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Jan 07, 2011

Special Eclipse Award and Awards of Merit announced


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Team Zenyatta, Claiborne Farm and Marylou Whitney will receive Eclipse Awards this year at the annual ceremony later this month in Florida.

The 2010 Special Eclipse Award will be given to the people who guided Zenyatta through her marvelous career, and Eclipse Awards of Merit go to Claiborne Farm and Mrs. Whitney.

The Special Eclipse Award honors outstanding individual achievements in, or contributions to, the sport of thoroughbred racing and the Eclipse Award of Merit recognizes outstanding achievement in the sport.

Team Zenyatta is led by owners Jerry and Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs, jockey Mike Smith, racing manager Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, exercise rider Steve Willard, groom Mario Espinoza, hotwalker Carmen Zamona and assistant trainer Michelle Jensen.

Claiborne Farm has been a major force in thoroughbred racing and breeding for over 100 years. The owners of Claiborne Farm - Seth Hancock, along with his sisters Dell and Clay - will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit.

"It's more of a tribute to my grandfather and father," said Seth Hancock on the Eclipse Award. "My grandfather started all this over here in Kentucky, and my dad built it up into what it was, and I'm just trying to keep it going."

Mrs. Whitney is receiving the Eclipse Award for her extraordinary service as an owner, breeder, and for her incredible generosity and support of philanthropic causes.

"I am honored and humbled to even be mentioned in the same sentence as the past winners," said Mrs. Whitney, who is known as the 'Queen of Saratoga.' "It has been a privilege to be involved with a sport that has given me so much joy. From the foaling barn to the backstretch, and from the parties to the winner's circle, I have cherished sharing my life with the racing community."

All the honorees will receive their awards on Monday, January 17 at the 40th Annual Eclipse Awards ceremony in Miami Beach, Florida.

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