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Turn Around, Bright Eyes (2008)

The Eclipse Awards presented (in the words of Radiohead) no surprises; Curlin was duly crowned Horse of the Year and Three-Year-Old Colt – ESPN notes that only last year, he had yet to make his first start. Chief owner Jess Jackson continued to send out positive signals about Curlin’s continued career on the track, but of course there are still those pesky legal issues to work out before he can move forward toward a trip to Dubai.

The public got to vote on ‘Moment of the Year’ this time out, with Rags to Riches‘ triumph in the Belmont as the very deserving winner. It’s even more impressive in hindsight when you consider Curlin’s place in the firmament now.

Perhaps my only quibble with the results is Lawyer Ron’s Champion Older Male title; not to take anything away from Lawyer Ron, but English Channel continuously faced and beat world-class competition — while the Male Turf Horse category is clearly his, it says a lot about the relative status of turf racing in the US that he is relegated to a secondary title.

The Guardian’s sportblog had a rather interesting take on the Eclipse Awards, not only noting racing’s much higher profile in the UK but also pointing out that the award for best trainer was:

…reckoned to be a match between Todd Pletcher and Steve Asmussen, both of whom, somewhat inconveniently, were serving suspensions for breaches of the anti-doping rules when the racing year opened back in January 2007.

Oh, that. Moving swiftly onward…

They also suggest that racing’s revenue potential is ‘equivalent to that of the NBA‘ and yet it remains ‘the sport that dare not speak its name.’

While it’s lovely to hand out awards (provided you have writers, of course), if racing is really making as much cash as the NBA, someone really ought to be marketing that information…

1 comment to Turn Around, Bright Eyes (2008)

  • Teresa

    Couldn’t agree with you more about English Channel; his 2007 accomplishments outshine those of both Lawyer Ron and Invasor, without denigrating the performances of either of those two worthy candidates.

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