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Tuesday, January 18, 2000

Charismatic, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness was names Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards, held Monday evening in Beverly Hills, California.

Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis, and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, the three year old colt was retired after a third place finish in the Belmont Stakes, where the colt was pulled up after the wire, suffering from a fractured cannon bone.

Charismatic won four of ten starts during his three year old campaign, and may be best remembered for competing in a $62,500 claiming race early in his career.

The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century race horse and sire Eclipse, who began racing as a 5-year-old and was undefeated in 18 career starts, including eight walkovers. He sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.

The awards are sponsored jointly by the Thoroughbred Racing Association, the National Turf Writers Association and the Daily Racing Form.

Representatives include 34 racing secretaries, 172 turf writers and 58 Daily Racing Form employees, for a total of 264 voters.

The other two finalists for Horse of the Year were honored in their respective categories. Artax was names top sprinter, and Daylami was named turf champion.

Jorge Chavez earned top jockey honors over Jerry Bailey. Chavez was on board for two Breeders' Cup victories, Beautiful Pleasure in the Distaff, and Artax in the Sprint.

Laffit Pincay was honored with a special Eclipse Award. The 52 year old jockey became the all time winningest jockey when he surpassed Bill Shoemaker on December 10 with his 8,834 winning ride.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Anees captured the Eclipse Award for top two year old colt or gelding. Chilluki edge out Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly winner Cash Run in the voting for two year old filly honors.

Silverbulletday was a unanimous winner for three year old filly honors, going undefeated in her three year old campaign against her own sex. The Bob Baffert trained filly won the Eclipse last year as top two year old filly.

Beautiful Pleasure, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff, was a runaway winner for champion older filly or mare.

Victory Gallop edged Behrens for top older colt or gelding despite being retired to stud because of injury following a thrilling stretch run with Behrens in the Whitney Handicap. Behrens could have wrapped up top honors and possibly Horse of the Year, but disappointed in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Bob Baffert was named top trainer in a close vote over D. Wayne Lukas. Baffert won 20 Grade I races during 1999 and led trainers in money earned. He trained two champions in 1999, Silverbulletday and Chilluki, but failed to win either a Breeders' Cup Race or a Triple Crown race.

Soaring Softly, who captured the inaugural Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and won 7 of 8 starts during 1999, was named top female turf runner.

Lonesome Glory ran just twice last year, but won both starts and, at age 11, won his record-setting fifth Eclipse Award as champion steeplechaser, surpassing the record of four he shared with another legendary steeplechaser, Flatterer.

Frank Stronach won the Outstanding Owner title. Ariel Smith was voted Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. William S. Farish and Partners were honored as the Outstanding Breeders.