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Jan 12, 2007

Nerud to receive Lifetime Achievement Award


New York, NY (Sports Network) - The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing.

"It's my first one, and it's a great honor," said the 93-year-old Nerud on receiving the Award of Merit. "I have had many great moments in my career; from winning the Belmont Stakes to getting the Breeders' Cup started. I am also very proud of establishing insurance coverage for backstretch workers and exercise riders in 1957 with Jim Fitzsimmons and John Haines."

Nerud trained 1957 Belmont Stakes winner Gallant Man along with champion sprinters Delegate, Intentionally, Ta Wee and Dr. Patches. The Nebraska native was inducted into the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame in 1972.

"John Nerud was one of the Breeders' Cup's most important leaders during the difficult early years," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., chairman emeritus of Breeders' Cup Ltd. "He was an outspoken supporter of the concept, and he kept all of our feet to the fire when it came time to make the difficult decisions."

"His colleagues on the Board thought of him as 'the heart and soul of the Breeders' Cup', continued Van Clief. "John deserves much of the credit for getting the program off the ground. That, combined with his leadership contributions to the sport as a trainer, breeder, owner, and a mentor to countless aspiring horsemen, makes him a richly deserving recipient of this important honor."

Nerud retired from training in 1978 after nearly 40 years as a conditioner. He trained 1968 Horse of the Year Dr. Fager. The thoroughbred was also named 1968 champion sprinter, turf horse and handicap horse.

The Eclipse Awards, which are presented by the National Turf Writers Association, Daily Racing Form and the NTRA, will be announced on Monday evening January 22 at the 36th Annual Eclipse Awards ceremony and dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

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