Kentucky Derby winner Authentic wins Horse of the Year honor

Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Authentic was honored as Horse of the Year at the 50th annual Eclipse Awards on Thursday night.

The ceremony was held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Authentic received 224 out of 238 first-place votes. Monomoy Girl received seven votes. Swiss Skydiver, the filly who beat Authentic by a neck in the Preakness, finished third with six votes. Vekoma received one vote.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Authentic also won 3-year-old male honors. The colt won five of seven starts last year, including a 1 1/4-length victory in the Kentucky Derby over odds-on favorite Tiz the Law.

Another Baffert-trained colt, Improbable, won the Eclipse for older dirt male. A third Baffert trainee, 3-year-old Gamine, was honored as female sprinter of the year.

Baffert was nominated for trainer of the year, but lost to Brad Cox. Other human winners were: Irad Ortiz Jr. as jockey of the year; Alexander Crispin as apprentice jockey; Godolphin as owner of the year; WinStar Farm as the year’s top breeder.

Essential Quality was honored as 2-year-old male, while Vequist won as 2-year-old filly. Swiss Skydiver took 3-year-old filly honors, while Monomoy Girl was named older dirt female.

Whitmore received an Eclipse for male sprinter. Channel Maker was named male turf horse, while Rushing Fall took female turf horse honors. Moscato was honored as steeplechase horse of the year.

The awards are voted on by the Daily Racing Form, members of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

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