Talismanic performer Justify spearheads a record number of Eclipse Award nominations for the China Horse Club as the American Thoroughbred Industry looks to recognize its brightest stars. In all, the club has been nominated in five categories, including Owner of the Year, while trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith, the regular partners of Justify and Abel Tasman, have also been recognized.

Justify001-1Justify(photo by Kaz)

The undefeated U.S. Triple Crown winner has been singled out in both the Horse of the Year and Three-Year-Old Male categories after redefining standards of excellence during his classic racing season. His rise from obscurity to international superstar in less than three months has been well documented and the nominations of him, Baffert and Smith are testament to the significance of his exceptional achievements.

abel tasman the ogden phipps credit dave alcosser-1Abel Tasman(photo by Dave Alcosser)

Champion mare Abel Tasman, who was the 2017 Eclipse Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year, has also been nominated in the Older Dirt Female Category. While Abel Tasman was unable to consistently replicate her imperious three-year-old form she was unbeatable when ‘on song’ with her display in the G1 Ogden Phipps Stakes, the first of two G1s for the season, unforgettable.

18-1102-Improbable_003_evers-abImprobable(photo by Alex Evers)

With the retirement of Justify and Abel Tasman, rising star Improbable is shaping as a leading light for China Horse Club’s US operations, alongside established older stars Yoshida and Audible. The undefeated G1 winning juvenile is among three nominees for the Two-Year-Old Male category.

“Last season was wonderfully rewarding for all involved at the China Horse Club and we know it was for our partners as well. The recognition of this success through the Eclipse Award nominations, including as Owner of the Year, is especially pleasing,” said Eden Harrington, Vice President of the China Horse Club.

“The list of nominees in each category is a “who’s who” of stars and we are very honoured to be included alongside such luminaries.”

The winners of the 17 Eclipse Award categories will be announced on January 24th at a ceremony to be held at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Florida.

Nominations are compiled after voting from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.

Categories China Horse Club is Nominated For:

  • Horse of the Year:            Justify
  • Two-Year-Old Male:        Improbable
  • Three-Year-Old Male:     Justify
  • Older Dirt Female:          Abel Tasman
  • Owner:                               China Horse Club


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