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Curlin, Big Brown big winners
Associated Press
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Published: 1/27/2009 12:00 AM

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - Curlin won in Dubai, and Big Brown won at Churchill Downs. Now both have won on Miami Beach.

Dubai World Cup winner Curlin was chosen horse of the year for the second year in a row Monday night at the Eclipse Awards. Big Brown, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was chosen 3-year-old male of the year.

The other nominees for horse of the year were Big Brown and undefeated Zenyatta, the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic winner. Big Brown bested two other nominees for top 3-year-old male: Santa Anita Derby winner Colonel John and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Raven's Pass.

Curlin was chosen top older male over Commentator and Brazilian-bred Einstein.

"I've always believed he's a true champion," said Curlin's co-owner, Jess Jackson. "He's now one of the greats of the industry."

Zenyatta was selected top older female over Ginger Punch and Chilean-bred Cocoa Beach.

Proud Spell was selected the top 3-year-old filly over Music Note and sentimental choice Eight Belles, who broke both front ankles moments after finishing second to Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby and was euthanized.

Steve Asmussen, who worked with Curlin, was chosen trainer of the year over Big Brown trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. and Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel.

"Thank you, Curlin," Asmussen said. "What a special horse."

Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman won the award for top 2-year-old male over Old Fashioned and Vineyard Haven. Stardom Bound was chosen the best 2-year-old filly.

Garrett Gomez, who won four Breeders' Cup events, was chosen jockey of the year over Robby Albarado and Rafael Bejarano.

Pascacio Lopez won the award for apprentice jockey. Inez Karlsson, who rode at Arlington and Hawthorne, finished second.

The Eclipse Awards are voted on by turf writers and racing secretaries at National Thoroughbred Racing Association tracks.