LEXINGTON, Ky. (Monday, January 5, 2015) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) announced today that The Blood-Horse has won the 2014 Media Eclipse Award in the Audio/Multi-Media Internet category for “Waiting, and Waiting, for Crowning Glory: A generation repeatedly denied a Triple Crown winner looks to California Chrome,” an in depth examination of the difficulties of winning Thoroughbred racing’s greatest challenge, which appeared on bloodhorse.com on May 28, 2014.
The Blood-Horse will be presented the honor at the 44th Annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony on Saturday, January 17, at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The Eclipse Awards are presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group and produced by the NTRA.
Written by Frank Angst, “Waiting, and Waiting, for Crowning Glory” offered a comprehensive multi-media presentation on the various components of the “near misses” of the Triple Crown, which has not been won since Affirmed captured the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in 1978. The Blood-Horse examined the improbable odds of a horse sweeping all three grade 1 races at distances of greater than 1 1/8 miles; related the stories of the most recent horses who won the first two Jewels of the Triple Crown; and recalled the “spoilers,” the horses that won the Belmont Stakes and denied the Derby and Preakness winners their ultimate goal.
The last section of the piece undertook explanations for the reasons behind the Triple Crown not being achieved in 36 years, exploring the changes in breeding, training, field sizes of the Triple Crown races, and fewer starts by horses than previous generations, among other variables. Recollection of the excitement and disappointment of those who experienced the “near-misses” also come to light, from owners Mike Pegram, Jack Knowlton to trainers Barclay Tagg, Rick Dutrow and John Servis, who discuss the rigors of the Triple Crown campaign.
“Crowning Glory” was supported by video interviews with Hall of Fame Jockey Chis McCarron, and Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, recalling their experiences in ending Triple Crown bids; and from Michael Hernon of Gainesway Farm, which stands 2004 Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone, and Bill Farish from Lane’s End, home of 1999 Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid, two “spoilers” who went on to promising careers as graded stakes producing sires.
“It’s a tremendous honor and I can’t emphasize enough how much of a team effort it was to win this award,” said Angst, a staff writer at The Blood-Horse since 2013 who previously wrote for the Thoroughbred Times for 12 years. “After doing this story, when a horse finally wins the Triple Crown, I will be more impressed and appreciative of the enormous accomplishment it is to sweep all three races.”
“The most satisfying part of this project’s success was seeing the decision to innovate and step outside our comfort zones pay off,” said Claire Novak, Online Features Editor for The Blood-Horse. “Our team put in their best effort to combine Frank’s detailed reporting with cutting-edge design and video elements we’d previously not been able to include in online features. In the end, the piece reflected the kind of quality and forward-thinking attitude that publishers must maintain in order to remain relevant in the modern media world. We look forward to continuing to push our limits with online features and presentations, and everyone who worked on this story is honored to see it receive this award.”
In addition to Angst and Novak, the piece was designed by Kim Reeves; Anne Eberhardt was visual director; Scott Tracy was multi-media producer; Gary Bodgon and Charlie McCarthy were the videographers and Kevin Thompson was visual assets coordinator. The text was edited by Tom Hall, Eric Mitchell and Ian Tapp.
The winning entry may be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1mFxK0K.
Honorable mention in the Audio and Multi-Media Internet category went to Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) for its live broadcast of the 140th Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on May 3, 2014. Judges in this category were John Lee, multi-media producer, Brian Nadeau of Horseplayer Now and Jessica Chapel of breederscup.com.
The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies. The Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements in North America have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Those awards are voted by NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB). Eclipse Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.
About the NTRA
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, NTRA.com, the Eclipse Awards, the National Handicapping Championship, NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program, and HORSE PAC, a federal political action committee. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).