The presenters of the Eclipse Awards announced probable divisional champions Bricks And Mortar, Maximum Security and Mitole as finalists last weekend for 2019 Horse of the Year honors.
The trio was among the finalists for the 17 equine and human categories that will be announced at the 49th annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony Thursday, Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park. The Eclipse Awards are determined by a vote from the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Daily Racing Form and National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Bricks And Mortar finished the season unbeaten in six starts, including four straight Grade 1s to end the year in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Arlington Million, Manhattan and Old Forester Turf Classic. He’s also a finalist for champion turf male honors along with Mo Forza and World Of Trouble.
Maximum Security, disqualified from his victory in the Kentucky Derby, is also among the three finalists for champion 3-year-old male with Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Code Of Honor and recent Malibu Stakes and Arkansas Derby winner Omaha Beach. Maximum Security won three Grade 1 stakes in 2019 – the Florida Derby and Haskell Invitational against 3-year-olds and the Cigar Mile over older foes.
Mitole, a finalist for champion male sprinter and champion older dirt male, won six of seven starts to earn his spot among North America’s best. He won four Grade 1s – the Churchill Downs and Met Mile in the spring, Forego in the summer and Breeders’ Cup Sprint in the fall.
Of the 254 eligible voters representing the NTRA, NTWAB and Daily Racing Form, 241 (94.88 percent) took part in voting for 2019. Finalists were determined in each category by voters’ top three selections, using a 10-5-1 point basis. Eclipse Award winners are determined solely by first-place votes.
The 2019 Eclipse Award finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
Horse of the Year: Bricks And Mortar, Maximum Security, Mitole.
2-year-old male: Maxfield, Storm The Court, Structor.
2-year-old filly: Bast, British Idiom, Sharing.
3-year-old male: Code Of Honor, Maximum Security, Omaha Beach.
3-year-old filly: Covfefe, Guarana, Serengeti Empress.
Older dirt male: McKinzie, Mitole, Vino Rosso.
Older dirt female: Blue Prize (Arg), Elate, Midnight Bisou.
Male sprinter: Imperial Hint, Mitole, World Of Trouble.
Female sprinter: Belvoir Bay (GB), Come Dancing, Covfefe.
Male turf horse: Bricks And Mortar, Mo Forza, World Of Trouble.
Female turf horse: Got Stormy, Sistercharlie (Ire), Uni (GB).
Steeplechase horse: Brain Power (Ire), Scorpiancer (Ire), Winston C (Ire).
Owner: Gary Barber, Peter Brant, Klaravich Stables Inc. and William H. Lawrence.
Breeder: Calumet Farm, Godolphin, George Strawbridge Jr.
Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Chad Brown, Brad Cox.
Jockey: Javier Castellano, Irad Ortiz Jr., Jose Ortiz.
Apprentice jockey: Julio Correa, Angel Diaz, Kazushi Kimura.