The Eclipse Awards

The Eclipse Awards are presented annually to recognize those horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories.

The Eclipse Awards are co-sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association. Prior to the start of the Eclipse Awards in 1971, the TRA and the Daily Racing Form separately honoured racing’s annual champions.

The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-Century racehorse and sire, Eclipse, who didn’t begin racing until age five. He was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, three of his get winning the Epsom Derby.

Click each category below to view this year’s winners and previous winners 1971 – present.

Click here to view American Racing Champions winners prior to 1971.

Click here to view Media Winners 1971 – 1998 (As a PDF File)

Voting Summary

(Click each category for previous winners)

In voting that concluded January 2, 2016, Eclipse Awards voters cast their ballots to rank the top three horses and individuals in each Championship division on a 10-5-1 point system basis. This voting established the top three finalists in each division, whose names were released on Jan. 6, 2016.

The votes are tabulated and certified by Strothman and Company.

The tallies below represent only first-place votes from members of the consolidated voting entities, NTRA, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers And Broadcasters.

Voter participation rate: 261/281= 92.88%

Horse of the Year

American Pharoah
Vote Count: American Pharoah, 261

Two-Year-Old Male

Nyquist, 255; Mohaymen, 3; Voter Abstentions, 3

Two-Year-Old Filly

Vote Count: Songbird, 260, Catch a Glimpse, 1

Three-Year-Old Male

American Pharoah
Vote count: American Pharoah, 261

Three-Year-Old Female

Stellar Wind
Vote count: Stellar Wind, 108; I’m a Chatterbox, 47; Found (IRE), 46; Lady Eli, 34; Lovely Maria, 12; Curalina, 11; Include Betty, 2; Voter Abstentions, 1

Older Dirt Male

Honor Code
Vote count: Honor Code, 126; Liam’s Map, 95; Tonalist, 14; Effinex, 12; Shared Belief, 9; California Chrome, 3. Voter Abstentions, 2

Older Dirt Female

Vote count: Beholder, 256; Stopchargingmaria, 4; Sheer Drama, 1

Male Sprinter

Vote count: Runhappy, 255; Private Zone, 2; Rock Fall, 2; Mongolian Saturday, 1; Secret Circle, 1

Female Sprinter

La Verdad
Vote Count: La Verdad, 98; Wavell Avenue, 90; Lady Shipman, 41; Cavorting, 19; Unbridled Forever, 5; Ageless, 1; Birdonthewire, 1; Fantastic Style, 1; Voter Abstentions, 5

Male Turf Horse

Big Blue Kitten
Vote count: Big Blue Kitten, 134; Golden Horn (GB), 63; The Pizza Man, 41; Flintshire, 18; Chiropractor, 1; Grand Arch, 1; Voter Abstentions, 3

Female Turf Horse

Vote Count: Tepin, 211; Found (IRE), 38; Stephanie’s Kitten, 8; Lady Eli, 2; Curvy (GB), 1; Voter Abstentions, 1.

Steeplechase Horse

Dawalan (FR)
Vote count: Dawalan (FR), 165; Bob Le Beau (IRE), 47; African Oil (FR), 2; Demonstrative, 2; Grinding Speed, 1; Voter Abstentions, 44

Outstanding Owner

Zayat Stables
Vote Count:  Zayat Stables, 220; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 26; Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc., 6; Reddam Racing, 2; Godolphin Racing, 1; Voter Abstentions, 6

Outstanding Breeder

Zayat Stables
Vote count: Zayat Stables, 190; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, 39; Darley, 13; WinStar Farm, 5; Adena Springs, 4; Spendthrift Farm, 1; Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, 1; Voter Abstentions, 8

Outstanding Trainer

Bob Baffert
Vote count: Bob Baffert, 200; Todd Pletcher, 44; Chad Brown, 12; Karl Broberg, 1; Jerry Hollendorfer, 1; Voter Abstentions, 3

Outstanding Jockey

Javier Castellano
Vote count: Javier Castellano, 184; Victor Espinoza, 70; Joe Bravo, 1; Pedro Monterrey, Jr., 1; Irad Ortiz, Jr., 1; Joel Rosario, 1; John Velazquez, 1; Voter Abstentions, 2

Outstanding Apprentice Jockey

Tyler Gaffalione
Vote count: Tyler Gaffalione, 149; Eric Cancel, 63; Angel Cruz, 9; Ashley Broussard, 6; David Lopez, 3; Jorge Robles, 1; Voter Abstentions, 30

Eclipse Award of Merit, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organizations and previously announced, was presented to Leonard Lavin. The Award of Merit is presented to honor outstanding lifetime achievement in the Thoroughbred industry.

Horseplayer of the Year – John O’Neil was honored as the 2015 Horseplayer of the Year as the winner of the Daily Racing Form /NTRA National Handicapping Championship.

Special Award – The winner of the Special Award, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organizations and previously announced, was not awarded.  The Special Award is presented to honor outstanding individual achievements in, or contributions to, the sport of Thoroughbred racing.

Media Eclipse Awards also are given in the categories of photography, audio/multi-media Internet, news/commentary, feature/enterprise writing, local television, national television–feature and national television–live racing programming to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. The 2014 Media Eclipse Awards winners, determined by a judges’ panel for each category and previously announced, are:

  • Photography:  Scott Serio, Cecil Guardian, “American Pharoah Trains at Keeneland for Breeders’ Cup,” November 4, 2015; and Michael Clevenger, Louisville Courier-Journal, “American Pharoah Wins the Belmont Stakes,” June 7, 2015
  • Writing – News/Enterprise:  Tim Sullivan, Louisville Courier-Journal; “Family, PETA at Odds Over Horseman’s Death”; September 6, 2015
  • Writing – Feature/Commentary:  Jennie Rees, Louisville Courier-Journal; “Dyslexia Doesn’t Slow Keen Ice Trainer Romans”; October 28, 2015
  • Television – Live Racing Programming:  NBC Sports, “2015 Belmont Stakes”; June 6, 2015
  • Television – Feature Programming: Digital Kitchen (Hennegan Brothers, directors) – AT&T U-verse, “Ironman Perry Ouzts”; August 15, 2015
  • Local Television:  Not awarded
  • Audio/Multi-Media Internet: Mary Simon, Daily Racing Form, “Regret at 100”; April 20, 2015