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Horse of Year Candidates Took Varied Paths

By Claire Novak

Three runners who delivered remarkably different campaigns in 2013 face off for Horse of the Year honors, highlighting the open-for-interpretation nature of the category.

Winners in the 17 horse and human categories will be announced at the 43rd annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony Jan. 18 at Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The ceremony will air live on HRTV.

Turf star Wise Dan, who was voted Horse of the Year, top Older Male, and outstanding Turf Male last season, is once again a finalist in all three divisions. He came through with four grade I victories including a record-setting 1:31.75 repeat in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (gr. IT) and a defense of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT).

In seven starts for trainer Charlie LoPresti, Morton Fink’s 6-year-old Wiseman's Ferry   gelding galloped to victory in six races at five different tracks; neither rain nor traffic trouble nor highweight assignments kept him from the goal over his beloved lawn. His only loss of the season was a second-place finish to frontrunning Silver Max in an off-the-turf edition of the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. I), a race over a Polytrack surface LoPresti likened to “running in the Florida Everglades” after a deluge at Keeneland.

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Wise Dan





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