The finalists for the 52nd annual Eclipse Awards were announced on Sunday, Jan. 8. The Eclipses honor the best in horse racing in 17 different categories and are considered to be the highest honor in the sport.
Down Royal, the 8-year-old bred and trained by the husband and wife team of Bernie and Kate Dalton, is one of the three finalists for Steeplechase Horse of the Year. The only mare finalist, Down Royal is competing with Snap Decision and the Irish-bred Hewick for the honor.
Kate Dalton (nee Fitzpatrick) is a Doylestown native and class of 1998 CB West graduate. This year, Down Royal won three of her four starts, including two graded stakes races. In her signature win, the Grade 1 A.P. Smithwick Stakes at Saratoga, Down Royal rallied from sixth place to cross the finish line first. She earned her owners $165,000 for her 2022 efforts.
Extending to last year, Down Royal has finished first or second in seven of her last eight starts.
The Eclipse Award ceremony will be held on Jan. 26 at the Breakers in Palm Beach. The headline event will be the expected announcement of Flightline as Horse of the Year.