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« on: November 18, 2011, 03:33:21 PM »

The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) announced today that trainer Graham Motion has been chosen as the 2011 winner of the organization's Big Sport of Turfdom Award.  The annual honor is bestowed upon a person or group of people who enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and Thoroughbred racing publicists.

Most notable of Motion’s many accomplishments in 2011 of course was his saddling of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. However his considerable success wasn’t limited to the first Saturday in May as his runners accounted for 17 graded stakes victories this year, including additional Grade I scores with Toby’s Corner (Wood Memorial), Summer Soiree (Del Mar Oaks) and Aruna (Spinster).

“I'm flattered by the award,” said Motion. “I've always felt strongly about making yourself available, and we need as much cooperation in the game as possible – whether it's with the racetrack, the media or the fans.”

The Big Sport of Turfdom Award will be presented at the Race Track Industry Program Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, December 6.  It is part of the 2011 Symposium on Racing & Gaming presented by the University of Arizona at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Arizona. The TPA is an organization consisting of approximately 150 publicity and marketing personnel from racetracks and racing organizations around the country. The Big Sport of Turfdom award has been presented every year since 1966.

“Graham has earned a reputation of being a class act. This was never more evident after this year’s Kentucky Derby win by Animal Kingdom and his heart-breaking loss in the Preakness,” said Turf Publicists of America President Bill Knauf.  “Win or lose he was always gracious with his time, and for that he has earned the respect of racing people across the country. I couldn't think of a more appropriate winner for this year's Big Sport of Turfdom award.”

Previous winners of the Big Sport of Turfdom Award include jockeys Mike Smith, Pat Day, Laffit Pincay Jr., Chris McCarron, Bill Shoemaker, Angel Cordero Jr. and Eddie Arcaro; trainers Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, Carl Nafzger and Jack Van Berg; as well as individuals who may not be involved in the day-to-day aspect of Thoroughbred racing but made significant contributions to the sport including author Laura Hillenbrand, broadcaster Jim McKay, and actors Tim Conway and Jack Klugman.

The Awards Luncheon is included in the registration fees for the symposium. Additional information about the luncheon may be obtained by contacting TPA President Bill Knauf at (732) 571-5638.
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