Chicago Barn to Wire


Contact: Peggy Hendershot (859) 245-6897


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that Mary Simon has won the Media Eclipse Award for Writing in the Features/Enterprise category. Simon's award-winning series, "Racing Through the Century" appeared in Thoroughbred Times over several months, from Dec. 25, 1999 through Nov. 13, 2000. The award is the first for Simon.

This year, the writing categories were broadened to News/Commentary and Features/Enterprise. The previous writing categories were Newspaper and Magazine. Additionally, Internet-based submissions were accepted for the first time.

The panel of judges for the Writing-Features/Enterprise category included Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, author and translator Henry Taylor; Greg Michalson, a longtime Thoroughbred owner/breeder and the editor of BlueHen Books, a literary imprint and a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc.; Kenneth Tomlinson, president of the National Sporting Library and a racehorse owner/breeder; Demmie Stathoplos, former senior editor at Sports Illustrated and a recipient of the Maryland Jockey Club's Old Hilltop Award for excellence in coverage of Thoroughbred racing; and Bill Stump, managing editor-international for Men's Health magazine.

"Racing Through the Century," said Taylor, "is in a class by itself-a small book, really, very well written."

Simon's work, added Michalson, "does an outstanding job of appreciating the essence of each era, providing interesting detail and insight while fitting each period into the context of the larger historical perspective."

The Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Eclipse Awards are also given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. 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. Media Eclipse Award winners will be honored at the 30th annual Eclipse Awards Dinner, to be held Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2001 at the historic Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, La. For ticket information and reservations contact Jamie Haydon at the NTRA, (859) 245-6853, or via e-mail at

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of Thoroughbred interests, which in addition to racetracks, includes owners, breeders, off-track betting organizations, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and sales companies, among others. Through membership dues and funding from other horseracing interests, like the American Quarter Horse Association, the NTRA markets, advertises, promotes and televises Thoroughbred racing in North America. It also serves as a catalyst for industry-wide programs benefiting members in group purchasing, telecommunications and technology, consumer research and legislative initiatives. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site, Contact the NTRA at



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