Woodbine’s Kazushi Kimura Up for Eclipse Award Thursday Night

Third leading jockey at Woodbine among finalists for Eclipse for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey at Eclipse Awards Thursday night.

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By: Jennifer Morrison |

The 49th annual Runhappy Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group Thursday. Jan. 23. Hosted by Acacia Courtney, Britney Eurton, and Gabby Gaudet and highlighted by the announcement of the 2019 Runhappy Horse of the Year, the Eclipse Awards ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. in the Sport of Kings Theatre at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Live streaming on GulfstreamPark. com, drf.com and xbtv.com.

From guiding his first winner at Woodbine, a 70 to 1 longshot named Tornado Cat, Kazushi Kimura from Japan burst onto the Canadian racing scene. The Sovereign Award winning apprentice of 2018 is sure to grab that same award for 2019 at the April Sovereign ceremony, and could add an Eclipse Award tonight at Gulfstream Park. The other Canadian jocks to win an Eclipse are Mickey Walls, Neil Poznansky, Emma-Jayne Wilson and Omar Moreno.

Kazushi Kimura led all North American-based apprentice jockeys in earnings in 2019 with $3.7 in purses and won 117 races before he lost his apprentice allowance Oct. 26.

Kimura is a 20-year-old who attended riding school in his native Japan and came to Woodbine to get jobs with trainers such as Hall of Famer Reade Baker. He has earned a reputation of, among other things, being the master of the inner turf course, which opened this last season and he has 18% wins on turf from the year. He even rode for Her Majesty The Queen, guiding Magnetic Charm to a second-place Grade 2 Canadian in September at Woodbine.

Kimura also had a few instances where he showed incredible acrobatic ability, nearly falling off horses but then regaining his seat. Like this race, the last on the last day of racing – watch number 1 at the start and then at the finish!