Kentucky Derby hopeful Curlin nibbles at the hand of hot walker Juan Gonzales as he gets a bath outside Barn 38 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Monday, April 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - Breeders' Cup Classic winner Curlin
swept Horse of the Year and 3-year-old male honors at the 37th
annual Eclipse Awards on Monday night.
Curlin 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
Curlin dominated Street Sense and Derby runner-up Hard Spun in
voting for male 3-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.
An attorney 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
A foreclosure could have 20 percent 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 $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
Rags to Riches won 3-year-old filly honors 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
Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Champagne Stakes winner War Pass was
voted 2-year-old male and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner
Indian Blessing won 2-year-old filly.
Woodward and Whitney winner Lawyer Ron won older male, while
older female honors went to Breeders' Cup Distaff champion Ginger
Sprinter honors went to Midnight Lute in the male category and
Maryfield in the female category; both were Breeders' Cup winners.
English Channel was voted male turf horse and the female award
went to British-bred Lahudood. Good Night Shirt was named
Shadwell Stable won owner of the year and Adena Springs won the
honor for breeder.
Winners were announced at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)