The Race is On for Champion Older Male Eclipse Award

The Race is On for Champion Older Male Eclipse Award

Category : News - Wed 02/12/2015 - 09:46 EST

The battle for the Eclipse Award for Champion Older Male intensified on Thanksgiving weekend when both Tonalist and Effinex turned in stellar performances to put themselves in contention for the prestigious award. The Eclipse Awards will be announced in January.

Effinex, fresh off of a runner-up effort behind Triple Crown champion American Pharoah in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), launched himself into the Eclipse conversation with a victory in the Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs. Though he began his year running against optional claiming competition, he rapidly ascended the ranks and the four-year-old son of Mineshaft finished 2015 with three graded stakes wins – the Excelsior Stakes (G3), the Suburban Handicap (G2) and the Clark (G1).

Tonalist ended his season with a bang

Tonalist, the 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1), closed out his four-year-old campaign with an impressive victory in the Cigar Mile (G1). From seven starts, he finished on the board in six of them and earned three victories. In addition to the Cigar Mile (G1), he also notched the Westchester Stakes (G3) and his second consecutive win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). The big, bay son of Tapit has been sent to Florida where he will be freshened for a five-year-old season next year for trainer Christophe Clement.

Liam's Map and Honor Code both had impressive wins

The other two top contenders for the Eclipse Award, Liam’s Map and Honor Code, have already been retired to the breeding shed and both will begin their stallion careers at Lane’s End Farm. Liam’s Map won three of his four starts of the year, including a pair of Grade 1 races – the Woodward Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). The brilliant Honor Code won half of his six starts and earned three graded stakes victories. He finished his career with a third-place finish in the Classic (G1).

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