Mineshaft wins Horse of the Year; Funny Cide top 3-year-old

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Hollywood, FL (Sports Network) - Mineshaft was a runaway winner as Horse of the Year and edged for top three-year-old honors, as the 2003 Eclipse Awards were presented on Monday.

Seven victories in nine starts made Mineshaft the easy choice for Horse of the Year. The four-year-old finished his career in style, winning the Suburban Handicap, Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup, before being retired because of an ankle injury.

Mineshaft, the son of 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy, was also awarded the Older Male honor. He received 209 votes for Horse of the Year, easily outdistancing Congaree, who finished second with 11.

The three-year-old race was a tight one between and , but received 150 votes to 92 for .

won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but was a beaten third in the Belmont as 's victory denied the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.

won two of the three head-to-head starts against , also winning the Wood Memorial by a half-length in April. But won the big race three weeks later, beating by nearly two lengths at the Kentucky Derby.

The two won't meet again because was retired last September.

's trainer, Bobby Frankel, won his fifth Eclipse Award and fourth in a row. He set a record for Grade 1 stakes victories with 25 in 2003.

Jerry Bailey, who rode , also won his fourth straight Eclipse Award, and seventh overall, as top jockey.

Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, took the Eclipse Award for top older female.

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