Multi-award-winning TRC writer Bob Ehalt has been singled out once more for one of America’s most prestigious racing journalism honors. Ehalt has been named one of the two winners of the New York Racing Association’s ninth annual Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest, recognizing the best in print and internet coverage of the 2017 Belmont Stakes, won by Tapwrit.
The TRC man won for his examination of the international circumstances surrounding the 149th Belmont, brought by Japanese stakes winner Epicharis, whose entry - despite his race-day scratch - made the Belmont the first U.S. Triple Crown race available for simulcasting wagering in Japan.
This is the second Joe Hirsch Award for Ehalt, who won in 2014, writing for ESPN.com.
The other winner this time is Tom Law of ST Publishing, another previous winner, who was honored for his follow-up piece Perfect Script, which examined Tapwrit’s journey from a promising $1.2 million yearling purchase to a G1 winner with his two-length victory over Irish War Cry in the Test of the Champion.
It’s only a few months since Ehalt’s most recent commendation for his work on TRC - his October 16 TRC article Racing’s draft process: how DO owners decide who will train their horses? (read it here) received an honorable mention in the News Enterprise category at the Eclipse Awards in January. He also received an honorable mention at the Eclipse Awards in 2011.
Ehalt was the recipient of Pimlico’s David F. Woods Award for writing the outstanding story on the 2015 Preakness (won by American Pharoah).
The Joe Hirsch presentation was held yesterday, before the post position draw for Saturday’s big race. The awards are named in honor of Joe Hirsch, the longtime executive sports columnist for Daily Racing Form, who died January 9, 2009.