The Ballroom at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel during the Eclipse Award Ceremony
Here is a selection of photos from the Eclipse Award ceremony on Monday evening at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The event was sold out and quite a crowd was present for the festivities. I may add a few more photos to this later on, so if you have any requests just let me know. As always, click the small photo to see a larger version. If you want to see a list of all the winners, check here
The host for the evening was actor and racing fan Jerry O'Connell. He is currently starring in the TV series "Crossing Jordan" and has also appeared several movies and previously starred in the long running series "Sliders". He did a very good job and was quite personable. In his opening monologue, he said "I'm such a big fan of horse racing. Like a lot of you, I was introduced to the sport by my dad. I could win an Emmy, an Oscar, and a Nobel Prize and that wouldn't be as big to my dad as hosting the Eclipse Awards. Now he knows I've made it big."
Here we all are lined up to receive the media awards. From left to right are Craig Kitchin of Premier Radio for their Belmont broadcast, me for my photograph, Bill Christine from the LA Times for news writing, Mike Jensen from the Philadelphia Inquirer for his series on Smarty Jones, Dan Foos from WAVE 3 in Louisville for local TV program, and Mark Shapiro from ESPN for their national TV feature "Smarty Jones: America's Horse".
Since my mom wants to see it, here I am with my award. If you haven't seen my photo yet, check here. Here is my speech I gave on stage: "I always dreamed about winning this, but never thought it would happen. I would like to thank Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred and especially Lydia Williams and Cindy Deubler since I couldn't have won this if they hadn't printed my photo. I would like to thank my husband Terence Dulay for supporting my decision to pursue this as a career since it was a risky path to take. Finally, I would also like to thank the late John Crittenden of the Palm Beach Post who was the first person to appreciate what I was doing online and his recommendations enabled me to start getting credentialed. I wish he could have lived to see this day. Thank you all!"
Ken and Sarah Ramsey accept their award for owner of the year. They also won earlier in the evening with Kitten's Joy for best turf male. He made a very heartfelt apology for his actions at Turfway Park when accepting the first award. Here is his speech in its entirety: "My parents always taught me that a man's good name is more precious than riches. I truly believe that with all my heart. I try to pass that idea along to my children and grandchildren because it's something to live up to. I'm always trying to set an example in my personal life and my business life. However, my recent actions tarnished my good name. My decisions tarnished my family's name and also the good name of horse racing. It's been great, my trips to the winner's circle and on the backstretches of horse racing. The media and the fans this past year have been great for Kathern and myself, we deeply appreciate your support. We're deeply touched, this will never be forgotten. I've always had a love affair with the media. I was saddened what they had to do to my family because they had to do their job and report a sad story. My family, my friends, the racing industry, and the media, I am truly sorry, and I ask, please forgive me."
Eugene Melnyk accepts the award for best sprinter for his horse Speightstown. He said of his homebred, who was plagued with injury earlier in his career until his championship season, "We had some challenges. He tested our patience, but we’re here tonight, so that patience paid off."
It was all-star jockey time when John Velazquez was presented with his award for best jockey. From right to left are Velazquez, Angel Cordero, Julie Krone, and Laffit Pincay Jr. Velazquez said of his Hall of Fame agent, "Angel Cordero has been a father, a mentor, everything to me. Without him, I would not be here. He pushed me to a different level. He does such a good job with me. All I do is ride and complain."
Todd Pletcher accepting his award for champion trainer. He said, "I can only say that there have been a lot of better trainers to get this award, but no one as honored, proud, and humbled to receive it."
Mr. Chapman couldn't be there due to his health, but his wife Pat was on hand to accept his award as top 3-year-old male.
A rather colorful group was on hand to accept Sweet Catimine's award for top 2-year-old female with trainer Julio Canani in the white tux and cowboy hat along with owners Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod.
Frank Stronach accepts his third award of the evening, Horse of the Year for Ghostzapper. Earlier he also won for best older male with Ghostzapper and champion breeder. He said, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, may Ghostzapper stay healthy, and thrill the public with more great races."
The Ghostzapper team poses with the horse of the year award. From left to right: Andy Stronach (son), trainer Bobby Frankel, Elfriede Stronach (wife), and Frank Stronach.
Among the award presenters were celebrities Merv Griffin (left) and Larry King (right).
The huge crowd mingles during the cocktail hour prior to the ceremony.
More about the Eclipse Awards:
Photos ©2005 Cindy Pierson Dulay except where noted
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