Thursday, February 21, 2008

37th annual Eclipse Awards

Breeders' Cup Classic winner Curlin swept Horse of the Year and three-year-old male honours at the 37th annual Eclipse Awards on Monday night.
Curlin, sired by Canadian-bred Smart Strike, overwhelmed the competition in Horse of the Year voting, receiving 249 first-place votes to 12 for Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches. Last year's winner, Invasor, earned two votes.
Corinthian, English Channel and Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense received one each in balloting by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers Association.
Curlin dominated Street Sense and Derby runner-up Hard Spun in voting for male three-year-old. Curlin received 262 votes to Street Sense's three and one for Hard Spun.
Curlin's other victories last year were in the Preakness, Arkansas Derby and the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Curlin's immediate future could include foreclosure.
A lawyer for 418 people, plaintiffs in a lawsuit against two of Curlin's minority owners, wants a judge to order foreclosure on the horse, the stable that officially owns him and its parent company.
A foreclosure could have 20-per-cent ownership in the horse up for bid with the Boone County, Ky., sheriff, with any money made from the public sale going to settle a US$42-million judgment.
The plaintiffs effectively have held a lien against Curlin since November, when a state judge granted them rights to Tandy LLC, the parent company of the stable with an ownership stake in the horse.
The award was made to settle the judgment, which stemmed from a lawsuit accusing Curlin's co-owners, William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., of defrauding clients in a $200 million settlement over the diet drug fen-phen.
A hearing on the foreclosure request was set for Tuesday in Frankfort, Ky.
Rags to Riches won three-year-old filly honours after upsetting the boys in the Belmont.
Todd Pletcher earned his fourth consecutive Eclipse as trainer of the year with 139 votes, easily outdistancing runner-up Steve Asmussen, who trained Curlin and received 65 votes.
Garrett Gomez, who led the nation in earnings last year, was named jockey of the year and teenager Joe Talamo was chosen apprentice jockey.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Champagne Stakes winner War Pass was voted two-year-old male and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Indian Blessing won two-year-old filly.
The Big G

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