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Demonstrative runs away with Eclipse Award
DEMONSTRATIVE LEFT HIS NSA competitors in its wake in winning its first Eclipse Award for trainer Richard Valentine, who conditioned his first winner of Thoroughbred racings highest honor. - photo by C-I photo by Lindsay Jennings

As solid as Demonstrative was over the race course in 2014, the winner of the National Steeplechase Association’s Lonesome Glory Award was even more dominant in the voting booth.

Owned by Jacqueline Ohrstrom and trained by Richard Valentine, Demonstrative was the runaway winner for steeplechase horse at Saturday evening at the 44th annual Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group.

The Eclipse Awards, held at Gulfstream Park, honor excellence in Thoroughbred racing and are voted on by representatives of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form (DRF) and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters (NTWAB).

Demonstrative won three consecutive Grade I chases in the summer and fall with Robbie Walsh in the saddle each time. The now-8-year-old Elusive Quality gelding won the $150,000 New York Turf Writers Cup, the $150,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap and the $250,000 Grand National in a span of eight weeks as it led the NSA with $362,500.

Demonstrative won half its six starts with one second and a third in 2014.

In the final voting for the Eclipse Award, Demonstrative piled up 206 of the 226 votes cast. There were 40 abstentions in the steeplechase horse category.

The horse which brought Demonstrative’s three-race win streak to an end with a win in last fall’s $100,000 Colonial Cup in Camden, 2013 Eclipse Award winner Divine Fortune, was second. Owned by William Pape and Jonathan Sheppard, who also trained the two-time Grade I winner in 2014, Divine Fortune tallied 12 votes. Decoy Daddy was third with five votes followed by Makari with two votes.

California Chrome, last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, won the 2014 Horse of the Year. Owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, and trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome finished first in the Horse of the Year balloting with 143 votes, followed by Flaxman Holdings’ Main Sequence, the Older Male and Male Turf champion, with 53 votes and Kaleem Shah’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern, with 36 votes.

Here is the complete list of 2014 Eclipse Award winners: (Horse 2014 ages in parentheses where applicable; Country codes indicate a foreign breeding designation)

Two-Year-Old Male: American Pharoah

Two-Year-Old Filly: Take Charge Brandi

Three-Year-Old Male: California Chrome

Three-Year-Old Filly: Untapable

Older Male: Main Sequence (5)

Older Female: Close Hatches (4)

Male Sprinter: Work All Week (5)

Female Sprinter: Judy the Beauty (5)

Male Turf Horse: Main Sequence (5)

Female Turf Horse: Dayatthespa (5)

Steeplechase Horse: Demonstrative (7)

Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Breeder: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Apprentice Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke

Horse of the Year: California Chrome (3)