The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) today announced the finalists for the 2023 Eclipse Awards, recognizing excellence through the past year in Thoroughbred racing. Winners in 17 horse and human categories will be announced on FanDuel TV, and other outlets, during the 53rd annual Eclipse Awards, presented by FanDuel TV, John Deere, Keeneland, and The Jockey Club, on Thursday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The evening will culminate with the announcement of the 2023 Horse of the Year.

WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT won an Eclipse Award for Feature Television Programming with its short feature, “SECRETARIAT The Last Race,”  a retrospective of the last race of the 1973 Triple Crown winner’s career in the Canadian International on the turf at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The feature, produced by Tammy Gillanders, aired on Oct. 8, 2023, on TSN (The Sports Network) during the 2023 running of the Canadian International.

Woodbine’s leading apprentice,  SOPHIA VIVES, has made the final three for the Eclipse Award Apprentice Rider of the year. Vives, who is American but rode throughout 2023 at Woodbine, won 122 races in 2023. Her competition for the Eclipse includes Axel Concepcion, who won 199 races and Jamie Torres who had 99 winners.

Of the 250 eligible voters represented by the NTRA, consisting of member racetrack racing officials and Equibase field personnel, the NTWAB, and Daily Racing Form, 219 (88%) took part in the voting. Finalists were determined in each category by voters’ top three selections, using a 10-5-1 point basis. Eclipse Award winners are determined solely by first-place votes.

The 2023 Eclipse Awards Finalists, except Horse of the Year, (in alphabetical order) are:

Two-Year-Old Male:


Two-Year-Old Filly:

Hard to Justify
Just FYI

Three-Year-Old Male:

Auguste Rodin (IRE)

Three-Year-Old Filly:

Mawj (IRE)
Pretty Mischievous

Older Dirt Male:

Cody’s Wish
Elite Power
White Abarrio

Older Dirt Female:

Goodnight Olive

Male Sprinter:

Cody’s Wish
Elite Power

Female Sprinter:

Echo Zulu
Goodnight Olive
Maple Leaf Mel

Male Turf Horse:

Auguste Rodin (IRE)
Master of the Seas (IRE)
Up to the Mark

Female Turf Horse:

In Italian (GB)
Inspiral (GB)
Mawj (IRE)

Steeplechase Horse:

Merry Maker (IRE)
Snap Decision


Godolphin, LLC
Klaravich Stables, Inc.


Calumet Farm
Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC


Chad Brown
Brad Cox
William I. Mott


Tyler Gaffalione
Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Flavien Prat

Apprentice Jockey:

Axel Concepcion
Jaime A. Torres
Sofia Vives

Paul Calia will receive the Eclipse Award as the 2023 Horseplayer of the Year.

Eclipse Awards voting is conducted by the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), and Daily Racing Form. The Eclipse Awards ceremony is produced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire, Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.

Writing – Feature/Commentary – Tim Layden, – “Maple Leaf Mel and the long arc of a horse racing tragedy,” Nov. 1, 2023

Writing- News/Enterprise – Sean Clancy, The Saratoga Special – “The Worst Test,” Aug. 6, 2023

Live Television Programming – NBC Sports – “The Breeders’ Cup World Championships,” Nov. 3-4, 2023; Lindsay Schanzer, Senior Producer

Feature Television Programming – Woodbine Entertainment: “SECRETARIAT The Last Race,” – Oct. 8, 2023. Airing on TSN (The Sports Network) in Canada. Tammy Gillanders, Producer

Multimedia – TDN Writers’ Room Podcast – “Wade and Carson Yost,” September 20, 2023; Susan Finley, Publisher, Thoroughbred Daily News

Photography – Carolyn Simancik – “Trading Horse Paint,” (Cody’s Wish/National Treasure battle in Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile) The Press Box, Nov. 4, 2023