The Eclipse Awards are named after the 18th Century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies. The 2005 Eclipse Awards will be held on Monday, Jan. 23, 2006 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif.
A photo by Lynn Roberts that was published on the bloodhorse.com Web site has won the Media Eclipse Award for Photography for 2005, according to an announcement Tuesday.Roberts' photo was of the three-horse photo finish of the Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap on turf at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 15. Roberts's photograph appeared on bloodhorse.com the same day. The photograph was nominated for the Eclipse Award by The Blood-Horse on behalf of Roberts.The photograph, taken from the inside rail, depicts Rapid Proof, Honor in War and race winner America Alive – noses apart at the wire. "God set this shot up for me because I could not have done this on my own," said Roberts, who was the assistant track photographer at Fair Grounds when the photo was taken.Roberts, who is originally from Yazoo City, Miss., now resides in Franklinton, La. "Lou Hodges (Fair Grounds track photographer) likes to place me in some interesting locations, and one of them is on the inside rail. I imagined the close finish as the horses were approaching the wire and I shot seven frames, and it turned out absolutely perfect." Honorable mentions in the photography category went to David Stephenson for his photo of a horse named Culinary receiving a bath at Churchill Downs, which appeared on the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader Web site on May 5; and to Kirk Schlea for capturing the contact between Scrappy T. and Afleet Alex at the top of the stretch at this year's Preakness Stakes in the Thoroughbred Times of May 28. The panel of judges in the photography category was comprised of Steve Fine of Sports Illustrated, Jim Gensheimer of the San Jose Mercury News and Danny Farrell, retired New York Daily News photographer. Eclipse Awards are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.