Mon | Aug 21, 2017

'Chrome', Arrogate, Songbird up for Eclipse Awards

Published:Friday | January 6, 2017 | 1:00 AM
In this August 27, 2016, file photo, jockey Mike Smith celebrates aboard Arrogate after winning the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Florida (AP):

California Chrome and Arrogate will meet once more on the track. Before that, an off-track race will be settled.

California Chrome and Arrogate were among the finalists announced yesterday for Horse of the Year, the top prize that will be awarded at the Eclipse Awards.

Those trophies will be presented on January 21 - one week before California Chrome races for the final time, facing Arrogate again in the inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.

California Chrome won seven of his eight starts last year. The lone loss was to Arrogate in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"He's obviously going to be missed," Alan Sherman, the son of California Chrome trainer Art Sherman, said this week. "You can't replace a horse like him. He's a once-in-a-lifetime horse. We're proud of everything he's done, but all good things come to an end, I guess. We're just going to enjoy it and have fun. I think he's going to put on a really good show at Gulfstream."

Songbird is the other finalist for Horse of the Year.

Javier Castellano is aiming for his fourth straight Eclipse as best jockey, with Jose Ortiz and Mike Smith the other finalists. Smith is a two-time winner, the last of those trophies coming in 1994.

Bob Baffert is one of three finalists for the trainer Eclipse, last year's winner joined there by Chad Brown and Mark Casse. If Baffert wins, he would be the third five-time winner of the Eclipse in that division, joining only Bobby Frankel and seven-time winner Todd Pletcher.