Horses

Lookin At Lucky earns another Eclipse Award

The milestone is one to be marveled at, even if it was buried under the tempestuous anticipation of whether it would be Blame or Zenyatta's name called out for Thoroughbred racing's ultimate year-end honor.

But not since 1979 had a male horse followed up a championship 2-year-old campaign with an equally accomplished sophomore season.

Not until, that is, Lookin At Lucky quietly made his own mark in the history books this past season.

They may have taken a backseat to the coveted Horse of the Year declaration, but the 16 other equine and human Eclipse Awards handed out on Monday in Miami Beach lacked for nothing in the prestige department.

For the Bob Baffert-trained Lookin At Lucky, his already accomplished career grew in esteem when he became the first male 2-year-old champion since the legendary Spectacular Bid 32 years ago to repeat as the 3-year-old champion.

Campaigned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the recently retired Lookin At Lucky was an overwhelming pick for top sophomore, garnering 224 of a possible 238 first-place votes.

The bay son of Smart Strike won four of seven starts last year including his triumph in the Preakness Stakes and four-length romp in the Grade I Haskell Invitational.

"The Haskell ... that's when he separated himself from the rest of the 3-year-olds," Baffert told the Herald-Leader in December.

Just as Lookin At Lucky was a clear pick for champion 3-year-old male, Kentucky Oaks winner Blind Luck was equally a slam duck for champion 3-year-old filly.

The daughter of Pollard's Vision captured five of nine starts in 2010, including three Grade I triumphs, and garnered all but one first-place vote en route to become the first champion trained by the venerable Jerry Hollendorfer.

As expected, there was little drama among the other equine divisional victors. Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo ran off with 2-year-old male honors, becoming the ninth champion conditioned by Todd Pletcher, who picked up his fifth Eclipse Award for leading trainer.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine Awesome Feather was named champion 2-year-old filly while Dubai Majesty and Big Drama were named champion female and male sprinter, respectively.

Three-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner Goldikova repeated as champion turf female while Gio Ponti also took home his second consecutive Eclipse Award for champion turf male.

One of the deepest categories was the race for leading jockey with Ramon Dominguez besting past Eclipse Award winners Garrett Gomez and John Velazquez for his first year-end honor.

WinStar Farm, which captured two-thirds of the Triple Crown with Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and Belmont Stakes victor Drosselmeyer, won its first Eclipse Award for outstanding owner. Frank Stronach's Adena Springs picked up its sixth Eclipse Award for top breeder with Omar Moreno being named outstanding apprentice jockey and Slip Away top steeplechase horse.

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