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Ehalt, Russo Win Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Awards

By Sean Morris | 06/03/2014 12:01 PM ET
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Bob Ehalt, writing for ESPN.com,and Nicole Russo, of Daily Racing Form, earned top honors in The New York Racing Association, Inc.'s (NYRA) fifth annual Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest, recognizing the best in print and internet coverage of the 2013 Belmont Stakes, won by Palace Malice.

Ehalt won top honors in the feature/advance division for his story that appeared on June 6 on ESPN.com entitled "Will it be the year of the filly?." The article chronicled Mike Repole's desire to win the Belmont Stakes, which in 2013 fell on the shoulders of the filly Unlimited Budget.

Russo won in the follow/wrap-up division for her story that appeared on DRF.com on Thursday, June 13 and ran under the headline "Campbell, Dogwood partnership enjoy another classic success." The story recounted Palace Malice's path to victory in the Belmont Stakes, and its impact on the colt's 85-year-old owner, Cot Campbell, who pioneered the concept of racing partnerships.

The winners will receive their awards on June 4 at Belmont Park during the official draw breakfast for the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes.

The awards are named in honor of Joe Hirsch, the longtime executive sports columnist for Daily Racing Form (DRF) who died Jan. 9, 2009. Previous winners include Dave Grening of DRF and Bob Fortus of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans in 2010, Ed Fountaine of the New York Post and DRF's Jay Privman in 2011, Ed McNamara of Newsday and Todd Simmons of the Staten Island Advance in 2012, and Mike MacAdam of The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, N.Y., and Claire Novak, writing for ESPN.com in 2013

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