© Phalaris Project 2013-2017 - Last updated July 8, 2017 Divisional leaders in U.S. racing are honored with Eclipse Awards. Three bodies of voters - the Daily Racing Form, the NTRA and the National Turf Writers Association - are involved with the current Eclipse Award process. Voting is concluded near the end of the calendar year and winners are announced in late January or early February. The Eclipse Awards began in 1971 and superceded earlier, separate, voting regimes. Prior to 1971, champions were selected separately by the Daily Racing Form and the TRA and occasionally, selections differed. Another popular champion poll was conducted by the Turf and Sport Digest magazine. Changes that have occurred since 1971 in the Eclipse Awards are the separation of the Turf and Sprint divisions into gender specific versions of these categories.  The Turf Female division was first awarded for the 1979 racing season, while the Female Sprinter championship was first awarded for the 2007 racing season. There are important differences worth noting about the Triangle/Daily Racing Form champions. There were no "Older Male" or "Older Female" divisions in the Triangle poll; the equivalent award was "Handicap Male" and "Handicap Female," to which 3-year- olds were eligible. Hence, in some years a 3-year-old was honored as both champion 3-year-old and champion handicap horse and no older horse would be selected. There also was a "Best 2-year-old" and "Best 3-year-old" award, which would be given to the male or female judged to be the best of its age group. (This category is not reflected in the table shown by the link below.) Not all divisions had champions each year. The champion sprinter award was given only sporadically, especially in the early years, and owing to the scarcity of turf racing until the1950s in this country, there was no champion turf horse until 1953. Fillies were overlooked in the very early years also. Made with MAGIX