2018 Eclipse Award Results: Justify Wins Horse of the Year

Posted by Evan Chronis on Fri, Jan 25, 2019 @ 14:00 PM

After months of speculation and predictions, the dust has settled around the Horse of the Year debate. In the 48th edition of the Eclipse Awards on January 24, Triple Crown™ winner Justify was named the 2018 Horse of the Year.

After winning the 2018 Kentucky Derby®, Justify went on to claim victory in both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes to become the 13th Triple Crown winner in history. Every Triple Crown winner since 1935 has gone on to be named Horse of the Year, so his win doesn't come as a complete shock until you take a look at the second place finisher. 

The main contender for the Horse of the Year crown was Accelerate, who won six of seven starts in 2018, including a conquest in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs® in November. 

Justify also took home the award for Champion 3-year-old male, and his breeder John D. Gunther was named the Outstanding Breeder at the Eclipse Awards.

Here is the complete list of winners from the year end awards!

2018 Eclipse Awards

2018 Eclipse Awards Winners

Horse of the Year: Justify

Champion Older Dirt Male: Accelerate

Champion Older Dirt Female: Unique Bella

Champion Turf Male: Stormy Liberal

Champion Turf Female: Sistercharlie

Champion 3-year-old Male: Justify

Champion 3-year-old Filly: Monomoy Girl

Champion 2-year-old Male: Game Winner

Champion 2-year-old Filly: Jaywalk

Champion Male Sprinter: Roy H

Champion Female Sprinter: Shamrock Rose

Outstanding Trainer: Chad Brown

Outstanding Owner: Hronis Racing

Outstanding Breeder: John D. Gunther

Outstanding Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Outstanding Apprentice Jockey: Weston Hamilton

Champion Steeplechase Horse: Zanjabeel

Will the 2019 Horse of the Year be at the Kentucky Derby?

In 2018, Derby Experiences guests got to see Horse of the Year Justify start his journey towards becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner in history. Could 2019 have the same fate? With an Official Ticket Package to the 2019 Kentucky Derby from Derby Experiences, you can enjoy premium hospitality at Churchill Downs while also experiencing the biggest racing weekend of the year. 

2020 Kentucky Derby Official Ticket Packages

Topics: Kentucky Derby 2019

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Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 


Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.


Evan Chronis

Evan Chronis was born in Omaha, Nebraska but has made his home in south Charlotte for almost two decades. A Tar Heel born and bred, Evan received his B.A in Media and Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is an avid Boston sports fan thanks to his family’s New England roots, and a fanboy of Wes Anderson films.