McNamara, Privman Win Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest

Posted May 25, 2017

Jay Privman of The Daily Racing Form and Ed McNamara of Newsday, both members of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, earned top honors in the New York Racing Association's eighth annual Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest.

They were recognized for creating the best in print and internet coverage of the 2016 Belmont Stakes.

Privman won for his race recap entitled "Creator beats Destin by a nose in Belmont Stakes," which chronicled Steve Asmussen's return to the top of the racing world in 2016, along with his upcoming Hall of Fame induction.

McNamara won for his advance/feature piece, "Addressing Gettysburg and Belmont Stakes conspiracy theories," which examined the case of Gettysburg and his strategic transfer to Asmussen's barn from that of Todd Pletcher. Gettysburg served as the expected pacesetter for fellow WinStar-owned Creator and Exaggerator, on whom WinStar had secured breeding rights. Creator closed to win the Belmont by a nose.

The winners will be presented their awards on June 7 at Rockefeller Center during the post position draw for the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes.

Privman and McNamara are the first two repeat winners of the Joe Hirsch Contest, inaugurated in 2010 in honor of the longtime executive sports columnist for Daily Racing Form who died on Jan. 9, 2009.

Privman won for best feature/advance in 2011, while McNamara took top honors in the follow/wrap-up category in 2012.

Other previous winners include Dave Grening of DRF and Bob Fortus of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans in 2010; Ed Fountaine of the New York Post in 2011; 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; Tom Law of ST Publishing and Alicia Wincze-Hughes of the Lexington Herald-Leader in 2015; and Joe Clancy of ST Publishing and Richard Rosenblatt of The Associated Press in 2016.

Edited NYRA release