Steeplechase Eclipse finalists named

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As expected, Demonstrative and Pierrot Lunaire headline the trio of finalists for the Eclipse Award as steeplechase champion of 2012. Each won two Grade 1 stakes on the year, the only horses to do so, and finished 1-2 in the earnings list.

They’re joined by 2012’s hardest-trying horse, Divine Fortune, who did not win a stakes all year but finished second in three Grade 1 stakes – and started in all six Grade 1 jump races on the year. The award will come down to Pierrot Lunaire or Demonstrative, and depend on the voters. Owned by Nashville-area resident Mary Ann Houghland, Pierrot Lunaire starred in the autumn with wins in the $150,000 Lonesome Glory at Belmont Park in September and the $250,000 Grand National at Far Hills in October. Demonstrative, who races for Virginian Jacqueline Ohrstrom, won twice at Saratoga including the Grade 1 New York Turf Writers Cup and claimed the season-ending Colonial Cup. 

The awards, along with all of Thoroughbred racing’s champions, will be announced and presented at the Eclipse Awards Dinner at Gulfstream Park in Florida Jan. 19. 

ST’s Joe Clancy wrote profiles on all three finalists for Daily Racing Form’s Eclipse guide. Access them here:


Divine Fortune.

Pierrot Lunaire.


Chalfin HRTV documentary set to be unveiled

Kristy Cecil and Jake Chalfin will host debut showings of their documentary film “Chasing” next week. The first showing on the evening of Friday, Jan. 18, will be at the Stroud Water Research Center at 970 Spencer Road in Avondale, Pa. The second debut will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Maryland Agricultural Center, 1114 Shawan Road in Cockeysville.

The 23-minute film, produced for horse racing cable channel HRTV’s “Inside Information” series, looks inside the world of American Steeplechasing through the eyes of an injured former jockey learning to cope with his new reality. The uplifting film features the beauty of steeplechasing and Thoroughbred racing as well as one person’s struggle to deal with a life-changing blow. An amateur jockey, Chalfin was injured in a fall at a point-to-point in 2010 and paralyzed from the chest down.

To reserve your place at either showing, contact Jake Chalfin