01/17/2002 12:00AM

Pedersen, Mangurian lauded

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Longtime California steward Pete Pedersen and Florida breeder and owner Harry T. Mangurian will receive Eclipse Awards of Merit for 2001, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced on Thursday.

Pedersen, 81, has been a steward in California since 1948. He has worked at nearly every racetrack on the West Coast, is currently the senior steward at Santa Anita in Southern California, and is respected among other racing officials for his academic approach to stewardship, along the lines of the late Keene Daingerfield.

Mangurian, 76, is the owner of Mockingbird Farm in Ocala, Fla. He has bred or raced more than 150 stakes winners, and, as a breeder, he led the nation from 1999-2001 in earnings and races won.

Mangurian, who is in the process of dispersing most of his holdings, also has the peculiar distinction of standing the leading freshman sire in either earnings or races won for the past five years, beginning with Diablo in 1997 and running through End Sweep in 1998, Rizzi in 1999, Storm Creek in 2000, and Valid Expectations in 2001.

This is the second time that two Eclipse Awards of Merit have been awarded in one year. In 1992, both Joe Hirsch, Daily Racing Form executive columnist, and Robert Strub, the late Santa Anita executive, were presented merit awards.

Recipients of the Eclipse Award of Merit are selected by a committee composed of representatives of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers Association, and the Daily Racing Form.