LEXINGTON, Ky. (January 10, 2020) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that champion sprinter and Claiborne Farm stallion Runhappy will be the title sponsor of the 49th annual Runhappy Eclipse Awards presented by Breeders’ Cup, Daily Racing Form and The Stronach Group, on Thursday, January 23. Runhappy also will sponsor the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.
The Eclipse Awards, which honors the 2019 champions of Thoroughbred racing, will be held for the eighth time at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Campaigned by Jim McIngvale’s Gallery Racing, Runhappy captured the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sprint en route to winning that year’s Eclipse Award for Champion Male Sprinter. Unbeaten at sprint distances, the son of Super Saver retired with seven wins from 10 career starts, including three Grade 1 triumphs, and earnings of $1,496,250.
“The Eclipse Awards are the most prestigious awards in North American Thoroughbred racing. I know because we won one for Champion Male Sprinter in 2015,” said McIngvale. “It was the culmination of an unforgettable year and we are delighted that Runhappy will once again be part of a night when our sport comes together to celebrate the best in Thoroughbred racing.”
Runhappy entered stud at Claiborne Farm in 2017, where he commands an advertised fee of $25,000. He was the leading first-crop sire by average with three or more yearlings sold at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale as his four offered yearlings sold for an average of $395,000.
“Jim McIngvale has staunchly supported the Thoroughbred industry through his sponsorship of some of the sport’s most prestigious races and race meets while also making numerous charitable contributions to a variety of causes,” said NTRA President and Chief Executive Officer Alex Waldrop. “The success of Runhappy has been one of his biggest sources of pride and Runhappy’s proven brilliance makes him a fitting figure to honor Thoroughbred racing’s equine and human champions.”
At the bellwether 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Runhappy finished as the auction’s leading first-crop sire by average sale price during the marquee Book 1 portion, highlighted by the sale of a bay son of his out of the Indian Charlie mare Ms. Cornstalk to West Bloodstock for $700,000.
Runhappy’s first crop will race as 2-year-olds in 2020.
Eclipse Awards tickets are available for $425 each, or $4,000 for a table of 10. Additional details can be found on the NTRA website at NTRA.com/eclipse-awards/ or by contacting Casey Hamilton at email@example.com.
The “black-tie optional” Eclipse Awards is part of a full week of events that will culminate with the fourth running of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Presented by Runhappy, on Jan. 25. Separate tickets to the Pegasus World Cup are available on the Gulfstream Park website at pegasusworldcup.com.
Tickets to the Eclipse Awards also include an invitation to a spectacular Friday night, Jan. 24, party in the Gulfstream Park walking ring on the eve of the Pegasus and benefiting the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA).
Official Partners of the Eclipse Awards include The Stronach Group, Breeders’ Cup, Daily Racing Form, Keeneland, Florida HBPA, Red Brand, Roberts Communications, Dean Dorton, IOA Insurance, Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, Hagyard, Hallway Feeds, Clear Span, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, New York Racing Association, Jackson Family Wines, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Racing Expressions, Big Ass Fans, and Indiano Tequila. The official charity of the Eclipse Awards is the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA).
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 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.