Clancy Named for Joe Hirsch Award

By Dick Downey
Posted June 4, 2016

Joe Clancy, a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, was named a winner of the seventh annual annual Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest, which recognized the best in print and internet coverage of the 2015 Belmont Stakes.

The award, presented by the New York Racing Association, was announced today.

Clancy, of ST Publishing, won for his article "Savoring the moment at Triple Crown." He recounted the thrills and celebrations that followed American Pharoah's capture of the Triple Crown series in the Belmont Stakes.

"Over the small divider to the reserved seats, people reveled in the moment. They were old, young, tall, short; some wore fascinators and seersucker; others sported flip-flops and cut-off shorts. But they were there, a melting pot of history witnesses clutching $2 tickets they'd never cash."

Richard Rosenblatt of The Associated Press also won a Hirsch prize for his piece about owner-breeder Ahmed Zayat.  The essay described Zayat's enthususiasm for and expertise in Thoroughbred racing, business, and, well, everything he does.

"From buildings to beer to breeding, when Zayat becomes involved in business, he's going for the gusto. No glass half empty for him. He's all in, all the time, consumed with being the best. Up next? A chance at racing history ..."

The winners will receive their awards on June 8 at Rockefeller Center during the official post position draw for the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes.

Joe Hirsch was a beloved and renowned sports columnist for Daily Racing Form. He died Jan. 9, 2009. Winners during the first six years of the award are David Grening of DRF and Bob Fortus of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans in 2010; Ed Fountaine of the New York Post and DRF's Jay Privman in 2011; Ed McNamara of Newsday and Todd Simmons of the Staten Island Advance in 2012; Mike MacAdam of The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, N.Y., and Claire Novak, writing for in 2013; Bob Ehalt of and Nicole Russo of DRF in 2014; and Tom Law of ST Publishing and Alicia Wincze-Hughes of the Lexington Herald-Leader in 2015.