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2004 Eclipse Award Winners announced

January 26, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced the winners for the 2004 Eclipse Awards. The Eclipse Awards are voted on and presented by the NTRA, Daily Racing Form (DRF) and National Turf Writers Association (NTWA). The votes are tabulated and certified by Ernst & Young LLP. Winners in all categories were announced at the 34th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California on January 25.

Horse of the Year: Ghostzapper
Two-Year-Old Male: Declan’s Moon
Two-Year-Old Female: Sweet Catomine
Three-Year-Old Male: Smarty Jones
Three-Year-Old Female: Ashado
Older Male: Ghostzapper
Older Female: Azeri
Sprinter: Speightstown
Male Turf Horse: Kitten’s Joy
Female Turf Horse: Ouija Board (GB)
Steeplechase: Hirapour (IRE)
Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey
Breeder: Adena Springs
Jockey: John Velazquez
Apprentice Jockey: Brian Hernandez, Jr.
Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon the Thoroughbred horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective divisions. The Eclipse Awards 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.

In voting that concluded Dec. 27, 2004, Eclipse Awards voters cast their ballots to rank the top three horses and individuals in each Championship division. This voting established the top three finalists in each division, the names of which were released on January 5. Eclipse Award winners were determined by first-place votes only.

The winner of the Eclipse Award of Merit, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organizations and previously announced, is Oaklawn Park and the Cella Family. The Eclipse Award of Merit is presented to an individual or entity displaying outstanding lifetime achievement in, and service to, the Thoroughbred industry.

The winner of the Special Award, voted on by a panel of representatives from the three presenting organizations and previously announced is Dale Baird. The Special Award is presented to honor outstanding individual achievements in, or contributions to, the sport of Thoroughbred racing.

Media Eclipse Awards also are given in the categories of photography, audio and multi-media Internet, news/commentary, feature/enterprise writing, local television, national television–feature and national television–live racing programming to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. The 2004 Media Eclipse Awards winners, determined by a judges’ panel for each category and previously announced, are:

Photography: Cindy Pierson Dulay, “Stephan’s Angel Leaps,” Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, July 2004.
Writing – Feature/Enterprise: Mike Jensen,“Smarty Jones Series,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 1- August 6, 2004
Writing - News/Commentary: Bill Christine, “Kayak II,” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2003
TV - Live Racing: NBC Sports, David Michaels, Belmont Stakes, June 5, 2004
TV – Feature: ESPN, ESPN Original Entertainment, Fritz Mitchell, “Smarty Jones: America’s Horse,” October 31, 2004
TV - Local: WAVE 3 TV, Louisville; “Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs,” Dan Foos; May 1, 2004
Audio and Multi-Media Internet : Premiere Radio Networks, Shelby Whitfield, Belmont Stakes, June 5, 2004