The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has announced that WLKY-TV in Louisville has won the 2006 Media Eclipse Award for Local Television for its documentary "The Final Foal," about the filly Maggie Slew, the last offspring of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. The "The Final Foal," a one-hour program, aired on April 29, 2006. It was produced and photographed by Scott Eckhardt and written and narrated by John Boel.
"The Final Foal" tells the story of Maggie Slew, who was born on February 19, 2003, at Don and Dana Myers's Swifty Farms in Seymour, Ind. Eckhardt traces Maggie Slew as a yearling in Ocala, Fla., and then to the races during her 2-year-old and part of her 3-year-old seasons at Ellis Park, Keeneland, Monmouth Park and Churchill Downs. Maggie Slew was the 1,096th and last foal in the stallion career of Seattle Slew, who died in 2002. She is from the Alydar mare, May Day Ninety.
"This is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Thoroughbred industry," said Eckhardt, who has worked in the news department at WLKY for 10 years. "I have always wanted to make a film about the life of a racehorse from the beginning, and when I saw a small item in the newspaper about the impending birth of Seattle's Slew's last foal, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity do this story coupled with the magnitude of what Seattle Slew brought to racing. We greatly enjoyed making this film, and we received tremendous cooperation throughout the filming of the project from Swiftly Farms, Jerry Selby at David Vance Stables, and from Churchill Downs."
Honorable mention in the Local Television category went to CTV-Calgary and Horse Racing Alberta for "Brother Derek's Run for the Roses," which aired on July 1, 2006. Jeff Robillard was executive producer.
Judges for the Local Television category were Jack Coffey of Eclipse Productions; Fritz Mitchell, independent film producer and Jay Posner of the San Diego Union Tribune.
The Eclipse Awards are presented by the NTRA, National Turf Writers Association (NTWA) and Daily Racing Form. 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.
The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 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 2006 Eclipse Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, January 22, 2007 at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. For hotel accommodations and Eclipse Awards dinner reservations, contact Debbie Blair at the NTRA's Lexington office, (800) 792-6872, or e-mail email@example.com.