Cohen, Longley receive Hervey honors
Andrew Cohen, writing for Politics Daily, and Rob Longley of Trot magazine were named winners in the 49th annual John Hervey Awards for excellence in harness racing journalism, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced today.
Cohen was honored in the news/commentary category for his piece titled “Atlantic City and Horse Racing: Chris Christie’s About to Make His Bet.” It appeared on Politics Daily’s Web site on Nov. 25, 2010. Longley was recognized for his story titled “Making a Difference … With a Little Help From His Friends,” which appeared in the December 2009 issue of Trot.
The contest was sponsored by harness racing executive Jeff Gural.
Cohen’s commentary examined the state of racing in New Jersey and its future under Gov. Chris Christie.
“This piece gives a thorough appraisal of the situation in New Jersey without lapsing into an emotional diatribe,” judge Maryjean Wall said. “The timing places it within a context of high current interest.”
Honorable mention was awarded to Melissa Keith’s piece “Triple Crown Toppling,” which appeared in the March 2010 issue of Trot magazine.
“It is a thorough look at the status of the Triple Crown, trotting and pacing, and where it might fit in the future of Standardbred racing,” Wall said.
News/commentary judge Maryjean Wall, Ph.D., was a three-time Hervey Award winner while working as the horse racing writer for the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader for 35 years. She is author of How Kentucky Became Southern: a Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders (University Press of Kentucky, 2010).
Longley’s feature told the story of teenager Justin Fisher, who for years has participated in the annual Terry Fox Run to raise money for cancer research, with strong support from the harness racing community. His involvement took on additional meaning after losing his mother, Patti, to cancer four years ago.
“When most kids today focus their efforts on iPod downloads, numerous hours playing video games and catching up on their latest TV shows, it is refreshing and emotional to see the efforts of 13-year-old Justin Fisher,” judge Lou Monaco said. “Through the tragedy of his mom’s passing to his fund-raising efforts for the Terry Fox Foundation over the years, it is good to see a feel-good story brought to light and that youth is not wasted on the young.
“It is a true inspiration to young and old – not only now, but for years to come.”
Receiving honorable mention were Evan Pattak’s story “Track Tech: Racetracks Explore New Technologies to Reach Customers,” which appeared in the November 2010 issue of Hoof Beats magazine, and Neil Milbert’s piece “Harness Legacy Marcus Miller Leads Double Life at Chicago-area Horse Tracks,” which appeared in the Jan. 6, 2010 edition of the Chicago Tribune.
Of Pattak’s story, Monaco said: “An absolute must-read on what the harness racing industry must do to promote, publicize and project itself into the 21st century. These new technologies, concepts and tools will enable the fan to get closer to the individuals of the sport and generate ‘buzz’ on an industry that certainly needs an injection of new fans, new excitement and new possibilities.”
About Milbert’s story, which detailed Miller’s life as a harness racing driver in addition to being a student at DePaul University, Monaco said: “How does Marcus Miller find the time! A true inspiration as far as how to pursue one’s dream and the hard work that it takes to get there.”
Monaco worked with SportsTicker for more than 18 years and has covered numerous Hambletonians, Meadowlands Paces and Breeders Crowns. He currently is a contributor for Patch.com and is a newsroom assistant/writer for Dorf Feature Service, which provides content and information to the Newark Star-Ledger, Trenton Times, and NJ.com.
Cohen and Longley will be honored at USHWA’s annual awards dinner, to be held February 27 at the Marriott in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. For banquet information or tickets, contact Steve Wolf at 954.654.3757 or email@example.com
For information about placing an ad in the banquet journal, contact Kim Rinker at 708.557.2790 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Winners in the broadcast category will be announced Monday.