The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), National Turf Writers Association (NTWA) and Daily Racing Form (DRF) have announced the finalists for the 2009 Eclipse Awards, voted on and presented by the three organizations in recognition of excellence in Thoroughbred racing. The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.
Winners in all categories will be announced at the 39th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony, to be held Monday evening, January 18, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. In a departure from previous years, the finalists for Horse of the Year were also announced.
The three-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra, winner of all eight of her starts in 2009, including the Preakness Stakes; and the five-year old mare Zenyatta, who won all five of her races last year and culminated her undefeated career by becoming the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic, are the two candidates for Horse of the Year. Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta were the only two horses to receive votes in the Horse of the Year category.
The Eclipse Media Awards for writing, photography, television, etc. have already been announced. You can view the winners here.
Below are the finalists in alphabetical order with a link to a profile or bio for each of them where available. You can view lifetime past performances for all the horses here from Daily Racing Form.