LEXINGTON, KY (Jan. 19, 2014) –Keeneland-based Wise Dan swept honors as Horse of the Year, champion turf horse and champion older male for the second year in a row, and Keeneland sales graduates Beholder, Groupie Doll, Royal Delta, She’s a Tiger and Will Take Charge were each named division champions at the 43rd annual Eclipse Award ceremony last night at Gulfstream Park.
The 2013 Eclipse Award-winning horses with Keeneland connections were:
• Morton Fink’s homebred Wise Dan, based at Keeneland with trainer Charlie LoPresti, opened his 2013 campaign with a one-length victory in the Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) during the Keeneland spring meeting in April. The gelding also won the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1), Firecracker Handicap (G1), Fourstardave Handicap (G2) and Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) before returning to Keeneland in October and finishing second in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1). Wise Dan next won the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) for the second consecutive year. In 2013, he won six races in seven starts and earned $2,772,432. Wise Dan has earned $6,296,850 in his career.
• Spendthrift Farm LLC’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Beholder was named champion 3-year-old filly. Spendthrift purchased her for $180,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Beholder also was the champion 2-year-old filly.
• For the second consecutive year, Groupie Doll won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) and earned an Eclipse Award as champion female sprinter. Second in the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) in October for owners Fred Bradley, trainer William “Buff” Bradley, Carl Hurst and Brent Burns, Groupie Doll sold for $3.1 million to Mandy Pope at the 2013 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
• Royal Delta earned her third Eclipse Award when she was named champion older mare for her 5-year-old season in which she won the Delaware (G1) and Personal Ensign (G1) handicaps and Sabin Stakes (G2). A champion at 3, she was sold to Besilu Stables for $8.5 million at the 2011 November Sale. Royal Delta also was named champion older mare for her 2012 campaign.
• Champion 2-year-old filly She’s a Tiger was a $150,000 purchase at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Her wins included the Del Mar Debutante (G1) for her owners, the partnership of Mark Dedomenico, Allen Aldrich, Lisa Hernandez, Stuart Downey, Phil Lebherz and trainer Jeff Bonde.
• Owner Willis Horton purchased champion 3-year-old male Will Take Charge for $425,000 at the 2011 September Sale. Winner of the Travers (G1) and Clark Handicap (G1), Will Take Charge is a son of Take Charge Lady, who won four Keeneland stakes during her career and earned $2,480,277.
Additionally, several people who received Eclipse Awards had ties to Keeneland racing in 2013. They were:
• Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who own Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., received Eclipse Awards as outstanding owner and breeder. The Ramseys were record-setting leading owners during Keeneland’s spring and fall race meets. They won their third Eclipse Award as outstanding owner and first as outstanding breeder.
• Todd Pletcher won a record sixth Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer. In October, he sent out the Ramsey’s We Miss Artie to win the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
• Hall of Famer and all-time leading Keeneland trainer D. Wayne Lukas was honored with the Eclipse Award of Merit.
• Daily Racing Form writer and handicapper Marty McGee, who regularly covers Keeneland racing, won an Eclipse Award in the feature/commentary category.