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JERRY O'CONNELL TO HOST 2004 ECLIPSE AWARDS ON TVG


January 24, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

LOS ANGELES, January 18, 2005 – Jerry O'Connell, a star on the NBC hit series “Crossing Jordan” who is also a passionate horseracing fan, will host the 34th annual Eclipse Awards, Monday, January 24 airing live on TVG from 6:00-10:30 p.m. PT. The network's telecast, from the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, will be presented in three segments – opening with a 90-minute Red Carpet show, continuing with a two-and-a-half-hour Awards presentation (to be sponsored by the Keeneland Association) and concluding with a 30-minute Wrap Up program. This mark's the first time the Eclipse Awards, horseracing's “Oscars,” will be presented live on TV.

“Jerry O'Connell is a rising star on both TV and in the movies, and he's a genuine horseracing fan as well,” said TVG Senior Vice President and Executive Producer Tony Allevato. “These qualities, plus the fact he will help attract newcomers to our sport, make him a natural to host the evening's festivities.”

“We are excited to have Jerry host the Eclipse Awards,” said NTRA Commissioner D.G. Van Clief, Jr. “His presence will lend extra star quality to what is already shaping up as a star filled evening.”

“I'm so excited about hosting the event,” said O'Connell. “It's the Oscars for horseracing … except horses are a lot faster and less temperamental than people in show business.”

O'Connell plays detective Woodrow “Woody” Hoyt on “Crossing Jordan.” He began his acting career at age 11 when he co-starred in the hit movie “Stand By Me.” Following the completion of his education at the New York University Tisch School of Arts, he resumed his film work in the critically acclaimed role of “Cush” in the movie “Jerry Maguire.” He also appeared in “Scream 2,” “Can't Hardly Wait,” “Mission to Mars” and “Kangaroo Jack.” In addition to “Crossing Jordan,” O'Connell's TV credits include “Sliders.” O'Connell will be featured in Perry Ellis' upcoming 2005 campaign.

In addition to announcing O'Connell's role as host of the show, TVG and the NTRA, the event's producer, also announced that the telecast will be divided into the three segments mentioned above. Manning the mike for TVG during the Red Carpet segment, which will feature interviews with racing's top names as they arrive for the big event, will be Todd Schrupp, Frank Lyons and Simon Bray, joined by Priscilla Hojiwala and Ken Rudulph patrolling the carpet. Schrupp and Hojiwala will then spearhead coverage of the Awards presentations. The wrap-up show, a recap of the evening's events, will feature Lyons, Gary Seibel, Matt Carothers and Chris Kotulak.

The Eclipse Awards are voted on by a segment of the NTRA membership, the National Turf Writers Association (NTWA) and Daily Racing Form. The Eclipse Awards were first presented in 1971 and are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.

Eclipse Awards are presented in 16 categories, including Horse of the Year, 2yo colt, 2yo filly, 3yo colt, 3yo filly, older male, older female, male turf, female turf, sprinter, steeplechase, owner, breeder, jockey, apprentice jockey and trainer.

TVG is the most widely distributed interactive sports television network that combines the excitement of live horse racing from premier U.S. racetracks and the convenience of in-home, account wagering.

TVG network programming, available nationwide on DISH™ Network and DIRECTV®, and on select cable systems, features live horseracing from America's premier racetracks with commentary, interviews with the stars of the sport, in-depth race analysis, handicapping/wagering tutorials and originally produced programming for racing's major events. Viewers in certain areas can wager interactively on the races via touch-tone telephone or online by establishing a wagering account online at www.TVGnetwork.com or by telephone at 1-888-PLAY TVG.

An exclusive marketing partner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, TVG has exclusive long-term agreements for television and interactive wagering with the following racetracks: Aqueduct, Arlington Park, Belmont Park, Calder, Churchill Downs, Del Mar, Ellis Park, Emerald Downs, Fair Grounds, Fairplex Park, Hollywood Park, Hoosier Park, Keeneland, Los Alamitos, Oak Tree at Santa Anita, Prairie Meadows, Ruidoso Downs, Saratoga Raceway, Saratoga Race Course, Turf Paradise and Turfway Park.

TVG, a subsidiary of Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc., is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Louisville, CO, Beaverton, OR and Louisville, KY.