The Eclipse Awards will be handed out on Saturday January 19 at Gulfstream Park Racetrack and Casino in Hallandale Beach, Florida. In addition to all the awards for the equine and human competitors, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters will also recognize excellence in media coverage of Thoroughbred racing.
The 2012 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary Writing goes to Ryan Goldberg for "Keiber Coa Presses on a Year After Father's Fateful Spill," which appeared on Daily Racing Form on July 7. The complete article is available here. This is the first Media Eclipse Award for Goldberg, a native of West Long Branch, NJ, who now resides in Brooklyn, NY, and is a freelance contributor to Daily Racing Form. Goldberg earned an Honorable Mention in the 2011 News/Enterprise Writing Media Eclipse category for an article on Lasix, which also appeared in Daily Racing Form.
"I feel incredibly proud of the work and grateful to receive this honor," said Goldberg. "I grew up reading all of the racing greats who influenced my work, like Bill Nack and Joe Hirsch. "To see my name next to theirs on this award is overwhelming."
Goldberg opens his story about the Coas on February 18, 2011, where Keiber, just one week enrolled at the Laffit Pincay Jockey School in Panama, learns over the phone from his stepmother of his father's horrific fall that day in a race at Gulfstream Park in Florida. Flying home the next day, Keiber finally meets his father after six hours of surgery to repair a C-4 vertebra in his neck. After seeing Eibar in such a perilous condition, the older Coa would not have been disappointed if his son decided against becoming a jockey. But as Goldberg relates, things turned out differently, as over the next 19 months Eibar becomes a successful apprentice jockey while his father, though he will never ride again, experiences a remarkable recovery.
Honorable mention went to Barbara Livingston for her story on trainer Danny Perlsweig and his former Juvenile champion Lord Avie, which appeared in Daily Racing Form on May 26.
The panel of judges for the Feature/Commentary Writing category was comprised of Lynne Snierson, former award-winning sportswriter and current freelance journalists covering the racing industry Reid Cherner, sports writer and columnist for USA Today and Hank Wesch, former San Diego Union Tribune racing writer.
Mary Simon is the winner of the 2012 Media Eclipse Award for Writing in the News/Enterprise category for "Added Obstacle," an examination of the history and current status of the race day medication Furosimide (or Salix), which appeared in Thoroughbred Times on June 9. This is the second writing Media Eclipse Award for Simon, who grew up in Upland, CA, and has resided in Lexington, KY, since 1985. Simon previously won the Media Eclipse for Outstanding Feature Writing in 2000 for Thoroughbred Times.
Simon credits her husband, Mark, former editor of Thoroughbred Times, which ceased publication in September after 27 years, who assigned her the story. "I am happy to win this for Mark," said Simon. "He is the best editor in the business and I'm so incredibly proud of the great legacy he left with Thoroughbred Times, especially during this past difficult year."
In "Added Obstacles," Simon uses the 25th anniversary of Alysheba's attempt to win the 1987 Belmont Stakes without Lasix--which was not permitted in New York at that time--as a starting point for examining the history of exercised induced pulmonary hemorrhaging-more commonly known as "bleeding"-and the incorporation of furosimide in US racing. Simon researched equine bleeding back some 500 years and found homemade methods used through the centuries to treat or prevent it.
Honorable Mention in the News/Enterprise category went to Stan Grossfeld for "Photo Finish," about horse rescue, which appeared in the Boston Globe on September 25.
The panel of judges for the News/Enterprise Writing category was comprised of Beverley Smith of the Globe and Mail in Canada, Ed Gray, Thoroughbred journalist, and Ed DeRosa of Brisnet.com.