The Eclipse Awards are considered the Academy Awards of the horse racing industry. The annual Eclipse Awards, presented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), the Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters, recognize excellence in the thoroughbred industry. The Eclipse Awards honor the year’s best breeder, owner, trainer, jockeys, horses, and media.
Although most of the winners will not be announced until the awards are handed out January 16 in Beverly Hills, California, the media award recipients were announced earlier this month. Louisville’s Courier-Journal writer Jennie Rees was honored with the Media Eclipse Award for Writing in the News/Enterprise category, one of six categories for media. Her piece titled, “Breeders’ Cup 2011: Jockeys Rein in Their Emotions” examines the public altercation between jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano immediately following the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs and the typical way jockeys resolve issues like this. It also provides insights on the topic from several of the industry’s top current and retired jockeys.
“We’re always trying to find a story that we hadn’t written,” Rees said. “I got to thinking in the wake of the Breeders’ Cup Marathon in 2010, with the encounter between Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano, two real gentlemen, what would lead to that? It made me think about the unique dynamics of the jocks’ room. Unlike anything in professional sports, where these competitors are in the same locker room, essentially, and have to go back there multiple times a day.”