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Derby, Breeders’ Cup champ Authentic named 2020 Horse of the Year

Authentic leads his Bob Baffert stablemate Improbable over the wire at Keeneland to win the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

Bob Baffert’s 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Authentic was named the 2020 Horse of the Year in a virtual ceremony for the 50th Eclipse Awards on Jan. 28.

He also took home the Champion 3-Year-Old Male crown. Authentic was retired to stud at Spendthrift Farm in November of 2020. When he raced, he was trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, ridden by John Velazquez and owned by a partnership between Spendthrift, Madaket Stables, Starlight Racing and MyRacehorse Stable, a website that lets racing fans purchase microshares of racehorses.



Swiss Skydiver, who overtook Authentic to become the sixth filly to win the Preakness Stakes, won Champion 3-Year-Old Filly.

Whitney and Awesome Again winner Improbable picked up the award for Older Dirt Male, beating out Vekoma and the infamous Maximum Security. Improbable was most recently second to his Baffert stablemate Authentic in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Breeders’ Cup Distaff champ Monomoy Girl won in the Older Dirt Female category. The 6-year-old mare is unbeaten in her four starts since returning from an 18-month layoff. Her trainer Brad Cox won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer.

Essential Quality, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in his third start ever, was named Champion 2-Year-Old Male. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Vequist was the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly.

Old man Whitmore won the Male Sprinter division after finally claiming the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in his fourth try. Baffert’s youngster Gamine was Champion Female Sprinter.

Bill Mott’s Channel Maker was Champion Male Turf Horse, and Chad Brown’s Rushing Fall won the female division.

Irad Ortiz Jr. threepeated in the Outstanding Jockey category, and Alexander Crispin took home Outstanding Apprentice Jockey.

WinStar Farm was named Outstanding Breeder, and Godolphin won Outstanding Owner.

2020 Eclipse Awards Finalists (winner in bold):

Horse of the Year: Authentic, Improbable, Monomoy Girl

2-Year-Old Male: Essential Quality, Fire At Will, Jackie’s Warrior

2-Year-Old Filly: Aunt Pearl, Dayoutoftheoffice, Vequist

3-Year-Old Male: Authentic, Nadal, Tiz the Law

3-Year-Old Filly: Gamine, Shedaresthedevil, Swiss Skydiver

Older Dirt Male: Improbable, Maximum Security, Vekoma

Older Dirt Female: Midnight Bisou, Monomoy Girl, Serengeti Empress

Male Sprinter: Vekoma, Volatile, Whitmore

Female Sprinter: Gamine, Glass Slippers, Serengeti Empress

Male Turf Horse: Channel Maker, Order of Australia, Zulu Alpha

Female Turf Horse: Audarya, Rushing Fall, Tarnawa

Steeplechase Horse: Moscato, Rashaan, Snap Decision

Owner: Godolphin, Klaravich Stables, partnership of Spendthrift Farm, MyRacehorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing

Breeder: Calumet Farm, Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, WinStar Farm

Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Bob Baffert, Brad Cox

Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr., Joel Rosario, John Velazquez

Apprentice Jockey: Luis Cardenas, Yarmarie Correa, Alexander Crispin

The Eclipse Awards are named for Eclipse, a legendary 18th-century British racehorse who went 18-for-18 in his two-year career. His pedigree married two of the three Thoroughbred foundation stallions—the Godolphin Arabian and the Darley Arabian—and Eclipse can be found deep in the pedigrees of many of today’s racehorses.