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California Chrome tops Eclipse Awards as horse of the year

California Chrome tops Eclipse Awards as horse of the year
California Chrome reacts as he gets a bath at Churchill Downs in May 7. (Garry Jones / Associated Press)

California Chrome was honored as the Eclipse Awards’ horse of the year Saturday night at Hallandale Beach, Fla.

The winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness last year picked up two Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park on Saturday night, including horse of the year — the biggest prize, one that would have figured to be unthinkable for the offspring of an $8,000 mare and $2,500 stallion.

California Chrome also won the Eclipse for 3-year-old males, getting more than three times the first-place nods that went to Breeders' Cup Classic champion Bayern.

“This has been an incredible journey,” said Steve Coburn, California Chrome's co-owner.

California Chrome's bid to become the sport's first Triple Crown winner since 1978 was foiled in the Belmont Stakes when he finished tied for fourth, but his year was still an unmistakable success with just over $4 million in earnings and six wins in nine starts.

Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Bayern also was up for the award, as was Main Sequence — who went four for four in 2014, all on turf.

Todd Pletcher

won the Eclipse training award for the seventh time, extending his record.

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Javier Castellano
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won the Eclipse jockey award for the second consecutive year.

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