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Wise Dan repeats as U.S. Horse of the Year

Jan. 18, 2014 at 11:04 PM   |   Comments

HALLANDALE, Fla., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Wise Dan Saturday was named the U.S. Horse of the Year for the second year in a row.

The turf mile specialist also received the Eclipse Award as top older male horse and top male turf horse for the second straight year.

Wise Dan, a 7-year-old gelding by Wiseman's Ferry, capped his 2013 campaign with his second straight win in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita. Overall, he had six wins from seven starts during the year, all of them graded stakes. His only loss was a second-place finish behind Silver Max in the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland -- a race that was taken off the grass and run at 1 1/16 miles over a saturated all-weather surface.

Wise Dan was bred by his owner, Morton Fink, and trained by Charles LoPresti. John Velazquez was his regular rider but Jose Lezcano subbed in the irons in the Breeders' Cup after Velazquez was injured in a spill earlier on that day's card.

"It's truly amazing that I'm here again," Fink said at the awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park. "I thought last year was the height of my career and Wise Dan just keeps going and going."

Wise Dan in December was honored in Hong Kong as one of the Longines World's Best Racehorse winners for 2013, along with Australian star Black Caviar and French runner Treve. Japan's stellar Orfevre later was added to that mix.

Other Eclipse Award winners for the 2013 racing season:

Javier Castellano won his first Eclipse as the year's top jockey.

Victor Carrasco was named top apprentice jockey.

She's a Tiger was named top 2-year-old filly despite being disqualified from a win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Shared Belief, winner of three straight races late in the year, was named top 2-year-old male despite skipping the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Will Take Charge got the Eclipse as top 3-year-old male in a year when the Triple Crown races produced little of note. He will race this season and eventually stand at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.

Beholder, last year's 2-year-old filly Eclipse Award winner, took home the 3-year-old filly statue this time around.

Todd Pletcher, who saddled 48 graded stakes winners in 2013, received his sixth Eclipse Award as the year's top trainer.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey won Eclipse Awards as both top owner and top breeder -- largely on the strength of their faith in their stallion, Kitten's Joy, and his progeny.

Points Offthebench, who suffered a fatal training accident a week before the Breeders' Cup, was honored posthumously as the year's top male sprinter.

Groupie Doll won the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint for her second straight year and that was good enough for a second straight Eclipse Award in the division.

Royal Delta received the Eclipse Award as top older female. She won that award last year, too, and was the 3-year-old filly winner two years ago.

Dank, who came from England to win the Beverly D. at Arlington Park, then returned to win the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, also won the Eclipse Award as top turf female.

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