Two Horse of the Year candidates are September Sale graduates
Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduates Bricks and Mortar and Mitole are finalists for the title of Thoroughbred racing’s 2019 Horse of the Year and lead the 12 alumni of Keeneland sales who are candidates for Eclipse Awards as North American champions announced Saturday by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. Meanwhile, additional finalists won stakes at Keeneland during the year.
Equine champions and outstanding horsemen of 2019 will be announced Thursday, Jan. 23, at the 49th annual Eclipse Awards dinner at Gulfstream Park.
Bricks and Mortar and Mitole both captured Breeders’ Cup races in their final starts of 2019.
Bricks and Mortar won the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) to remain undefeated in six starts while earning $6,723,650 last year. He also took the Arlington Million (G1), Manhattan (G1), Old Forester Turf Classic (G1), Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) and Muniz Memorial (G2). Bricks and Mortar also is a finalist as champion male turf horse.
Mitole captured the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) following victories in the Forego Presented by Encore Boston Harbor (G1), Churchill Downs Presented by Twinspires.com (G1), Runhappy Metropolitan (G1) and Count Fleet Sprint (G3). Mitole also is a finalist as champion older dirt male and champion male sprinter.
Additional alumni of Keeneland sales who are Eclipse finalists and their 2019 graded stakes wins are:
Two-Year-Old Male: Structor, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America (G1) and Pilgrim (G3).
Two-Year-Old Female: Bast, who won the Chandelier (G1), Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Starlet (G1).
Three-Year-Old Male: Code of Honor, who won the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), Runhappy Travers (G1), Xpressbet Fountain of Youth (G2) and Dwyer (G3); and Omaha Beach, who won the Arkansas Derby (G1), Malibu (G1), Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) and Rebel (G2).
Three-Year-Old Female: Covfefe, who won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), Test (G1) and Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3); and Serengeti Empress, who won the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Rachel Alexandra (G2).
Older Dirt Male: Joining Mitole are McKinzie, who won the Whitney (G1) and Alysheba Presented by Sentient Jet (G2), and Vino Rosso, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1).
Older Dirt Female: Midnight Bisou, who won the Apple Blossom (G1), Ogden Phipps (G1), Personal Ensign Presented by Lia Infiniti (G1), Azeri (G2), Beldame (G2), Houston Ladies Classic (G3) and Molly Pitcher (G3).
Male Sprinter: Mitole.
Female Sprinter: Covfefe.
Male Turf: Bricks and Mortar.
Female Turf: Got Stormy, winner of the Fourstardave (G1) and Matriarch (G1).
Several finalists for Eclipse Awards as North American champions competed at Keeneland in 2019. During the Fall Meet: Blue Prize (ARG) (older dirt female) took the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) over Elate (older dirt female) before winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1); British Idiom (2-year-old filly) won the Darley Alcibiades (G1) and next captured the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1); Maxfield (2-year-old male) won the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and Uni (GB) (female turf horse) set a course record in the First Lady Presented by UK HealthCare (G1).
During the Spring Meet, Covfefe won an allowance race; Guarana (three-year-old filly) won her career debut by 14¾ lengths and Got Stormy (female turf horse) was third in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1).
Finalists for the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer – Steve Asmussen, Chad Brown and Brad Cox – all are successful trainers at Keeneland. Brown conditioned Uni and Guarana to their Keeneland wins, and Cox trains British Idiom and Covfefe.
Finalists as outstanding jockey – Javier Castellano, Irad Ortiz Jr. and Jose Ortiz – all won Keeneland stakes in 2019. Castellano rode British Idiom to her Darley Alcibiades win, and Jose Ortiz was aboard Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity winner Maxfield.
Gary Barber, Peter Brant and the partnership of Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence are finalists as outstanding owner. They and the finalists as outstanding breeder – Calumet Farm, Godolphin and George Strawbridge Jr. – all participate in Keeneland racing and sales. Godolphin bred and owns Maxfield.