01/07/2013 3:41PM

Eclipse Award of Merit going to Keeneland's Nicholson


Nick Nicholson, the former president of Keeneland Association, has been selected to receive the Eclipse Award of Merit, one of racing’s highest honors, the organizers of the Eclipse Awards announced Monday.

Nicholson, who retired as Keeneland’s president and chief executive officer in September, held two of the most prestigious positions in racing over his career. Before his 12 years serving as the sixth president in the history of Keeneland, Nicholson was the executive director of The Jockey Club for nearly 10 years. During that time, Nicholson presided over the organization as it launched an interactive registration system and a data-collection company, Equibase, that it created in partnership with U.S. racetracks to compete with Daily Racing Form .

While at the Jockey Club, Nicholson took a leave of absence to help launch the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, an organization that was created to coordinate national racing efforts. Nicholson served as the NTRA’s first chief operating officer before being tabbed by Keeneland to replace the retiring Bill Greely in 2000.

“I am truly honored and deeply appreciative to win the Eclipse Award of Merit,” Nicholson said in a release. “I am also quite surprised. Throughout my career, the opportunity to work in the Thoroughbred industry has been its own reward.”

Nicholson will receive the Eclipse Award of Merit at the Eclipse Awards ceremony scheduled for Jan. 19 at Gulfstream Park in south Florida.