01/07/2005 1:00AM

Baird to receive Special Eclipse

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Dale Baird, the West Virginia-based trainer who has won more races than any other trainer in history, has been selected for a Special Eclipse Award, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Friday.

Through Friday, Baird had won 9,021 races. His closest rival is Jack Van Berg, who has 6,343 victories.

Baird, 69, has trained in West Virginia for 44 years, although his first winner came at Ellis Park in Kentucky, in 1961. Most of his victories have come with claiming horses that he owns or co-owns.

Baird has topped the annual trainers' standings by wins 17 times.