British Idiom Could Be Sixth Straight Eclipse Champ
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
While 27 of the colts who have won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile have gone on to be named Eclipse Champion Two Year Old Male, the number is even higher for fillies after taking the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). 31 times in 35 editions has the eventual champion emerged from the Breeders’ Cup winner’s circle, with courageous 2019 winner British Idiom, unbeaten in three starts including two grade 1 races, very likely to follow on that path and make it six champions in a row.
Outstandingly won the inaugural Juvenile Fillies in 1984 by the disqualification of winner Fran’s Valentine. She went on to add the grade 1 Hollywood Starlet later that winter, and was ultimately named the Eclipse Champion Two Year Old Filly.
That set the tone for the race, which saw nine straight winners emerge as divisional champions from 1986 through 1994. After Storm Song, Countess Diana, and Silverbulletday won consecutively through 1998, an even longer streak emerged from 2000 through 2012.
In that time, Caressing upset the 2000 Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs at odds of 47-1, one of the big upsets in Breeders’ Cup history. She was followed by gutsy winner Tempera in 2001 at Belmont Park, then Storm Flag Flying in 2002. That winner has one of the most spectacular Breeders’ Cup pedigrees of all time, being out of 1995 Juvenile Fillies winner My Flag, who is out of 1988 Distaff winner Personal Ensign.
Halfbridled followed, then (in order) Sweet Catomine, Folklore, Dreaming of Anna, Indian Blessing, Stardom Bound, She Be Wild, Awesome Feather, My Miss Aurelia, and the great Beholder. She would go on to take the Breeders’ Cup Distaff twice as well, becoming a rare three-time Breeders’ Cup winner.
Only four times has the Juvenile Fillies winner not been named the Eclipse Champion in her division. Most recently it happened with She’s a Tiger and Ria Antonia in 2013. The first time was 1985 when Twilight Ridge won the race, but Family Style received the title. The latter was second in the Breeders’ Cup after winning three grade 1 races.
It happened again with My Flag and ultimate champion Golden Attraction in 1995; the latter had won three straight grade 1 events and went six for eight as a two-year-old, despite running third as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup. Finishing in between them at Belmont Park that day was second place runner Cara Rafaela, who went on to be the dam of Preakness Stakes (G1) winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) runner up Bernardini.
Chilukki was unbeaten in six starts, including two grade 1 races, when she lost the Juvenile Fillies to 32-1 outsider Cash Run in 1999 at Gulfstream Park. Finishing fourth that day was eventual Breeders’ Cup Distaff upsetter Spain. Chilukki was named the divisional champion that year.
The 49th annual Eclipse Awards will take place on January 23 in Florida. Follow the coverage and play the best fall races with TVG.
- July 4, 2020
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's McKinzie returns to Belmont Park for Saturday's $1 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1) seeking vengeance for his 2019 runner-up finish.
- July 2, 2020
On Saturday, the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap will top a great card at Belmont Park with five graded stakes and once again bring several of the nation’s best horses together for a one-mile showdown.
- July 2, 2020
Welcome to the 2020 Stay Lucky season with presenting sponsor Breeders' Cup! We have several exciting new prizes plus a smoother, faster app for the new season!