THERE will be considerable European interest in the 2022 Eclipse Awards with many European-raced horses in the final three lists in plenty of the categories.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters announced the finalists for the 2022 Awards last weekend. The winners in 17 horse and human categories will be revealed on Thursday, January 26th.
The 2022 Horse of the Year is a foregone conclusion with Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Flightline out on his own.
A European-based Godolphin-trained horse will win the Male Turf Horse award with Modern Games, Nations Pride, Rebel’s Romance the final three. The prize looks to be between the two Breeders’ Cup winners.
Modern Games also makes the final three in the Three-Year-Old Male category but this is one of the closer contests as it features the American Grade 1-winning dirt duo Epicenter and Taiba.
Aidan O’Brien’s two Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winners, Victoria Road and Meditate, make the final three in their categories but these gongs are likely to go to the Juvenile Dirt winners Forte and Wonder Wheel.
Hewick’s USA adventure when he won the American Grand National at Far Hills has been rewarded with nomination for best Steeplechase Horse. He may lose out though to previous winner Snap Decision who won the Grade 1 Jonathan Sheppard Hurdle at Saratoga by over 13 lengths, giving a stone and more to those directly behind him.
The female categories look sewn up with Nest taking the Three-Year-Old Filly and Malathaat the older Dirt Female Category. Breeders’ Cup winner Goodnight Olive should take the Female Sprinter.
The Male Sprinter award is also contentious with Breeders’ Cup winner Cody’s Wish needing to get the popular vote over strong contenders in Elite Power and Jackie’s Warrior
Godolphin is a finalist for both champion owner and breeder.
In addition to honouring the 17 winners in the horse categories, members of the media will be honoured for outstanding coverage in six categories with the Saratoga Special’s Tom Law, who contributes to The Irish Field regularly, gaining an award for his coverage of the 2022 Preakness Stakes in Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine. Law’s story about Early Voting’s win in the second leg of the Triple Crown was recognised in the News/Enterprise category.
Two-Year-Old Male: Cave Rock, Forte, Victoria Road
Two-Year-Old Filly: Leave No Trace, Meditate, Wonder Wheel
Three-Year-Old Male: Epicenter, Modern Games, Taiba
Three-Year-Old Filly: Nest, Secret Oath, Tuesday
Older Dirt Male: Flightline, Life Is Good, Olympiad
Older Dirt Female: Clairiere, Goodnight Olive, Malathaat
Male Sprinter: Cody’s Wish, Elite Power, Jackie’s Warrior
Female Sprinter: Caravel, Echo Zulu, Goodnight Olive
Male Turf Horse: Modern Games, Nations Pride, Rebel’s Romance
Female Turf Horse: In Italian, Regal Glory, War Like Goddess
Steeplechaser: Down Royal, Hewick, Snap Decision
Owner: Peter Brant, Godolphin, Klaravich Stables
Breeder: Godolphin, Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Summer Wind Equine
Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Chad Brown, Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr., Flavien Prat, Joel Rosario
Apprentice Jockey: Jeiron Barbosa, Vicente Del-Cid, Jose Antonio Gomez