LEXINGTON, Ky. (Friday, January 9, 2015) – Since moving to South Florida for its 2012 renewal, the annual recognition of racing excellence known as the Eclipse Awards has grown into an extended-weekend-long celebration of the turf based at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla. In addition to the 44th annual Eclipse Awards, presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group on Jan. 17, this year’s official events include lavish parties, a National Handicapping Championship-qualifying contest and live racing at Gulfstream Park featuring the annual $700,000 Sunshine Millions festival.

The weekend culminates with Saturday night’s black-tie-optional Eclipse Awards ceremony, hosted by ESPN’s Jeannine Edwards and broadcast live on HRTV, featuring the announcements of Horse of the Year and 11 divisional champions, as well as outstanding horsemen, media and the NTRA Handicapper of the Year. The Eclipse Awards will also be streamed live world-wide on DRF.com.

“There are very few events on the racing calendar that can rival Eclipse Awards Weekend,” said Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA. “It’s a celebration of the best our sport has to offer and the entire schedule of events reflects that.”

A limited number of Eclipse Awards tickets remain. For tickets, contact Mravencraft@ntra.com or (859) 422-2657.

Below is the complete schedule of events during Eclipse Awards Week (all times Eastern):

Wednesday, January 14 to Monday, January 19

Racing at Gulfstream Park – Live world-class Thoroughbred racing at Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet, highlighted by the Jan. 17 Sunshine Millions, featuring five rich stakes worth $700,000.

When: First post 12:40 p.m. daily

Where: Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino, Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Reservations: Ten Palms Restaurant, (954) 457-6201; Fountain Club Restaurant, (954) 457-6201

More: gulfstreampark.com


Wednesday, January 14

Eclipse Awards Charity Poker Tournament – Compete against Hall of Fame jockeys and trainers, as well as other well-known racing personalities, in this live-money poker tournament with proceeds benefiting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Finish Line Casino at Gulfstream Park

Contact: Scott Poole, Gulfstream Park, scott.poole@gulfstreampark.com, (954) 457-6336

Thursday, January 15

Eclipse Awards Cocktail Reception at Adena Grill – Enjoy an  evening at the newest gourmet dining spot in The Village at Gulfstream Park, featuring Adena Springs Ranch’s signature farm-raised grass-fed, grass-finished beef and free-range chicken.

When: 6:30-8 p.m.

Where: Adena Grill & Wine Bar, The Village at Gulfstream Park

Tickets: For Eclipse Awards attendees and invited guests only

Contact: Jennifer Vitrella, Gulfstream Park, jvitrella@gulfstreampark.com, (954) 457-6186

Friday, January 16

ThoroFan Awards Breakfast – The third annual ThoroFan Awards Breakfast, presented by the nonprofit Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, will honor Michael Blowen, founder of Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement organization with farms in Kentucky and New York. A keynote address will be delivered by Kathy Ritvo, trainer of Mucho Macho Man, whose win in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic was the NTRA 2013 Moment of the Year. The program also will feature the announcement of the 2014 NTRA Moment of the Year and Horse Racing Nation Fan of the Year. Broadcaster and handicapper Caton Bredar of HRTV, HorsePlayer Now and Sirius XM’s “Down the Stretch” hosts.

When: 9-11:30 a.m. (9 a.m., registration; 9:30 a.m., breakfast buffet; 10 a.m., awards program)

Where: Ten Palms Restaurant, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino

Tickets: $75 per person (includes breakfast and seating for the day’s races); $600, table for eight

Register: Thorofan.com/awards  

Contact: ThoroFan, board@thorofan.com

Eclipse Awards “Havana Nights” Cocktail Reception – A party for Eclipse Awards attendees and racing fans to benefit Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred Aftercare.

When: 6 p.m. (private, by invitation only); 8 p.m. (public)

Where: Walking Ring, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino

Tickets: Party included with Eclipse Awards ticket (with a $20 suggested donation to the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred Aftercare Program). Open to public (with minimum $20 donation to the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred Aftercare Program) after 8 p.m.

Contact: Jennifer Vitrella, Gulfstream Park, jennifer.vitrella@gulfstreampark.com, (954) 457-6186

Saturday, January 17

Eclipse Awards VIP Welcome Breakfast – Kick off the big day with a casual continental breakfast sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association and Flair Nasal Strips

When: 8-10 a.m.

Where: Diplomat Resort & Spa, Third Floor (Room 320)

Contact: Michele Ravencraft, NTRA, mravencraft@ntra.com, (859) 422-2657

The 44th Annual Eclipse Awards presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group – Thoroughbred racing’s annual awards dinner with presentations for Horse of the Year, divisional champions, and outstanding horsemen and media.

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Sport of Kings Theater, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino

Tickets: Eclipse NTRA.com ($400 per person; $4,000 table of 10)

Contact: Michele Ravencraft, NTRA, mravencraft@ntra.com, (859) 422-2657

Eclipse Awards After Party Sponsored by Keeneland – Celebrate the Eclipse Awards late into the night at this state-of-the-art sports bar just steps away from the Sport of Kings Theater in The Village at Gulfstream Park. “Midnight treats” will be served. Sponsored by Keeneland Association with additional support from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Kendall-Jackson.

When: 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

Where: Frankey’s Sports Bar, The Village at Gulfstream Park

Tickets: Private party for Eclipse Awards attendees only

Contact: Jennifer Vitrella, Gulfstream Park, jennifer.vitrella@gulfstreampark.com, (954) 457-6186


Sunday, January 18

First Chance/Last Chance NHC Tournament – The top two finishers in this live-money tournament win two berths to the 2015 National Handicapping Championship, to be held the following weekend at Treasure Island Las Vegas (or, if already qualified twice, the 2016 NHC).

When: Check-in/Registration, 10 a.m.

Where: Ten Palms Restaurant, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino

Register: gulfstreampark.com  ($200 each; max. two per person)

Contact: Nancy Berry, Gulfstream Park, nancy.berry@gulfstreampark.com, (954) 457-6284

The Eclipse Awards, presented by the Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group, are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements in North America 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 Awards voting is conducted by the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Daily Racing Form. The Eclipse Awards ceremony is produced by the NTRA.

The Eclipse Awards 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.

About the NTRA

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, NTRA.com, the Eclipse Awards, the National Handicapping Championship, NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program, and HORSE PAC, a federal political action committee. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).