Horse of the Year Justify among seven champions sold at September Sale
Keeneland congratulates the 2018 champions of North American Thoroughbred racing announced last night at the 48th Eclipse Awards Dinner at Gulfstream Park. Horse of the Year Justify, the undefeated Triple Crown winner, leads the seven champions who are graduates of Keeneland sales and is joined by Accelerate, Game Winner, Jaywalk, Monomoy Girl, Roy H and Unique Bella.
Each of these champions is a graduate of Keeneland’s prestigious September Yearling Sale.
Eclipse Awards winners were selected by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. Seventeen finalists came from Keeneland sales.
The Keeneland sales graduates who are 2018 champions are:
Accelerate (champion older dirt male): Mike Abraham bred the son of Lookin At Lucky, who sold to L. E. B. for $380,000 at the 2014 September Sale from the consignment of Bluewater Sales, agent. Accelerate closed his 2018 campaign for owner Hronis Racing with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) following wins in the Awesome Again (G1), $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic (G1), Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) and Santa Anita Handicap (G1). He was a finalist for Horse of the Year. (Click here for a video of Accelerate at the 2014 September Sale.)
Hronis Racing earned the 2018 Eclipse Award as outstanding owner.
Game Winner (champion two-year-old male): Ben Glass, agent, purchased the Candy Ride (ARG) colt for $110,000 from consignor Lane’s End, agent, at the 2017 September Sale. Undefeated for owners Gary and Mary West, Game Winner took the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), American Pharoah (G1) and Del Mar Futurity (G1). He was bred by Summer Wind Equine. (Click here for a video of Game Winner at the 2017 September Sale.)
Jaywalk (champion two-year-old filly): Gainesway Thoroughbreds bred the Cross Traffic filly, consigned by Gainesway to the 2017 September Sale and purchased by John Servis, agent, for $190,000. Servis trains Jaywalk, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Frizette (G1), for owners D. J. Stable and Cash is King. (Click here for a video of Jaywalk at the 2017 September Sale.)
Justify (Horse of the Year, champion three-year-old male): John D. Gunther bred Justify, sold by his and daughter Tanya’s Glennwood Farm, agent, for $500,000 to China Horse Club/Maverick Racing at the 2016 September Sale. Racing for China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm, the Scat Daddy colt took the Santa Anita Derby (G1) before winning the Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness (G1) and Belmont (G1) to become racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner. (Click here for a video of Justify at the 2016 September Sale.)
John Gunther received the Eclipse Award as outstanding breeder.
Monomoy Girl (champion three-year-old filly): BSW Bloodstock/Liz Crow, agent, paid $100,000 for Monomoy Girl at the 2016 September Sale from consignor Gainesway, agent. Racing for Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables, the Tapizar filly won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) to end a season during which she also won the Central Bank Ashland (G1) at Keeneland, Kentucky Oaks (G1), Acorn (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Rachel Alexandra (G2). Bred by FPF and Highfield Ranch, she was a finalist for Horse of the Year. (Click here for a video of Monomoy Girl at the 2016 September Sale.)
Roy H (champion male sprinter): The division’s champion for the second consecutive year, the More Than Ready gelding is a graduate of two Keeneland sales. Claiborne Farm, agent, consigned Roy H to the 2013 September Sale, where Ciaran Dunne purchased him for $115,000. Dunne’s Wavertree Stables consigned Roy H to the 2014 April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, where he sold to Rockingham Ranch for $310,000. Bred by Ramona Bass and raced by Rockingham and David. A. Bernsen, Roy H won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) for the second consecutive year in 2018, along with the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) and Palos Verdes (G2). (Click here for a video of Roy H at the 2013 September Sale.)
Unique Bella (champion older dirt female): A champion for the second consecutive year, the daughter of Tapit won the Beholder Mile (G1), Clement L. Hirsch (G1) and Santa Maria (G2) in 2018. Bred by Brushwood Stable, she was consigned by Eaton Sales, agent, to the 2015 September Sale, where she sold to owner Don Alberto Corporation for $400,000. (Click here for a video of Unique Bella at the 2015 September Sale.)
Additional Eclipse Award-winning horses and people have ties to Keeneland.
Named outstanding trainer for the third consecutive year, Chad Brown won six Keeneland stakes in 2018. During the Spring Meet, he took the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) with Sistercharlie (IRE), Toyota Blue Grass (G2) with Good Magic, Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association with Rushing Fall and Kentucky Utilities Transylvania (G3) with Analyze It. His Fall Meet stakes wins were the First Lady (G1) with A Raving Beauty (GER) and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Presented by Lane’s End (G1) with Rushing Fall.
Brown was North America’s leading trainer of 2018 by earnings, with $27,546,057.
Sistercharlie received the 2018 Eclipse as champion female turf horse.
Another Eclipse recipient who raced at Keeneland was Shamrock Rose, the champion female sprinter. She won the Lexus Raven Run (G2) during the Fall Meet prior to capturing the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).
In keeping with its mission to serve the Thoroughbred industry, Keeneland is proud to be an official partner with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to provide sponsorship for last night’s Eclipse Awards. For the Keeneland Cocktail Party before the dinner and awards ceremony, Keeneland teamed with Maker’s Mark, a longtime supporter of Thoroughbred racing. Eclipse Award connections and guests enjoyed live music and signature cocktails, including the Maker’s Mark Keeneland Breeze served in wax-dipped souvenir glasses. Maker’s Mark also presented all Eclipse Award winners with a bottle of Maker’s 46 bourbon.