.

 

The Eclipse 50 ballot consists of 10 horses, one trainer and one jockey from each of the past five decades as selected by a panel of media, racing historians and others.

 

Fans may enter the Eclipse 50 contest one time per valid name, email address and phone number at https://www.ntra.com/fanvote/. Voting will conclude on Monday, Jan. 25.

 

The 2020 Eclipse Award recipients will be announced Jan. 28 on TVG, Racetrack Television Network and various streaming outlets. The winning Eclipse 50 contest entry also will be revealed, plus the Top 10 Eclipse Award champions, top trainer and top jockey from the past 50 years.

 

I had the honor of being one of the 42 Eclipse 50 panelists. As such, I was asked to select 10 Eclipse Award champions for each decade during the last 50 years, plus one jockey and one trainer for each decade.

 

From time to time in recent years for Xpressbet.com, I have listed my continually updated Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America. I relied on the work I already had done in constructing that Top 100 list when deciding which 10 horses to vote for in each of the past five decades for the Eclipse 50 contest.

 

These are the horses, trainers and jockeys listed on the Eclipse 50 contest ballot, decade by decade:

 

1971-1979

 

Horses:

Ack Ack

Affirmed

Forego

Riva Ridge

Ruffian

Seattle Slew

Secretariat

Shuvee

Spectacular Bid

Susan’s Girl

 

Trainer: Laz Barrera

Jockey: Laffit Pincay Jr.

 

1980-1989

 

Horses:

All Along

Alysheba

Easy Goer

Ferdinand

Genuine Risk

John Henry

Lady’s Secret

Personal Ensign

Spectacular Bid

Sunday Silence

 

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Jockey: Angel Cordero Jr.

 

1990-1999

 

Horses:

A.P. Indy

Cigar

Holy Bull

Inside Information

Paseana

Serena’s Song

Silverbulletday

Silver Charm

Skip Away

Unbridled

 

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Jerry Bailey

 

2000-2009

 

Horses:

Azeri

Curlin

Ghostzapper

Goldikova

Ouiji Board

Point Given

Rachel Alexandra

Smarty Jones

Tiznow

Zenyatta

 

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

 

2010-2019

 

Horses:

American Pharoah

Beholder

California Chrome

Goldikova

Gun Runner

Justify

Royal Delta

Songbird

Wise Dan

Zenyatta

 

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Javier Castellano

 

MY TOP 10 DURING THE ECLIPSE AWARDS ERA

 

If I were to fill out an Eclipse 50 ballot, my Top 10 would be the same horses in the same order as they are ranked on my current list of Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America:

 

  1. Secretariat
  2. Spectacular Bid
  3. Seattle Slew
  4. Affirmed
  5. Ruffian
  6. Forego
  7. American Pharoah
  8. John Henry
  9. Zenyatta
  10. Sunday Silence

 

My choice for trainer is Bob Baffert. Why? He has trained two Triple Crown winners during the Eclipse Awards era. Not only that, you will note that of the trainers in the Eclipse Award contest, Baffert is the only one who appears on the ballot twice -- for the decades 1990-1999 and 2010-2019 --which in itself is pretty darn remarkable.

 

My choice for jockey is Laffit Pincay Jr. Why? Because in my opinion, he is the greatest jockey of all time, edging Bill Shoemaker in a photo finish.

 

According to Keith Chamblin, the NTRA’s chief operating officer, in terms of the Top 10 equine champions, No. 1 definitely will be named on Jan. 28, while the entire Top 10 probably will be revealed from 10th to 1st.

 

I think Secretariat should be the No. 1 equine champion during the Eclipse Awards era. I will be surprised if he is not.

 

I have Zenyatta at No. 9, but my expectation is that she probably will rank much higher in the Eclipse 50 contest in terms of votes received from the general public due to her tremendous popularity.

 

Beyond my own Top 10 from the Eclipse Awards era, below is a list of my next 40 horses in the same order as they appear on my current list of Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America:

 

  1. Cigar
  2. Justify
  3. Alydar
  4. Easy Goer
  5. Alysheba
  6. Curlin
  7. Arrogate
  8. Shared Belief
  9. California Chrome
  10. Personal Ensign
  11. All Along
  12. Wise Dan
  13. Ack Ack
  14. Rachel Alexandra
  15. Dahlia
  16. Riva Ridge
  17. Shuvee
  18. Holy Bull
  19. Precisonist
  20. Ghostzapper
  21. Tiznow
  22. Skip Away
  23. Sham
  24. Point Given
  25. Inside Information
  26. Gun Runner
  27. Lady’s Secret
  28. Azeri
  29. Beholder
  30. Smarty Jones
  31. Genuine Risk
  32. Landaluce
  33. A.P. Indy
  34. Authentic
  35. Susan’s Girl
  36. Silver Charm
  37. Go for Wand
  38. Rags to Riches
  39. Slew o’ Gold
  40. Exceller

 

Below is a list of the pre-Eclipse Awards era horses in the same order as they appear on my current list of Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America:

 

  1. Man o’ War
  2. Citation
  3. Kelso
  4. Native Dancer
  5. Dr. Fager
  6. Count Fleet
  7. Swaps
  8. Phar Lap
  9. Buckpasser
  10. Damascus
  11. Round Table
  12. Seabiscuit
  13. War Admiral
  14. Tom Fool
  15. Colin
  16. Regret
  17. Exterminator
  18. Whirlaway
  19. Nashua
  20. Bold Ruler
  21. Equipoise
  22. Gallant Fox
  23. Sysonby
  24. Gallant Man
  25. Assault
  26. Armed
  27. Sir Barton
  28. Northern Dancer
  29. Omaha
  30. Discovery
  31. Majestic Prince
  32. Arts and Letters
  33. Pan Zareta
  34. Stymie
  35. Challedon
  36. Busher
  37. Gallorette
  38. Noor
  39. Coaltown
  40. Sword Dancer
  41. Grey Lag
  42. Devil Diver
  43. Zev
  44. Twilight Tear
  45. Native Diver
  46. Ta Wee
  47. Twenty Grand
  48. Alsab
  49. Cicada
  50. Bald Eagle

 

Below is my complete up-to-date list of Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th and 21st Centuries to have raced in North America (in parentheses, when applicable, is where the horse ranked on The Blood-Horse’s list of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century):

 

  1. Man o’ War (1)
  2. Secretariat* (2)
  3. Citation* (3)
  4. Kelso (4)
  5. Spectacular Bid (10)
  6. Native Dancer (7)
  7. Dr. Fager (6)
  8. Seattle Slew* (9)
  9. Count Fleet* (5)
  10. Affirmed* (12)
  11. Ruffian (35)
  12. Swaps (20)
  13. Phar Lap (22)
  14. Forego (8)
  15. American Pharoah*
  16. Buckpasser (14)
  17. Damascus (16)
  18. Round Table (17)
  19. Seabiscuit (25)
  20. War Admiral* (13)
  21. Tom Fool (11)
  22. Colin (15)
  23. John Henry (23)
  24. Zenyatta
  25. Regret (71)
  26. Exterminator (29)
  27. Whirlaway* (26)
  28. Sunday Silence (31)
  29. Cigar
  30. Justify*
  31. Nashua (24)
  32. Alydar (27)
  33. Easy Goer (34)
  34. Alysheba (42)
  35. Curlin
  36. Arrogate
  37. Shared Belief
  38. California Chrome
  39. Bold Ruler (19)
  40. Personal Ensign (48)
  41. All Along (68)
  42. Wise Dan
  43. Equipoise (21)
  44. Gallant Fox* (28)
  45. Sysonby (30)
  46. Gallant Man (36)
  47. Assault* (33)
  48. Armed (39)
  49. Sir Barton* (49)
  50. Northern Dancer (43)
  51. Omaha* (61)
  52. Ack Ack (44)
  53. Discovery (37)
  54. Majestic Prince (46)
  55. Arts and Letters (67)
  56. Pan Zareta
  57. Rachel Alexandra
  58. Stymie (41)
  59. Challedon (38)
  60. Busher (40)
  61. Gallorette (45)
  62. Noor (69)
  63. Coaltown (47)
  64. Sword Dancer (53)
  65. Grey Lag (54)
  66. Devil Diver (55)
  67. Dahlia (50)
  68. Zev (56)
  69. Twilight Tear (59)
  70. Riva Ridge (57)
  71. Native Diver (60)
  72. Ta Wee (80)
  73. Shuvee (70)
  74. Holy Bull (64)
  75. Precisionist
  76. Ghostzapper
  77. Twenty Grand (52)
  78. Tiznow
  79. Skip Away (32)
  80. Sham
  81. Alsab (65)
  82. Point Given
  83. Inside Information
  84. Gun Runner
  85. Lady’s Secret (76)
  86. Azeri
  87. Beholder
  88. Smarty Jones
  89. Genuine Risk (91)
  90. Landaluce
  91. A.P Indy
  92. Authentic
  93. Susan’s Girl (51)
  94. Silver Charm (63)
  95. Cicada (62)
  96. Go for Wand (72)
  97. Rags to Riches
  98. Slew o’ Gold (58)
  99. Bald Eagle (74)
  100. Exceller (96)

 

*Triple Crown winner

 

PANELISTS WHO DETERMINED NTRA CONTEST FINALISTS

 

In addition to yours truly, the panelists who determined the final horses, trainers and jockeys to appear on the Eclipse 50 contest ballot were Edward L. Bowen, Charlsie Cantey, Adam Coglianese, Irwin Cohen, Steven Crist, Dora Delgado, Tom Durkin, Bob Ehalt, Bill Finley, Tracy Gantz, Jim Gluckson, Amy Gregory, Tom Hammond, Evan Hammonds, Gregory Harbut, Steve Haskin, Charles Hayward, Jay Hovdey, Alicia Hughes, Dave Johnson, Jonathon Kinchen, Cate Masterson, Tom Law, Tim Layden, Amy Owens, Ray Paulick, Tom Pedulla, Mike Penna, Jay Privman, William “Billy” Reed, Jennie Rees, Ramiro Restrepo, Tom Robbins, Peter Rotondo, Andy Sterling, Ellis Star, Todd Schrupp, Mary Simon, Lynne Snierson, Denise Steffanus and Sonny Taylor.

 

 

It’s Post Time by Jon White: Who Are The Top Ten Horses During The Eclipse Awards Era?

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