As I dictate this I have just cut the television set off after watching the Eclipse Awards. I have some observations. As is always the case, it is a very interesting night in racing and I think generally everyone does a good job.
I thought the talent was good. I thought Todd Schrupp, Simon Bray and Greg Wolf did a marvelous job. They were very smooth and they could fit into any situation. Kenny Rice was a very good Master of Ceremonies and the only flaw in Kenny is that he needed to learn early on that the filly's name is not Rachel Alexander - but Rachel Alexandra. But Kenny did a fine job - he was confident and he was funny and he moved it along. I thought his role was exceedingly well done.
Jay Hovdey did a tribute to Bobby Frankel that was absolutely superb. American racing should be proud to have such a talent as Jay Hovdey - he would be a star in any field of endeavor as a journalist. He did a wonderful job.
Monique Kohler received a Special Eclipse Award and she probably made the best and smoothest speech of the night. Her award was for starting the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and God knows she deserves a great deal of credit for that. That was absolutely wonderful.
I thought Will Farish was appealing and his Eclipse Award of Merit was so well deserved. No one has ever contributed more to every phase of the Thoroughbred industry than Will Farish. He's a good guy and what a marvelous outfit he has operated for so long.
On the negative side I think that the fact that 39 people did not vote is absolutely atrocious and those so-in-so's ought to be barred from ever voting again.
I thought Jess Jackson (who, incidentally, looks like Daddy Warbucks) gets to be a little verbose and maybe a little redundant, but still he was very gracious. He went out of his way to bring the Mosses into it before and after it was announced that Rachel Alexandra was the Horse of the Year. He deserves great credit for that.
An unfortunate thing is that the microphones were unable to pick up any laughter or applause… so the people who were trying to crack jokes seemed to be laying eggs most of the time. It would be wonderful if the whole venue could be more intimate, but there seems to be a disconnect between the podium and the audience, and that has always been the case.
I've never seen so much mousse on hair and a lot of those guys seemed to have been plucked from the ocean where there was an oil slick. Bo Derek is always brought in from the bull pen whenever there's an event of that sort and she's dead game and has done a good job in California as a racing official. Bo looked a little tired but still close to a "ten."
It surprised me that the vote was 130 for Rachel Alexandra and 99 for Zenyatta. I was flabbergasted that the vote wasn't much closer than that. I do think that one of the most exciting visual incidents of the night was seeing Zenyatta again walking around the walking ring and then in the post parade, doing that goose-step.
All in all it was a good evening and a lot of people deserve a lot of credit.
This is Cot Campbell and this is my view.