Wise Dan, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile last year, won 2012 Horse of the Year honors at the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards.
Wise Dan became the first horse since John Henry in 1981 to win the top award in addition to the titles of champion male turf horse and champion older male, at the ceremonies last night at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
The 5-year-old chestnut gelding, trained by Charlie Lopresti and owned by Morton Fink of Northbrook, Illinois, won five of six starts last year.
Wise Dan received 194 votes, followed by Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another (30 votes), and Fort Larned (12), winner of the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Ramon Dominquez, who was hospitalized with a skull fracture after being thrown from his mount two days ago at Aqueduct Racetrack, was named jockey of the year. Dominquez set a record for purse earnings by a rider in a single year on Nov.9. His mounts earned $25.6 million to surpass the $23.4 million mark set by Jerry Bailey in 2003.
Trainer Dale Romans, who had winners in the Woodford Reserve, Arlington Million and Breeders’ Cup Turf, bested Todd Pletcher and Bob Baffert in the voting for trainer of the year.
The Eclipse Awards are given to thoroughbred horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of champion in their respective divisions. Votes are cast by representatives of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers And Broadcasters.
Winners of Eclipse Awards Award Winner (Age) Two-Year-Old Male Shanghai Bobby Two-Year-Old Filly Beholder Three-Year-Old Male I’ll Have Another Three-Year-Old Filly Questing (GB) Older Male Wise Dan (5) Older Female Royal Delta (4) Male Sprinter Trinniberg (3) Female Sprinter Groupie Doll (4) Male Turf Horse Wise Dan (5) Female Turf Horse Zagora (FR) (5) Steeplechase Horse Pierrot Lunaire (8) Horse of the Year Wise Dan (5) Owner Godolphin Racing LLC Breeder Darley Jockey Ramon Dominguez Apprentice Jockey Jose Montano Trainer Dale Romans