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SHEIKH MOHAMMED AL MAKTOUM SELECTED FOR SPECIAL ECLIPSE AWARD
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been selected to receive a Special Eclipse Award in recognition of his extraordinary contributions and accomplishments in both racing and philanthropy, culminating at this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park.
Attending the Keeneland sales on the day of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Sheikh Mohammed made a $5 million personal contribution to the disaster relief fund organized by Keeneland. He later pledged 100 percent of Godolphin Stable's earnings on Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships day to the NTRA Charities - New York Heroes Fund, established by the NTRA, Breeders' Cup Limited and the New York Racing Association to aid the families of rescue workers and other victims killed during the attacks.
With Godolphin's success on World Thoroughbred Championships day -- four Godolphin horses finished in the money, including Tempera's win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and Fantastic Light's win in the Breeders' Cup Turf -- the Sheikh's pledge resulted in approximately $2 million for the Heroes Fund. Sheikh Mohammed's total contribution of $7 million made up more than half of all aid monies raised by the Thoroughbred racing industry worldwide.
Sheikh Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Defense Minister of the United Arab Emirates, purchased his first Thoroughbred in 1976 with his brothers, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The brothers came to prominence in the racing industry in 1981 at the Keeneland yearling sales, where they purchased Shareef Dancer for $3.3 million. The horse later was syndicated for a world record $40 million.
Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stud Management has 35 stallions standing at 17 stud farms in seven countries. One independent authority recently estimated that it was responsible for 10 percent of the British and Irish stallion market. Godolphin Stable is the racing operation of Sheikh Mohammed and his brothers. Godolphin has dominated the owner championships in Britain for much of the last decade and was fifth on the list of North America's top owners by earnings for 2001. Three Godolphin horses -- Fantastic Light, Sakhee and Tempera -- are finalists for 2001 Eclipse Awards.
The winner of the Special Eclipse Award is determined by a committee composed of representatives from the Eclipse Award-presenting organizations: the NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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