NTWAB Winter 2016 Newsletter

By Tom Pedulla, President

Posted Jan. 25, 2016

Dear Members,

I am proud to say that the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters remains the strong, well-respected voice it has always been in the racing industry.

We played a major role in working with the Eclipse Awards Steering Committee when an entry submitted in good order for the photo contest was inadvertently not sent to the judges. I worked closely with Mike Kane, our vice president, and the board in urging that judges be allowed to review that entry – a consideration due every contestant -- while making certain that the announced winner was never in jeopardy.

The judges were so impressed by the entry that initially failed to reach them that a second Eclipse was awarded in the photo contest, to Michael Clevenger of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Although the situation was far from ideal, the Steering Committee was unanimous in believing we settled on the best possible solution. All members of the Steering Committee vowed to develop a procedure that will make it virtually impossible for an entry to slip through the cracks again.

The NTWAB also rose to the occasion in saluting American Pharoah, the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, as well as Tom Hammond, Tim Layden, Cathy Schenck and Bill Mooney, the other honorees at its 56th annual awards dinner. More than 200 guests – our largest attendance in recent memory – were treated to an emotional, memorable program at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington, Ky., that was broadcast for the first time by HRRN.

Advertising support, in the form of a 60-page program loaded with color ads, remains strong. That will allow us to continue various initiatives undertaken in recent years and, hopefully, to fund new ones. We made $3,500 in donations to industry-related charities at the dinner. The evening culminated in a Bud Light toast to Jennie Rees on the conclusion of a tremendous career at the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The NTWAB announced that it will fund a $2,000 scholarship in Jennie’s name at Indiana University, her alma mater, for at least the next two years. We would like to extend the commitment as long as our finances allow with the hope of developing aspiring reporters who might follow in Jennie’s footsteps.

Your criticism/feedback/questions always welcome. I may be reached at 646-337-6955 or by email at tpedulla23@gmail.com. Yours in racing, Tom Pedulla


ECLIPSE VOTING: In continuing our tradition of transparency, please see the attachment here to learn how NTWAB members voted.

NEW WEB SITE: Please see the following report from Dick Downey, our website administrator, on the revamping of www.ntwab.org:

“I hope you will agree that the new site has a streamlined, easy-to-navigate look and feel. The project was approved by the board of directors and the membership and was completed for $2,750, beneath the high end of an estimate by Sitemason, a company in Nashville.

"Here’s something else new. Members’ Marketplace is a section of the site that will allow members to post free classified ads offering goods and services, housing during major events, etc. It was just launched and conditions of usage are set out on the site. We hope you will take advantage of this service. To make a listing, send an email to Dick at ntwab2016@gmail.com.

"In cooperation with Equibase, we have added to the right side of the site handy links to assist you in your research, including a dropdown menu of Equibase Stats. There’s also a new listing of codes for every training center and track in the nation.”

Thank you, Dick Downey

Please put the site -- and Members’ Marketplace -- to work for you.

ARIZONA-BOUND: The University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program was so pleased with Gary West’s efforts last year that it opted to select two members to address its students this year. They chose Canada-based freelancer Beverly Smith and Bill Dwyre, who recently retired after a distinguished career at the Los Angeles Times. We are paying for Beverly’s flights, meals and incidentals while Arizona will provide housing. The university agreed to cover all of Bill’s expenses. Please keep this two-day program in mind in the future. Arizona is eager to present to its students as many different voices as possible.

KENTUCKY INTERNSHIP: It was our pleasure to have Kami Griffith as the recipient of our first $2,000 internship at the University of Kentucky. Kami worked closely with Alicia Wincze-Hughes of the Lexington Herald-Leader and other members in that region. Thank you to Richard Rosenblatt for arranging the internship with UK, to Alicia, to NBC for allowing Kami access to its pre-Breeders' Cup meetings and to all of those who assisted her. We expect to do this again, and perhaps offer other internships, as our finances allow.

PREAKNESS CONTEST: The Maryland Jockey Club is accepting entries for the David F. Woods Memorial Award, presented annually to the writer of the best Preakness article. Please submit entries to David Joseph at david.joseph@marylandracing.com. Entries should include an attachment of the story, name of publication, date, and a link to the article. The deadline for entries is March 11. Your participation in this and all contests is vital if you want them to continue.

DUES: Please pay your annual dues at your earliest convenience by sending a check for $50, payable to National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, to our treasurer, Loren Hebel-Osborne, 11400 Covered Bridge Road, PO Box 219, Prospect, Ky., 40059. Your prompt attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.