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Dec 11, 2009

Eclipse Awards set for January 18




New York, NY (Sports Network) - The 39th annual Eclipse Awards presentation will be held on Monday, January 18 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The ceremony, highlighted by the announcement of 2009 Horse of the Year, will begin at 8 p.m. (et).

The 38th Eclipse Awards ceremony was held at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel.

The evening is expected to be the most anticipated in recent memory, with Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta vying for the ultimate honor.

"Due to the enormous interest in this year's Eclipse Awards, the three organizations have decided to start the proceedings earlier than in the past in order to accommodate major media deadlines," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA Senior Vice President of Communications and Industry Relations.

The Eclipse Awards are presented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form. Champions in 17 human and equine categories will be recognized.

Rachel Alexandra, a three-year-old filly, became the darling of the racing world in 2009 with her commanding victories in the Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose Stakes. Her wins against male thoroughbreds in the Preakness Stakes, Haskell Invitational and Woodward made her the favorite for Horse of the Year.

Zenyatta, 2008 champion older filly or mare, finished her undefeated career by becoming the first female to win the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. The victory propelled her atop the final NTRA Thoroughbred Poll for the year.

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