Arrogate, Songbird shoe-ins for Eclipse Awards
With the big one out of the way, i.e. Horse of the Year, now comes my nominees and picks for the 2016 sophomore division.
Three-Year-Old Male – Arrogate, Nyquist, Exaggerator
This is a bit tougher. Not in terms of who to give the award to, but who else deserves to be nominated.
After his dominating Travers Stakes (G1) win and close victory over California Chrome in the Classic, ARROGATE is the only logical choice.
Nyquist and Exaggerator both deserve a nomination for their wins in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1), respectively. Nyquist also romped in the Florida Derby (G1) and Exaggerator enhanced his mudder reputation with wins in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Haskell Invitational (G1).
Unfortunately for them, Arrogate came along in the latter part of the season and proved himself the undisputed top sophomore male of 2016.
Three-Year-Old Filly – Songbird, Cathryn Sophia, Carina Mia
Poor Cathryn Sophia and Carina Mia had to be born in the same year as a juggernaut named SONGBIRD. The duo each had what would have ordinarily been a championship season while establishing a nice rivalry. The former captured the Kentucky Oaks (G1) while the latter proved victorious in the Acorn Stakes (G1).
However, they each would have had more wins if not for Songbird, and their rivalry was completely overshadowed by that filly’s brilliance.
Cathryn Sophia only faced Songbird once and ended up third in the Cotillion Stakes (G1). Carina Mia suffered a pair of tries against the star filly and actually finished second both times in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Cotillion.
If not for Songbird, I think Carina Mia would have gotten my vote for finishing in front of Cathryn Sophia two out of the three times they faced off.
Arrogate photo courtesy of Benoit Photos