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Contact: Peggy Hendershot (859) 245-6897


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that ABC Sports has swept the Eclipse Awards for National Television, winning both the Live Racing Programming and Features categories. ABC's production of the 2000 Kentucky Derby won the Eclipse Award for National Television-Live Racing Programming. The show, which aired Saturday, May 6, 2000, was produced by Curt Gowdy Jr.

ABC's award-winning feature profiled the young rider Marlon St. Julien within the historical context of great Black jockeys who once dominated American racing. The 7 1/2-minute segment aired Feb. 5, 2000 in a show entitled "Raising the Roof-Seven Athletes for the 21st Century" and was produced by Paul Hutchinson.

"It is an honor to once again be recognized for outstanding achievement in the broadcasting of Thoroughbred racing. I would like to personally thank the dedicated production and support personnel, as well as our exceptional talent who, in our last year, will leave behind a legacy we are all very proud of," said Curt Gowdy Jr., coordinating producer of ABC's Wide World of Sports and producer of the network's Triple Crown coverage.

The ABC network has won a total of 11 Eclipse Awards since 1971. Last year, ABC Sports won in the National Television-Live Racing Programming category for its coverage of the Belmont Stakes.

Judges for the National Television-Live Racing Programming category included Robert Fishman, a multiple Emmy Award-winning director for CBS Sports; Paul Lucey, a producer for FOX Sports Net-New England; and Ed O'Brien, a morning news anchor at WRGB-TV in upstate New York.

Judges for the National Television-Feature category included E.S. "Bud" Lamoreaux III, whose productions for CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt earned four Eclipse Awards; Richard Valeriani, a media consultant and former NBC News White House and Diplomatic correspondent who also wrote and produced horseracing features for NBC News; and Billy Rapaport, an independent producer and director who co-produced last year's Eclipse Award-winning entry in the National Television-Features category.

The Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Eclipse Awards are also 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 30th annual Eclipse Awards Dinner, to be held Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2001 at the historic Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, La. For ticket information and reservations contact Jamie Haydon at the NTRA, (859) 245-6853, or via e-mail at

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of Thoroughbred interests, which in addition to racetracks, includes owners, breeders, off-track betting organizations, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and sales companies, among others. Through membership dues and funding from other horseracing interests, like the American Quarter Horse Association, the NTRA markets, advertises, promotes and televises Thoroughbred racing in North America. It also serves as a catalyst for industry-wide programs benefiting members in group purchasing, telecommunications and technology, consumer research and legislative initiatives. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site, Contact the NTRA at



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