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JOE DRAPE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES WINS MEDIA ECLIPSE AWARD FOR NEWS/COMMENTARY WRITING
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that New York Times sports writer Joe Drape has won the Media Eclipse Award for Writing in the News/Commentary category for his series of articles on a fraudulent wagering scheme associated with the Breeders' Cup Pick Six. Drape's seven articles, published between Oct. 29 and Nov. 13 in The New York Times, followed the story from its onset after the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to the subsequent arrest of the perpetrators, who have since pled guilty. This is the first Eclipse Award for Drape.
"Truthfully, this is the only award I've ever wanted to win, partly because I don't count covering the people involved with horseracing as work," Drape said. "As the man said: A bad day at the track is better than a good day anywhere else. I'm also honored to be on the same roster with folks who have won the award in previous years. It's hard not to smile when you see Red Smith's name on the list. He cared about the game and was the greatest of them all."
Media Eclipse Award winners will be honored at the 32nd annual Eclipse Awards Dinner, to be held Monday, Jan. 27, 2003 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. For hotel accommodations and Eclipse Awards dinner reservations, contact Debbie Blair at the NTRA's Lexington office, (800) 792-6872, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eclipse Awards are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. Eclipse Awards also are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. The awards are presented by the NTRA, the National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form.
The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies.
The panel of judges for the Writing – News/Commentary category included Frederick C. Klein, columnist for Sports Business Journal; Pete Coates, Bloomberg News' primary horseracing reporter; and Steve Wulf, executive editor of "ESPN The Magazine."
"The winner did a nice job of explaining the complex wagering fraud as it unfolded," said Coates. "The writer not only stayed on top of the investigation but detailed the implications to the horseracing community."
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of horseracing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program and the Great State Challenge. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, www.ntra.com.
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