ESPN has won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Features for its documentary "Smarty Jones: America's Horse," which aired on Oct. 31, 2004, on ESPN and ESPN HD, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 4.
"Smarty Jones: America's Horse" chronicled the quest of last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner. The half-hour program included interviews with trainer John Servis, jockey Stewart Elliott and owner Roy Chapman before and after their Triple Crown run.
Smarty Jones lost the Triple Crown when finishing second in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Executive producers of "Smarty Jones: America's Horse" were Mark Shapiro and Michael Antinoro. The program was produced by Fredrick "Fritz" Mitchell and photographed by Peter Franchella.
"'Smarty Jones' was as much about the great people in the sport as it was about horseracing," said Mitchell. "Everyone, the Servises and the Chapmans, couldn't have been nicer in cooperating with us on their assault of the Triple Crown."
Honorable mention went to NBC Sports for "Brotherly Love," produced by Alex Piper, which aired May 15, 2004 during its Preakness Stakes telecast; and to ESPN Classic for "Woodie's World...Secretariat," produced by Bud Lamoreaux, which aired Oct. 28, 2004.
Judges in the National Television – Features category were George Butler of White Mountain Films; Joel Feld of College Sports Television; Paul Lucey of Fox Sports Net – New England; and Michael Sheehan of HBO Sports.
The 2004 Eclipse Awards will be presented Jan. 24 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif.