Channel Maker Secures Champion Turf Male Title

Front-running tactics were partially responsible for Channel Maker’s 2020 success, but it was his late surge—over the season, not within his races—that propelled him to an Eclipse Award as outstanding male turf horse.

Winless over his first five races of last year, the gelded son of English Channel turned around his 6-year-old campaign over his final three starts of 2020, all in the late summer and fall under take-charge handling from jockey Manny Franco. The veteran grass runner led from start to finish in the Aug. 29 Sword Dancer Stakes (G1T) at Saratoga Race Course, repeated similarly in the Oct. 3 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1T) at Belmont Park, and then nearly stole the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1T) before settling for third.

In the Breeders’ Cup Turf Nov. 7 at Keeneland, he outran all of his North American-based counterparts, losing only to Irish females Tarnawa and Magical, while spotting them three pounds apiece.

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