Led by Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar, Kentucky-breds won top honors in 10 of the 11 equine racing categories at the Jan. 23 Eclipse Awards held at Gulfstream Park.
Bricks and Mortar, who was a perfect six-for-six in 2019, topped his brilliant year with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), one of his five Grade 1 victories during the campaign. In addition to his Horse of the Year honors, the son of Giant’s Causeway also won the Eclipse for Turf Male. The dark bay, now 6, was bred by George Strawbridge, Jr. and is out of Beyond the Waves, who has produced a total of three stakes winners.
Covfefe, a daughter of 2019 leading sire Into Mischief bred by Alexander-Groves Thoroughbreds, also picked up two awards: the Champion Female Sprinter and 3-year-old Filly. The bay speedster won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), as well as the Test S. (G1) and Miss Preakness S. (G3) among her five victories in six starts last season. A $250,000 auction purchase, Covfefe has earned $1,110,025 for LNJ Foxwoods.
In the 2-year-old division Storm the Court and British Idiom won male and female honors, respectively. Storm the Court earned his way to the top with a stunning win the in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), which pushed his earnings to $1,172,951. The bay colt was bred by Stepping Stone Farm and has proved a bargain from his $60,000 purchase. British Idiom won all three of her starts last year, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Alcibiades S. (G1). She sold for $40,000 as a yearling and has won $1,381,250 to date. She was bred by Hargus & Sandra Sexton and Silver Fern Farm.
Star-crossed Maximum Security, a son of New Year’s Day, was the winner in the 3-year-old Male division. The supremely talented colt won the Florida Derby (G1) and Haskell S. (G1), then went on to defeat older horses in both the Bold Ruler H. (G3) and Cigar Mile (G1). He is owned by his breeders Gary and Mary West and has won seven of nine starts and earned $1,801,900.
The Male Sprinter division went to Mitole, who was also a Horse of the Year finalist. The son of Eskendereya was nearly unbeatable in 2019, winning six of seven starts, four of them Grade 1 races, capped by his Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) victory. Mitole was bred by the late Ed Cox, Jr. and raced for Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt. He is taking up stud duties this year at Spendthrift Farm.
In the older dirt horses division, the awards went to Vino Rosso (male) and Midnight Bisou (female). Vino Rosso, who also is standing at Spendthrift, won the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) very impressively, by 4 1/4-lengths. He also took the Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita Park and crossed the wire first in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). Vino Rosso, by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, was bred by John Gunther and is owned by Mike Repole and St. Elias Stable.
Midnight Bisou had another excellent year in 2019, winning seven of eight starts and finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). Bred by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Midnight Bisou collected seven graded stakes wins last year and has earned $3,750,000 in her career for Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing. Midnight Bisou is currently in training for her 2020 campaign.