The 90-minute program was repeatedly aired free of charge at Gulfstream Park last May, in the days leading up to the 2008 Kentucky Derby, and on HRTV as well, later in the year.
John and Brad Hennegan of Huntington, N.Y., traveled more than 150,000 miles during a 16-month period as they documented horses preparing for the 2006 Kentucky Derby. The documentary offered a first-hand look at those who dedicate their lives to horse racing and chase the dream of winning the world's most famous horse race. Among the trainers who told their stories were Michael Matz (trainer of Barbaro), Kiaran McLaughlin (Jazil), Dale Romans (Sharp Humor), Bob Holthus (Lawyer Ron), Frank Amonte (Achilles of Troy) and Dan Hendricks (Brother Derek).
The documentary also included previously unseen footage of Derby winner Barbaro.
"We are humbled and honored to win an Eclipse Award and want to thank the entire racetrack community for championing our film from the beginning," said Brad Hennegan.
Released theatrically in more than 25 U.S. markets in April 2008, a portion of proceeds from "The First Saturday in May" were donated to the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation.