Today’s NTRA poll submission is a for the record exercise that will have a profound impact on divisional championships but the list of potential Eclipse winners is far from definitive.
Here’s one man’s opinion, include quick-hit reasons why:
1-BRICKS AND MORTAR is clearly the leading candidate for Horse of the Year and the most probable recipient of that honor.
2-MITOLE should has delivered a number of HOY type performances and his Metropolitan Mile win and certain Sprint titles earns him best in show credentials.
3-VINO ROSSO is the first of two asterisk horses on the list. Winner of G1s Santa Anita Gold Cup, *Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders’ Cup Classic makes him the best 1-1/4 miles horse in America.
4-MIDNIGHT BISOU wins Life Is Unfair award. Go 7-for-7 on five different surfaces, three G1s, run second in one G1, and suddenly no longer in serious HOY contention.
5-MAXIMUM SECURITY was among the missing on the big day but, on balance, put together the most accomplished 3-year-old campaign and is the only horse the man and woman in the street ever heard of.
6-COVFEFE, without a truly dominant long distance performer, the certain to be female sprint champion demonstrated consistent excellence over the course of the season.
7-SISTERCHARLIE, Life Is Unfair, Part 2. Dominate in top company all year long but finish second while the world was watching…?
8-BRITISH IDIOM is the clearly established protem juvenile filly champion
9-STORM THE COURT is the subtly protem male champion or, at least, clear clubhouse leader.
10-UNI is the most consistent turf miler in the country, owns uncommon turn of foot talent, and we ran out of other good ideas to complete the list.
(It was between her and KY Oaks winner Serengeti Empress, who always seemed to show up when the spotlight was on).