The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that Jeannine Edwards, senior broadcast analyst for ESPN, will host the 41st annual Eclipse Awards Presented by Daily Racing Form and Breeders’ Cup Limited. The Eclipse Awards, which honors the 2011 champions of Thoroughbred racing, will be held at the Beverly Wilshire (A Four Seasons Hotel) in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Monday evening January 16, 2012. Edwards becomes the first female to host the Eclipse Awards ceremony.
“I'm extremely proud, flattered and honored to be hosting the Eclipse Awards—racing’s Oscars,” said Edwards, who resides outside of Baltimore in Colora, Md. “I want to thank the NTRA for this extraordinary opportunity. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been in love with horses and racing. For me, the Eclipse Awards would come along every year and be the anxiously-awaited, crowning moment of a season's worth of indelible achievements. With so many divisions up in the air, I'm just as eager as everyone else to see who will be taking home the hardware. It humbles me to think I will be a part of this year's ‘crowning moment.’”
Edwards has been consistently named as one of the top 10 female sportscasters by several media outlets including Sports Illustrated which also named her "Best Broadcaster in Horse Racing" in 2004 and #1 Broadcaster on Television for October 2007.
“Jeannine is not just a talented on-air personality, but also one of the most universally admired and respected people associated with the Thoroughbred industry,” said Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA. “We are delighted to have her as the host of the upcoming Eclipse Awards.”
In 2009, Jeannine's broadcast team won an Eclipse Award for Outstanding Live Telecast for the Belmont Stakes on ABC, as well as an Emmy nomination for the Breeders' Cup on ESPN. That same team again won the Eclipse Award in 2010 for the Breeders' Cup on ESPN, as well as a 2010 Emmy nomination for the same event.
A native of Tenafly, N.J., Edwards spent 10 years on the racetrack as an exercise rider, apprentice jockey, and trainer in New York and New Jersey before initially getting into television in 1994 as an in-house TV host at racetracks in Maryland.
Edwards started on ESPN as a studio analyst for "National Best 7" in 1995. The show was transformed into "2Day at the Races" and ran for five years. During that time, Edwards also began reporting on-site for remote racing telecasts as well as branching out into sideline reporting for college football and, later, college basketball. Edwards became a general assignment reporter shortly thereafter on ESPN's SportsCenter.
Among the news stories covered by Edwards for SportsCenter are the steroid scandal of Rafael Palmeiro, the death of Sean Taylor, the sentencing of Gilbert Arenas, the indictment of Jamal Lewis, the return to football of Deion Sanders, and the retirements of Joe Gibbs and Shaquille O'Neal. Edwards was also recognized for her outstanding reporting for ESPN, ABC News and Good Morning America on the injury and subsequent death of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.
Tickets for the Eclipse Awards are available for $400 each or $4,000 for a table of 10. For ticket purchases and room reservations, please contact Michele Ravencraft of the NTRA at email@example.com
, or call (859) 422-2657. Order forms for tickets are available at www.ntra.com/eclipsetickets
The Eclipse Awards Presented by Daily Racing Form and Breeders’ Cup Limited are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation 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.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horse racing interests consisting of leading Thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers, horseplayers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA web site, NTRA.com