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Accelerate or Justify? The debate has raged on social media and amongst horse racing fans ever since Accelerate crossed the wire first in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. Did his accomplishments outdo a Triple Crown winner? Has the Triple Crown lost its luster after occurring twice in the last four years? Those questions will be taken into account when the media casts their ballots for the 2018 Eclipse Awards, which honor the top horses and people in all major divisions. The finalists were recently announced, and although we weren’t asked to vote, here is how each member of the Racing Dudes writing team would have cast his ballot:

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  Jared Welch Aaron Halterman Mike “Slim” Spector Curtis “Magic” Kalleward Brandon “B$” Bauer Mike Somich RacingDudes.com Consensus
Horse of the Year Justify Justify Justify Justify Justify Justify Justify
Two-Year-Old Male Game Winner Game Winner Game Winner Game Winner Game Winner Game Winner Game Winner
Two-Year-Old Female Newspaperofrecord Newspaperofrecord Newspaperofrecord Newspaperofrecord Bellafina Jaywalk Newspaperofrecord
Three-Year-Old Male Justify Justify Justify Justify Justify Justify Justify
Three-Year-Old Female Monomoy Girl Monomoy Girl Monomoy Girl Monomoy Girl Monomoy Girl Monomoy Girl Monomoy Girl
Older Dirt Male Accelerate Accelerate Accelerate Accelerate Accelerate Accelerate Accelerate
Older Dirt Female Unique Bella Abel Tasman Abel Tasman Abel Tasman Vale Dori Abel Tasman Abel Tasman
Male Sprinter Roy H Roy H Roy H Roy H Roy H Mind Your Biscuits Roy H
Female Sprinter Shamrock Rose Marley’s Freedom Marley’s Freedom Marley’s Freedom Marley’s Freedom Finley’sluckycharm Marley’s Freedom
Male Turf Horse Expert Eye Stormy Liberal Glorious Empire Stormy Liberal Stormy Liberal Glorious Empire Stormy Liberal
Female Turf Horse Enable Sistercharlie Sistercharlie Sistercharlie Sistercharlie Enable Sistercharlie
Steeplechase Horse Zanjabeel Zanjabeel Optimus Prime Zanjabeel Zanjabeel Optimus Prime Zanjabeel
Owner Team Justify End Zone Athletics Sol Kumin Hronis Racing Hronis Racing Sol Kumin TIE – Sol Kumin & Hronis Racing
Breeder WinStar Farm WinStar Farm Glennwood Farm Glennwood Farm Glennwood Farm WinStar Farm TIE – Glennwood Farm & WinStar Farm
Trainer Bob Baffert Bob Baffert Bob Baffert Chad Brown Bob Baffert Bob Baffert Bob Baffert
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. Mike Smith Mike Smith Irad Ortiz, Jr. Irad Ortiz, Jr. Jose Ortiz Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Apprentice Jockey Edgar Morales Edgar Morales Reylu Gutierrez Reylu Gutierrez Reylu Gutierrez Weston Hamilton Reylu Gutierrez

Did we get it right? Who did we miss? Let us know in the Comments section below or on Twitter! You can follow each of us at @racing_dudes, @SaratogaSlim, @CurtisKalleward, @BbauerRacing, and @Somobomb18. The 48th Annual Eclipse Awards will be held at Gulfstream Park on January 24th, 2019.



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