LEXINGTON, KY (Jan. 28, 2021) – Keeneland congratulates the horses and people who were honored tonight at the 50th annual Eclipse Awards Ceremony, a virtual event presented by Spendthrift Farm that honored the equine champions and outstanding horsemen in North American Thoroughbred racing in 2020. Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old male Authentic and additional division champions Vequist, Swiss Skydiver, Improbable, Monomoy Girl, Gamine and Channel Maker all are graduates of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Eclipse Awards winners were selected by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.
Racing for Spendthrift Farm, MyRacehorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing, Authentic won the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland in the final race of his career. The colt also captured the Kentucky Derby (G1) Presented by Woodford Reserve, TVG.com Haskell Invitational (G1), San Felipe (G2) and Sham (G3). He was trained by Bob Baffert, who also conditioned 2020 champions Gamine and Improbable.
Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds bred Authentic and consigned the son of Into Mischief to the 2018 September Sale with Bridie Harrison, agent. SF Bloodstock/Starlight West purchased Authentic for $350,000. (Click here for a video of Authentic at the September Sale.)
Additional graduates of Keeneland sales who are 2020 champions are:
Vequist (two-year-old filly): Swilcan Stables bred the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Spinaway (G1) and raced her with Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable. Trained by Robert E. “Butch” Reid Jr., Vequist was offered by Brookdale Sales, agent, at the 2019 September Sale.
Swiss Skydiver (three-year-old filly): Kenny McPeek, agent, paid $35,000 for Swiss Skydiver at the 2018 September Sale and trained her to win the Preakness (G1), Alabama (G1), Santa Anita Oaks (G2), Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and Fantasy (G3) for owner Peter J. Callahan. (Click here for a video of Swiss Skydiver at the September Sale.) Select Sales, agent, consigned the daughter of Daredevil, who was bred by WinStar Farm. WinStar earned the Eclipse Award as outstanding breeder.
Improbable (older dirt male): Baffert also trains the son of City Zip, who won the Awesome Again (G1), Whitney (G1) and Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) and finished second to Authentic in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Bred by St. George Farm and G. Watts Humphrey Jr., Improbable is a graduate of two Keeneland sales. Lane’s End, agent, consigned him to the 2016 November Breeding Stock Sale, where he sold to Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, for $110,000. Taylor Made consigned Improbable to the 2017 September Sale, where Maverick Racing and China Horse Club purchased him for $200,000. (Click here for a video of Improbable at the September Sale.) Improbable raced for WinStar Farm, CHC Inc. and SF Racing.
Monomoy Girl (older dirt female): For owners Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables, the daughter of Tapizar earned the second Eclipse Award of her career. The champion three-year-old filly of 2018, Monomoy Girl in 2020 won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) during an undefeated season that included a win in the La Troienne (G1) Presented by Oak Grove Racing and Gaming and Ruffian (G2). Bred by FPF and Highfield Ranch, Monomoy Girl was consigned by Gainesway, agent, to the 2016 September Sale and sold for $100,000 to BSW Bloodstock/Liz Crow, agent. (Click here for a video of Monomoy Girl at the September Sale.) She is trained by Brad Cox, who received the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer.
Gamine (female sprinter): For Michael Lund Peterson and trainer Baffert, Gamine won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), Test (G1) and Acorn (G1). Grace Thoroughbred Holdings bred the daughter of Into Mischief, who Summerfield, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised, consigned to the 2018 September Sale. Gamine sold to Grand Oaks for $220,000. (Click here for a video of Gamine selling at the September Sale.)
Channel Maker (male turf): Tall Oaks Farm bred Channel Maker, who won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) and Sword Dancer (G1). Warrendale Sales, agent, offered the son of English Channel at the 2015 September Sale. Bill Mott trained Channel Maker for Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R.A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing.
These additional 2020 Eclipse winners competed in stakes during the year at Keeneland, which hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships:
Essential Quality (two-year-old male), who captured the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) during the Fall Meet before taking the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Essential Quality, another Brad Cox trainee, is a homebred racing for Godolphin, who received the Eclipse Award as outstanding owner.
Rushing Fall (female turf), who took the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) during the Summer Meet.
Whitmore (male sprinter), who won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) after making his fourth start in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) during the Fall Meet.
The Eclipse Award winner as outstanding jockey is Irad Ortiz Jr., who won four races at Keeneland in 2020. Ortiz rode Whitmore in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, piloted Golden Pal to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) and won the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G2) on Rocketry.