Buttonwood Farm’s All the Way Jose, Gillian Johnston’s Mr. Hot Stuff, and Bruton Street-US’s Scorpiancer are the three finalists for the 2017 Eclipse Award as champion steeplechase horse.
The three Grade 1 winners were the top vote-getters in championship voting by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association. The winner of the steeplechase category, other Thoroughbred racing divisions, and Horse of the Year will be announced Thursday, Jan. 25, at the 47th annual Eclipse Awards dinner and awards ceremony at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Scorpiancer dominated the spring season with victories in the Temple Gwathmey Handicap (Gr. 3) at the Middleburg Spring meet in April and the Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) at Nashville in May. Trained by Jack Fisher, Irish-bred Scorpiancer was rated as the 158-pound highweight in the 2017 Theoretical Handicap prepared by Bill Gallo Jr., the National Steeplechase Association’s director of racing.
Mr. Hot Stuff will receive the NSA’s Lonesome Glory Award as the year’s leading earner after his victory in the $400,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) at the Far Hills Races in October. The award will be presented at the NSA’s annual awards dinner on Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Maryland Club in Baltimore.
The veteran, also trained by Fisher, had finished third to Scorpiancer in the Temple Gwathmey at the Middleburg Spring Races.
All the Way Jose, bred and trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard, secured his first Grade 1 victory in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap in September, and he finished third in the Grand National, two noses behind Mr. Hot Stuff.