NTRA, <i>DRF</i>, and NTWA Announce Changes in Eclipse Award Voting

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers Association, which annually present the Eclipse Awards, announced Friday that they will implement new voting procedures for the awards, effective this year.

Under the new system, individual voters from each of the three organizations will rank their top three selections in each of the 16 voting categories. Voters previously voted for a single entity in each category. The rankings will be scored on a 10-5-1 basis for first- second- and third-place, respectively. Points will be used to determine the top three finalists in each category. Winners in each category will be determined by the number of first-place votes cast for an individual horse or person.

To simplify the voting model, the organizations also have agreed to adopt the popular-vote method and eliminate the previous Electoral College-style voting.

"The Eclipse Awards steering committee reviewed a number of different voting methods and modeled previous years' voting using both bloc- and popular-vote systems before deciding to make procedural changes," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA senior vice president – marketing and industry relations. "We believe the new system will be a more reliable method for determining finalists and will be easier for fans to follow."

Ballots for the 2003 awards will be mailed to voters on Wednesday, Nov. 26. All votes must be received by Monday, Dec. 29 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Winners of the 2003 Eclipse Awards will be announced on Monday, Jan. 26, 2004 at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla.

The NTRA, Daily Racing Form, and the NTWA have presented the Eclipse Awards since 1998. Previously, the awards were sponsored by Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America in conjunction with Daily Racing Form and the NTWA. Prior to the start of the Eclipse Awards in 1971, the TRA and Daily Racing Form separately honored racing's annual champions.