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PEDERSEN, MANGURIAN WIN ECLIPSE AWARD OF MERIT
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that longtime California senior steward Pete Pedersen and leading owner and breeder Harry T. Mangurian Jr. have been named co-recipients of the Eclipse Award of Merit, presented in honor of an individual's lifetime achievements in Thoroughbred racing.
A committee composed of representatives from the Eclipse Award-presenting organizations -- the NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association -- selected Pedersen and Mangurian.
Pete Pedersen was born July 4, 1920, in Seattle, Wash. By working at (and betting at) racetracks, he was able to put himself through the University of Washington, where he studied journalism. As a navy pilot during World War II, Pedersen attended a War Relief Racing Day at Bay Meadows, where he decided that if he returned from the war he would become a racing steward.
He returned to working at racetracks in 1946 and was appointed steward in 1948. In 1955 Pedersen was named a steward in California. During his career in racing, he has worked at nearly every track on the West Coast, starting with Longacres in Washington, and making his way south. He now serves as senior steward at Santa Anita. Pedersen has worked every Breeders' Cup held in California. In addition to his racing duties, Pedersen has written for the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as racing publications such as the Thoroughbred Times and Daily Racing Form. He is a past president of the Professional Racing Officials Society and was an officer in the Society of North American Racing Officials.
"I'm astounded," Pedersen said of being awarded an Eclipse. "I'm delighted for all officials. I feel this is recognition for all of them. So I accept this for all of those who work every day to protect all the various personalities and factors involved in presenting a horserace to the public."
Harry T. Mangurian Jr. was born in 1926 in Rochester, N.Y., and entered racing in 1966. He developed the 1,100-acre Mockingbird Farm in Ocala, Fla., into a breeding and racing operation with more than 800 horses.
Mangurian led all breeders in North America from 1999 through 2001 in earnings and races won. During the past five years, Mockingbird freshman sires (1997, Diablo; 1998, End Sweep; 1999, Rizzi; 2000, Storm Creek; 2001, Valid Expectations) led the nation in either money or races won. He has bred or raced more than 150 stakes winners.
Mangurian is a member of The Jockey Club, the Thoroughbred Club of America, Inc., and a past director of Breeders' Cup Limited; he has served on the board of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association for 25 years and is a founder and the original chairman of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. In 1998 and 2000, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association named Mangurian Breeder of the Year.
"I'm thrilled and honored to receive this award," said Mangurian, who is in the process of dispersing his bloodstock and recently sold Mockingbird Farm. When the dispersal is complete, he plans to race and breed a small number of horses from a base of operation in Florida.
Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. The awards are presented by the NTRA, the National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form.
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.
Media Eclipse Award winners will be honored at the 31st annual Eclipse Awards Dinner, to be held Monday, Feb. 18, 2002, at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort in Miami Beach, Fla. For information contact Alison Thompson Murphy at the NTRA, (800) 792-6872, ext. 1046, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of horseracing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championship consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, and the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program, which are funded by the industry's owners and breeders. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, www.ntra.com, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, breederscup.com. Contact the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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