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Havre de Grace Named 2011 Horse Of The Year

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Havre de Grace, winner of the the Azeri, Apple Blossom, Obeah, Woodward and Beldame during a fantastic 2011 racing season, became the third consecutive filly to be named Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards. Rachel Alexandra was named Horse of the Year in 2009, followed by Zenyatta in 2010. Havre de Grace was also named Champion Older Filly at this year's Eclipse Awards.

Havre de Grace, a daughter of Saint Liam out of a Carson City mare (Easter Bunnette), is owned by Fox Hill Farms and trained by Larry Jones.

Below are all the winners of the 2011 Eclipse Awards, as voted on by the Daily Racing Form, NTRA and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association.

Horse of the Year: Havre de Grace
Older Male: Acclamation
Older Female: Havre de Grace
3YO Male: Animal Kingdom
3YO Female: Royal Delta
Male Turf: Cape Blanco (IRE)
Female Turf: Stacelita (FR)
Male Sprinter: Amazombie
Female Sprinter: Musical Romance
2YO Male: Hansen
2YO Female: My Miss Aurelia
Steeplechase: Black Jack Blues
Trainer: Bill Mott
Breeder: Adena Springs
Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey
Jockey: Ramon Dominguez
Apprentice Jockey: Kyle Frey

Award of Merit: Cot Campbell
Special Eclipse Award: Rapid Redux

Photography: Bob Mayberger, Sports Illustrated Snapshot
Writing - Feature: Claire Novak,
Writing - News: Jennie Reese, Louisville Courier-Journal
Television - Live Racing: ESPN, The Breeders' Cup Classic
Television - Feature: HRTV, Inside Information/Randy Romero
Audio and Multi-Media Internet: Thoroughbred Times

Some thoughts on tonight's winners below the jump.

  • Animal Kingdom edged out Caleb's Posse by three votes (114 to 111) to win Champion Three-Year-Old of 2011, carrying on a tradition that rewards horses that win a Triple Crown race. I noted a couple of months ago that 2011 looked like it would be only the eighth time in 51 years that a horse that didn't win a Triple Crown race would be named the top three-year-old in the country (Caleb's Posse). After all, Caleb's Posse won the Breeders' Cup Mile, the King's Bishop, the Amsterdam, and the Ohio Derby. That, to me, is enough to overcome Animal Kingdom's Derby and Spiral Stakes. Apparently, it wasn't enough for the voters.
  • I thought that the juvenile male category would be fairly close but Hansen ran away from Union Rags, winning by a final score of 194 to 52. Secret Circle garnered one vote.
  • My Miss Aurelia win in the juvenile fillies category was almost unanimous. Almost. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner received 247 votes. Stephanie's Kitten received one.
  • Another category that I thought would be closer was the Eclipse Award for Female Sprinter battle between Musical Romance, Hilda's Passion and Sassy Image. In the end, the voting wasn't that close; Musical Romance bested Hilda's Passion by a 131 to 52 count. Sassy Image pulled in 46 votes.

Top three voting, via the Daily Racing Form:

Award First # Second # Third #
Horse of the Year Havre de Grace 166 Acclamation 26 Game On Dude 10
2YO Male Hansen 194 Union Rags 52 Secret Circle 1
2YO Female My Miss Aurelia 247 Stephanie's Kitten 1
3YO Male Animal Kingdom 114 Caleb's Posse 111 Shackleford 12
3YO Female Royal Delta 243 Awesome Feather 2 Plum Pretty 2
Older Male Acclamation 95 Game On Dude 70 Tizway 52
Older Female Havre de Grace 245 Blind Luck 2 Awesome Maria 1
Male Turf Cape Blanco (IRE) 172 Acclamation 55 St Nicholas Abbey (IRE) 16
Female Turf Stacelita (FR) 158 Perfect Shirl 28 Never Retreat 25
Male Sprinter Amazombie 201 Caleb's Posse 42 Regally Ready 2
Female Sprinter Musical Romance 131 Hilda's Passion 53 Sassy Image 46
Steeplechase Black Jack Blues (IRE) 137 Tax Ruling 80 Decoy Daddy (IRE) 1
Trainer Bill Mott 83 Bob Baffert 60 Todd Pletcher 57
Owner Ken & Sarah Ramsey 66 Midwest Tbreds 60 Team Vaor 25
Breeder Adena Springs 151 Ken & Sarah Ramsey 62 Ocala Stud 5
Jockey Ramon Dominguez 197 John Velazquez 30 Javier Castellano 14
Apprentice Kyle Frey 77 Ryan Curatolo 57 Rossario Montanez 19