Jeannine Edwards, senior broadcast analyst for ESPN, will be the first female to host the Eclipse Awards presentation, which will be held Jan. 16, 2012, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Eclipse Awards are presented by the Breeders’ Cup and Daily Racing Form.
“I’m extremely proud, flattered and honored to be hosting the Eclipse Awards—racing’s Oscars,” said Edwards, who resides in Colora, Md., near Baltimore. “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been in love with horses and racing. For me, the Eclipse Awards would come along every year and be the anxiously-awaited, crowning moment of a season’s worth of indelible achievements. With so many divisions up in the air, I’m just as eager as everyone else to see who will be taking home the hardware. It humbles me to think I will be a part of this year’s ‘crowning moment.’”
Edwards has been consistently named as one of the top 10 female sportscasters by several media outlets. Sports Illustrated named her “Best Broadcaster in Horse Racing” in 2004 and #1 Broadcaster on Television for October 2007.
“Jeannine is not just a talented on-air personality, but also one of the most universally admired and respected people associated with the Thoroughbred industry,” said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the NTRA, in a release.
A native of Tenafly, N.J., Edwards was an exercise rider, apprentice jockey, and trainer in New York and New Jersey before becoming an in-house TV host at racetracks in Maryland in 1994.
Edwards started on ESPN in 1995 as a studio analyst for “National Best 7,” which was transformed into “2Day at the Races” and ran for five years. During that time, Edwards also began reporting for remote racing telecasts and as a sideline reporter for college football and, later, college basketball. Edwards became a general assignment reporter shortly thereafter on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
In addition to the many award-winning programs with which she has been associated, Edwards was recognized for her outstanding reporting for ESPN, ABC News, and Good Morning America on the injury and subsequent death of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro.