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Fisher sits in catbird’s seat with two Eclipse finalists

Posted: January 8, 2018 2:48 p.m.
Updated: January 9, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

TRAINER JACK FISHER has two of the three finalists for the Eclipse Award for Steeplechase Horse in Mr. Hot Stuff and Scorpiancer.

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All the Way Jose, Mr. Hot Stuff and Scorpiancer are the finalists for the 2017 Eclipse Award for Steeplechase Horse as announced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) for recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing.

The Chronicle-Independent/The Camden Horse & Equestrian Magazine has a vote in the process by being a member of the NTWAB.

Arrogate, Gun Runner and World Approval are the finalists for Horse of the Year. 

Winners in 17 horse and human categories will be announced at the 47th annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony, presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group, on Thursday evening, January 25, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Buttonwood Farm’s All the Way Jose trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Jonathan Sheppard, scored a pair of wins with a second and two thirds from seven starts over fences in 2017. The biggest win of the season for the then-7-year-old Senior Swinger gelding came in the $150,000 Lonesome Glory Stakes at Belmont Park in September. All the Way Jose, which earned $179,300 last year, finished third in the $400,000 Grand National in Far Hills, N.J., in October.

Jack Fisher, the 2017 National Steeplechase Association leader in training wins and earnings, saddled both Mr. Hot Stuff and Scorpiancer.

Owned by Mrs. S.K. Johnston Jr., Mr. Hot Stuff won the $400,000 Grand National for its lone win in five starts in 2017. The $240,000 payday, however, was enough to give the then-11-year-old Tiznow gelding the NSA’s Lonesome Glory Champions Award for season earnings with $251,000 earned last year.

Scorpiancer, an 8-year-old Scorpion (Ire) gelding owned by Bruton Street-US, won both its 2017 starts before sustaining a season-ending injury. Scorpiancer won the $75,000 Temple Gwathmey Stakes in April and then romped to a 16-length win in the $200,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Stakes in Nashville in May, beating Mr. Hot Stuff on both occasions.

The 2017 Eclipse Awards finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Horse of the Year: Arrogate, Gun Runner, World Approval

Two-Year-Old Male: Bolt d’Oro, Good Magic, Solomini

Two-Year-Old Filly: Caledonia Road, Moonshine Memories, Rushing Fall

Three-Year-Old Male: Always Dreaming, Battle of Midway, West Coast

Three-Year-Old Filly: Abel Tasman, Elate, Unique Bella

Older Dirt Male:  Arrogate, Collected, Gun Runner

Older Dirt Female: Forever Unbridled, Songbird, Stellar Wind 

Male Sprinter: Imperial Hint, Mind Your Biscuits, Roy H 

Female Sprinter: Bar of Gold, Paulassilverlining, Unique Bella

Male Turf Horse: Beach Patrol, Talismanic (GB), World Approval 

Female Turf Horse: Lady Eli, Off Limits (IRE), Wuheida (GB)

Steeplechase Horse: All the Way Jose, Mr. Hot Stuff, Scorpiancer (IRE)

Owner: Godolphin Racing LLC, Juddmonte Farms, Winchell Thoroughbreds & Three Chimneys Farm 

Breeder: Besilu Stables LLC, Clearsky Farms, WinStar Farm, LLC

Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Bob Baffert, Chad Brown

Jockey: Javier Castellano, Jose Ortiz, Mike Smith

Apprentice Jockey: Katie Clawson, Hector Rafael Diaz Jr., Evin A. Roman

In addition to honoring the 17 winners in the horse and human categories, Frank Stronach, Thoroughbred owner, breeder and racetrack owner, will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of achievement in the Thoroughbred industry. Ray Arsenault will receive an Eclipse Award as the 2017 Horseplayer of the Year. Members of the media will be honored for outstanding coverage in six categories.

The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies. The Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements in North America have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Those awards are voted by NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB). 

Eclipse Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.


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