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The time has come to honor the best that thoroughbred racing had to offer in 2012, as the Eclipse Awards are just around the corner. Writers and broadcasters from horse racing’s most notable media outlets vote on the most outstanding horses and people from the past year to decide which champions will be decorated as the pinnacle of their class and position.

Horses of the Year candidates are I’ll Have Another, Fort Larned, and Wise Dan. Wise Dan enjoyed a tremendous 2012, winning five of six starts and finishing second in the other. All of his victories were in graded stakes races, including the Woodbine Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Ian Wilke’s Fort Larned took to the track nine times, hitting the finish line first five times with a big win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The pick for Horse of the Year is the third finalist in this category, I’ll Have Another. I’ll Have Another won all of his four starts in 2012, with three of those being grade I races, including the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. An injury cut him down the day before a potentially historic Triple Crown run in the Belmont Stakes.

Shanghai Bobby is likely to win the Eclipse for the two-year-old male division, as he closed out his 2012 season with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup and went undefeated for the year. The three-year-old filly category is another one to keep an eye on as Questing, My Miss Aurelia, and Believe You Can all enjoyed solid campaigns. We are looking forward to seeing which of the finalists take home the hardware on January 19th, when the Eclipse Awards will take place at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

Horse of the Year: Wise Dan, Fort Larned, I’ll Have Another

Two-Year-Old Male: Shanghai Bobby, Violence, Uncaptured

Two-Year-Old Filly: Beholder, Dreaming of Julia, Executiveprivilege

Three-Year-Old Male: Union Rags, I’ll Have Another, Bodemeister

Three-Year-Old Filly: Believe You Can, My Miss Aurelia, Questing

Older Male: Little Mike, Wise Dan, Fort Larned

Older Female: Groupie Doll, Include Me Out, Royal Delta

Male Sprinter: Shackleford, The Lumber Guy, Trinniberg

Female Sprinter: Contested, Groupie Doll, Mizdirection

Male Turf Horse: Little Mike, Point of Entry, Wise Dan

Female Turf Horse: Zagora, Marketing Mix, Tapitsfly

Steeplechase Horse: Demonstrative, Divine Fortune, Pierrot Lunaire

Trainer: Bob Baffert, Todd Pletcher, Dale Romans

Owner: Godolphin Racing, Midwest Thoroughbreds, Reddam Racing

Breeder: Adena Springs,  Brereton C. Jones, Darly

Jockey: Javier Castellano, Ramon Dominguez, John Velazquez

Apprentice Jockey: Jose Montano, Irad Ortiz, Angel Suarez

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