The American Champion Male Turf Horse award is an American Thoroughbred horse racing honor. In 1971 it became part of the Eclipse Awards program and is awarded annually to a Colt or Gelding, regardless of age, for their performance on grass race courses.
The award originated in 1953 when the Daily Racing Form (DRF) named Iceberg II their champion. The Thoroughbred Racing Association (TRA) added the category in 1967. The organisations disagreed only once, in 1968.
The Daily Racing Form, the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and the National Turf Writers Association all joined forces in 1971 to create the Eclipse Award. From 1953 through 1978 it was awarded to male or female horses although the only female champion was Dahlia in 1974. In 1979 an individual category was created for each of the sexes.
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“A good horse will never return to graze on grass it has already passed by.”
“Oh! snatchd away in beautys bloom,
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
But on thy turf shall roses rear
Their leaves, the earliest of the year;”
—George Gordon Noel Byron (17881824)
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