Cot Campbell, a pioneer in the development of racing partnerships, will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in thoroughbred racing.
The founder of Aiken-based Dogwood Stable will be honored Jan. 16 at the 41st annual Eclipse Awards, according to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters. The ceremony will be held in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Campbell, 84, announced in November that he is scaling back his involvement and will no longer form new racing partnerships. He will continue to manage those in existence.
“This seems to be my time,” Campbell said Tuesday. “A lot of great things coming my way, and certainly this is. It’s as good as you can get in our industry.”
This will be the third Eclipse Award for Campbell and Dogwood. The first came in 1987 with the Steeplechaser Inlander. Storm Song, daughter of Preakness winner Summer Squall, won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in 1996 and became the stable’s second Eclipse Award winner.
Campbell’s roots in the racing game run deep.
Dogwood has raced 76 stakes winners through the years, and Campbell estimates that Dogwood has brought in about 1,200 partners during the past 35 years
“Very few people are pioneers and trendsetters in their line of business. Cot Campbell has been just that with the racing partnership concept – not only introducing it, but doing it at the highest level and with class all the way,” said Todd Pletcher, who has trained stakes winners for Campbell since 1996.
Even though he is not taking on new partnerships, Campbell said he will keep active and he plans to attend a sale in March.
“I am surprised, delighted, and very appreciative that it comes my way,” Campbell said of the Eclipse Award. “It is the highlight of a career that has been exhilarating, to put it mildly.”