Well, at least it will sound different.Nick Luck and his spotless elocution will be at the helm of the 47th Eclipse Awards dinner at Gulfstream Park on Thursday evening, when the two&#45;legged representatives of the industry enjoy their annual orgy of back&#45;patting while the real stars of the show languish in the barns.Luck will be the first non&#45;American (as opposed to un&#45;American) Eclipse emcee in the history of the event, unless you count Kenny Mayne, who was beamed here from another planet and turned his hosting of the awards into a edgy exercise in abstract expression. Hopefully, Luck will come equipped with just enough Brit wit to keep things light &ndash; something between Benny Hill and Noel Coward would be just right &ndash; otherwise the event can tend to drag, and there are no guarantees that award winners will say anything memorable. And no, Perry Martin was not considered as a replacement for Jeanine Edwards, who has so gracefully hosted the program these last seven years.Luck, Edwards, and Mayne are among a pantheon of Eclipse hosts that speak to a certain perverse variety. John Forsythe was the emcee so effectively for so long there seemed no reason to continue without him after he bowed out. Tim Conway, Kenny Rice, Gary Stevens, and Jerry O&rsquo;Connell also did their best, but Blake Carrington they were not.The Eclipse Awards dinner has been a variation on the same processional theme now since the winter of 1972, when Ack Ack, Canonero, Riva Ridge, Charlie Whittingham, and Laffit Pincay were the stars of the first blowout at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. The only serious difference, apart from the dress code, has been the addition 20 years ago of the envelope drama, in which the winners are held in various degrees of suspense until the presenter breaks the seal and declares either &ldquo;La La Land&rdquo; or &ldquo;Moonlight.&rdquo;Save for the categories of Female Sprinter and, to a lesser extent, the 2&#45;year&#45;old divisions, the edge of seats will be untroubled on Thursday night. Any names announced other than Gun Runner, Forever Unbridled, World Appeal, Lady Eli, West Coast, Abel Tasman, and Roy H in the other equine categories would defy the results of a 2017 racing season that was, by turns, disappointing and inspiring.For instance, this will be an awards dinner for the Thoroughbred racing industry that will all but ignore the winners of the three American classics as well as the two most popular reigning superstars to compete during the year. The rise and quiet exit of Arrogate, Songbird, Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing, and Tapwrit is a testimony to the fragile nature of a tough game.If nothing else, this year&rsquo;s collection of winners will provide an injection of new blood into the awards universe. Among the owners with likely first&#45;time champions, there are several familiar names who have paid more than their share of dues, including Gary and Mary West and Charles Fipke. Owners like China Horse Club, Sol Kumin and partners, and the Rockingham Ranch of California&rsquo;s Gary Hartunian are more recent arrivals at the top of the game, but there&rsquo;s always room for more.And for those of us who sometimes have difficulty separating the Ortiz brothers from a distance, Jose will be the one wearing the Eclipse Award after Thursday night. Viva Puerto Rico!Ortiz could just as easily step up to be part of the Special Eclipse Award ceremony as well, since his homeland will be in the spotlight for the rescue efforts surrounding the plight of racehorses stabled at the Hipodromo Camarero in the disastrous wake of Hurricane Maria last August.Shelley Blodgett and Kelley Stobie, founders of the Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare, have been the prime movers in the Camarero rescue efforts, which impacted upward of 800 horses stabled at the track.&ldquo;All the support has been great,&rdquo; said Stobie, an equine physical therapist who lives with her family near San Juan. &ldquo;But we still have a big battle going on. Structures still need to be rebuilt. Every time it rains the barns flood. Horses end up standing in water are foundering, which has led to a high rate of euthanasia. I really don&rsquo;t know what&rsquo;s going to happen to racing in Puerto Rico.&rdquo;Also being honored with a Special Eclipse will be the wide array of people and organizations who responded to the evacuation of the 400 or more horses at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center, in which seven barns were destroyed and 46 horses killed in the wildfires of Dec. 7.As of Monday, a representative of the San Luis Rey efforts had not been named to accept the award, although the organizers will have a pretty good candidate in the room. Peter Miller, trainer of likely Male Sprint champion Roy H, had the largest stable hit by the fire, and five of the horses he trained at San Luis Rey were killed.The survivors, remarkably, have been doing okay in their temporary Del Mar home. Good enough, in fact, to propel Miller to the top of the current Santa Anita standings, with wins coming from eight horses who were let loose from burning barns just seven weeks ago. If Miller gets a chance, you can bet he&rsquo;ll have nothing but praise and gratitude for the stablehands who risked their lives to save horses on that terrible afternoon.