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Baffert 3YO duo takes home Eclipse Awards
Thursday, January 25, 2018
The Bob Baffert-trained pair of West Coast and Abel Tasman won 3-year-old Male and Female Eclipse Awards, respectively, at the annual Eclipse ceremony Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park.

Though West Coast didn't participate in the Triple Crown races last year, he had a stellar second half of 2017, winning the Travers S. (G1), Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and Los Alamitos Derby (G3), as well as the Easy Goer S. at Belmont Park, before finishing third to eventual Horse of the Year Gun Runner in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).

West Coast, owned by Gary and Mary West, finished the year 6-2-1 in nine starts, and earned $2,083,800. He is in training with Baffert at Santa Anita, preparing for his 4-year-old campaign, which begins in Saturday's $16 million Pegasus Inv. (G1) at Gulfstream, where he'll face Gun Runner once again. A good performance there could send the son of Flatter to the UAE for the Dubai World Cup (G1) in late March.

“We knew when we bought West Coast he probably would not be a Triple Crown horse because of his late (May 14) foaling date. Had we rushed him to make those races, we would have ruined him, and he’d never have been nominated for an Eclipse Award,” West said.

Abel Tasman, co-owned by China Horse Club and breeder Clearsky Farm, earned the filly honors after never finishing second in seven starts, all in graded stakes, six of them Grade 1. The bay filly won the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Acorn (G1) and Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), and was second to champion older female Forever Unbridled in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1). Her lifetime earnings are just shy of $2 million.

Baffert has trained a record eight 3-year-old male champions, including Arrogate (2016) and American Pharoah (2015). The latter was also Horse of the Year. Abel Tasman is Baffert's second 3-year-old filly champion. His first, Silverbulletday (1999), is in the racing Hall of Fame.

Baffert 2013