by Heather Pettinger
Entries for the Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Award, which recognizes outstanding print and internet coverage of the Belmont Stakes, are now being accepted.
Open to any member of the print/digital media who covered the 2017 Belmont Stakes, won by Tapwrit, the ninth annual Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Award is taking entries in two categories: Belmont Stakes feature/advance, and Belmont Stakes wrap-up/follow-up.
Entries (hard copy or scanned file; print out from website is acceptable) must be accompanied by a cover letter, signed by the author, stating the wish to enter the contest. The cover letter is to also include contact information, publication information, and the entry category. No entry fee is required.
Mailed submissions should be sent to Pat McKenna, Director of Communications and Media Relations, The New York Racing Association, Inc., PO Box 90, Jamaica, NY 11417, postmarked no later than Wednesday, May 2, 2018.
The award is named in honor of Joe Hirsch, the longtime executive sports columnist for Daily Racing Form (DRF) who died on January 9, 2009. A native New Yorker, Hirsch was known as the dean of American turf writers. He retired in 2003 after a 50-year career covering racing.
The winners will be announced in May and will be presented with their awards during the official post position draw for the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 9.
Previous winners were David 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; Mike MacAdam of The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, N.Y., and Claire Novak, writing for ESPN.com in 2013; Bob Ehalt of ESPN.com and Nicole Russo of DRF in 2014; Alicia Wincze Hughes of the Lexington Herald-Leader and Tom Law of ST Publishing in 2015; Richard Rosenblatt of The Associated Press and Joe Clancy of ST Publishing in 2016. Last year, Privman and McNamara became the first two repeat winners of the Joe Hirsch Award.