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Jan 11, 2013

Award of Merit goes to Nick Nicholson


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Nick Nicholson, past president and CEO of Keeneland Association, will be presented with the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in thoroughbred racing. Eclipse Awards are voted on by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.

"I am truly honored and deeply appreciative to win the Eclipse Award of Merit," said Nicholson. "I am also quite surprised. Throughout my career, the opportunity to work in the Thoroughbred industry has been its own reward. I want to thank my wife and children (Susan, Nick Jr. and Trish) and all the kind and talented people with whom I have had the pleasure of working. This prestigious honor belongs as much to them as it does to me."

The 65-year-old Nicholson will pick up the honor at the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards on Saturday, Jan. 19 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

"Nick Nicholson played a very significant role in expanding The Jockey Club's service to the industry, and he was deeply involved in the creation and launch of both Equibase and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. He added to that legacy in numerous ways during his years at Keeneland. We are extremely honored to have him as a member of The Jockey Club, and this is certainly a richly deserved award," said Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club.

Nicholson recently completed 12 years as president and chief executive officer of Keeneland Association. Beginning in 1989 he served as executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club and earlier was executive vice president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders.

"There are very few people in our industry who have achieved such success and commanded the respect of his peers as Nick Nicholson has," said Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive officer of the NTRA. "His contributions have touched all aspects of our sport; from racing, breeding and sales to improving the fan experience."

From 1975 to 1977 Nicholson was a staff member of the Democratic National Committee and then was executive assistant to Kentucky's U.S. Senator Wendell Ford from 1977 to 1981.

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