Media Eclipse Awards announced for 2013

The Sports NetworkJanuary 3, 2014 

New York, NY ( - Marty McGee, Marcus Hersh and The New York Times, all first time winners, have been voted Media Eclipse Awards for 2013.

Marty McGee won in the Feature/Commentary category. The winning story, "For Desormeaux, Conflicting Views on his Struggles," was about Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux's difficult times and the impact on his family. It appeared in the Daily Racing Form on April 20, 2013.

"I'm overwhelmed and deeply honored to receive this award," said McGee. "It is the culmination of nearly 30 years of work and the pinnacle of my profession ... I am extremely grateful to my subjects, the Desormeaux family, for being as forthcoming as they were."

Marcus Hersh won the Media Eclipse Award for Writing in the News/Enterprise category for "Dubai World Cup: Douglas Back at Racetrack for First Time Since Being Injured." It appeared in the Daily Racing Form on March 26, 2013, from the United Arab Emirates about former jockey Rene Douglas, who lost the use of his legs in a racing accident in May 2009 at Arlington Park, and Private Zone, a horse Douglas discovered in Panama who was one of the favorites for the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen.

"I was happy when I spoke to Rene and felt his enthusiasm for the experience. To have your life fundamentally changed the way Rene's was when he got hurt, especially when you're talking about an athlete, that's as difficult a thing as you can imagine." Hersh said. "I wanted to hear how he was approaching this thing, but also to get the story of the horse himself. It's not just a feel- good thing: Private Zone was a remarkable find."

The New York Times won the Media Eclipse Award in the Audio/Multi-Media Internet category for "The Jockey," which profiled Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze and appeared on the Times' website on August 13, 2013.

The multi-media presentation was written and narrated by Barry Bearak. The presentation was produced by Xaquin G.V., Graham Roberts, R. Smith, Catherine Spangler and Josh Williams; with images from Chang W. Lee and photo editing by Becky Lebowitz Hanger; copy editing by Victor Mather; music composition from Thomas Gamble, and additional reporting and video by Shan Carter, Mike Bostock and Peter DaSilva. The project was overseen by sports editor Jason Stallman and associate managing editor for visualization Steve Duenes.

"So much great sportswriting has been done at the racetrack," said Bearak. "It was intimidating to try my hand at the genre, so it's really a thrill to have the story recognized as worthy. I so much admire previous winners of the Eclipse Award, among them my colleague Joe Drape of The New York Times. It's also neat because I went into reporting the story without knowing very much about horse racing, so I suppose it means I didn't make any glaring mistakes."

Previously announced Media Eclipse Award winner for the year just ended: NBC Sports won the Media Eclipse Award for Television - Live Racing Programming for its broadcast of the 2013 Kentucky Derby; HRTV won for Television - Features for its documentary "HRTV Presents: Saratoga WarHorse," an in-depth look at the work of a foundation taking a leading role in assisting struggling war veterans and their extraordinary relationship therapy with recently retired thoroughbreds; Jamie Radosevich-Hernandez won for Photography for her picture of 2012 Horse of Year Wise Dan and jockey John Velazquez racing to the finish line in an evening rainstorm in the Firecracker Handicap at Churchill Downs.

The media awards are presented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) for outstanding achievement in media coverage of thoroughbred racing. Trophies will be presented to the Award winners at the 43rd annual Eclipse Awards on Saturday, Jan, 18, 2014, at Gulfstream Park Racetrack and Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

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