Twilight Eclipse Sets World Record
Unleashed heading for home after a ground saving trip, Twilight Eclipse shot through an opening on the rail and stopped the timer in a world record 2:22.63 in Saturday’s 1 1/2 mile Pan American Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream.
The 4-year-old gelding, ridden by Javier Castellano, eclipsed the mark set a week earlier by Bright Thought in the San Luis Rey at Santa Anita in 2:22.72. The previous record of 2:22.80 was set by Hawkster in 1989.
Trainer Tom Albertrani was all smiles after the race. “It’s amazing. I was very surprised when I heard it. I was just happy to win the race, No. 1. But a track record here and a world record is just amazing – a great accomplishment for the horse and the team.”
“He had a great trip, got through inside and kicked and had plenty left. Everything just worked out in our favor,” Albertrani said. “There was a firm turf, which he really liked better than it was in the Mac Diarmida. It was an extra furlong, so he’s a long distance horse. He was sharp for this race. I loved the way he was training coming into this race. Timing was everything and everything worked right.”
“It took a little while to sink in that he broke the world record,” said WPT president Terry Finley. “This horse has great wind -- he could run all day long. He ran a great race on the dirt this fall at Belmont so we have options with him. There’s no obvious next spot. We’ll put our heads together and see what makes the most sense. I’d like to give a shoutout to longtime Partner Mike Papa -- he walked this horse into the winner’s circle on Sunday. It was very special.”
The story of Twilight Eclipse is one of rags to riches. He was sickly as a weanling before commanding only $1,000 at the 2011 Keeneland January Sale. Now he’s a multiple graded stakes winner with a record of 4-0-1 from eight starts and earnings of $244,611.
Here’s a video of the world record holder at just one week old: