The son of A.P. Indy was never worse than second as a 4-year-old and earned $2,208,686 during his 2003 campaign. He was victorious in four Grade I events during the year, all on the East Coast.
Mineshaft won his last three starts, culminating in a 4 1/4-length victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in September. He was retired to prepare for stud duty before the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Mineshaft received 209 first-place votes from members of the National Turf Writers Association, The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Daily Racing Form. Runner-up was Congaree, with 11, followed by champion 2-year-old filly Halfbridled, with 9. Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Funny Cide received only 4 votes for Horse of the Year but easily won the Eclipse Award as champion of the 3-year-old male division.
Mineshaft also won the Eclipse Award as the year's top older male horse.
Other divisional winners:
-- 2-year old male, Action This Day
-- 3-year-old female, Bird Town
-- Older female, Azeri
-- Sprinter, Aldebaran
-- Male turf horse, High Chaparral
-- Female turf horse, Islington
-- Steeplechase horse, McDynamo
-- Outstanding owner, Juddmonte Farms
-- Outstanding breeder, Juddmonte Farms
-- Outstanding trainer, Robert Frankel
-- Outstanding jockey, Jerry Bailey
-- Outstanding apprentice jockey, Eddie Castro
Richard L. Duchossois, chairman of Arlington Park Racecourse outside Chicago, was given the Eclipse Award of Merit, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organizations. Duchossois has a long history of contributions to Thoroughbred racing as a track owner, horse owner and benefactor.