California Chrome tops Eclipse Award finalists

- -

California Chrome, Arrogate and Songbird – virtual locks to take home titles in their respective divisions – are finalists for 2016 Horse of the Year honors.

Finalists for the 12 equine and five human categories for the Eclipse Awards were revealed Thursday. The winners will be announced during the 46th annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony Saturday, Jan. 21 at Gulfstream Park.

California Chrome, Horse of the Year in 2014 after a season that saw him win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Santa Anita Derby, is the favorite to win again in 2016.

The popular California-bred won the $10 million Dubai World Cup, Grade 1 TVG Pacific Classic and Grade 1 Awesome Again before a close second to Arrogate in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. California Chrome is also a finalist for champion older dirt male, with Frosted and Lord Nelson, and is a heavy favorite in that category.

Arrogate blitzed the field in a record-setting victory in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga, becoming the first horse in the history of America’s oldest track to break 2:00 for 1 1/4 miles in his 13 1/2-length victory in 1:59.36. He figures to be named champion 3-year-old male, where he is a finalist with Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and Preakness winner Exaggerator.

Songbird, a strong favorite to top Queen’s Trust and Cathryn Sophia in the 3-year-old filly division, won seven of eight starts in 2016. Four of the Medaglia d’Oro filly’s victories were Grade 1 stakes – the Santa Anita Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama and Cotillion – and her lone defeat came by a nose to likely champion older dirt female Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Here is a complete list of the Eclipse Award finalists, listed alphabetically:

Horse of the Year: Arrogate, California Chrome, Songbird.
Two-Year-Old Male: Classic Empire, Not This Time, Practical Joke.
Two-Year-Old Filly: Champagne Room, Lady Aurelia, New Money Honey.
Three-Year-Old Male: Arrogate, Exaggerator, Nyquist.
Three-Year-Old Filly: Cathryn Sophia, Queen’s Trust (GB), Songbird
Older Dirt Male: California Chrome, Frosted, Lord Nelson.
Older Dirt Female: Beholder, Cavorting, Stellar Wind.
Male Sprinter: A.P. Indian, Drefong, Lord Nelson.
Female Sprinter: Finest City, Haveyougoneaway, Paulassilverlining.
Male Turf Horse: Flintshire (GB), Highland Reel (Ire), Tourist.
Female Turf Horse: Lady Eli, Miss Temple City, Tepin.
Steeplechase Horse: Rawnaq (Ire), Scorpiancer (Ire), Top Striker.
Owner: Juddmonte Farms, Inc., Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, Spendthrift Farm LLC.
Breeder: Clearsky Farms, Darley, WinStar Farm, LLC.
Trainer: Bob Baffert, Chad Brown, Mark Casse.
Jockey: Javier Castellano, Jose Ortiz, Mike Smith.
Apprentice Jockey: Kevin Gomez, Lane Luzzi, Luis Ocasio