The Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee has won the year’s Media Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary Writing. Jamie Radosevich-Hernandez, on assignment for Reed Palmer Photography, has won the Media Eclipse Award for Photography. The Eclipse Awards are presented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters and honor outstanding achievement in media coverage of Thoroughbred racing. This is the first Eclipse Award for both McGee and Radosevich-Hernandez.
McGee, a lifelong Louisville resident, graduated from St. X High School before earning his degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky. Following nearly seven years as a racing writer and handicapper for the Baltimore Sun, McGee joined the Daily Racing Form in 1992. He is the Daily Racing Form’s chief correspondent in Kentucky and covers racing at Keeneland and Churchill Downs.
McGee’s winning piece, “For Desormeaux, Conflicting Views on his Struggles,” appeared in the April 20, 2013 edition of the Daily Racing Form. Through the story, McGee paints an intimate portrait of the ups and downs experienced by three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Kent Desormeaux.
“I feel humbled,” said McGee. “I feel honored and I’ve always said that my award has been the job itself because it’s really a lot of fun, but this puts all the work I’ve done in perspective. I’m just really happy.”
McGee noted that he likely put in 100 man-hours to develop and write the winning story. This included a trip to New Orleans, seven hours in one day with Keith Desormeaux, another three hours with Kent Desormeaux, and numerous phone calls and other interviews. McGee’s original piece was over 8,000 words which he culled down to 5,200 words for publication. To read the story click here.
“It was kind of cathartic in a lot of ways,” said McGee. “I’ve known Kent for many, many years, Keith as well. Obviously I put a lot of time and effort into it. I’ve probably only submitted maybe four or five stories [for Eclipse Award consideration] over the years. Obviously, I wanted to make sure I submitted this one.”
Louisville resident Jamie Radosevich-Hernandez has won the Eclipse Award for Photography for her photograph of reigning Horse of the Year, Wise Dan, and jockey John Velazquez on their way to winning the Firecracker Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs in June. The photo depicts the pair along the shrub hedge in the featured turf race ran during a rainstorm on the spring meet’s final Downs After Dark card. The photo appeared on the USA Today website and in the Courier-Journal June 30, 2013.
“I am truly humbled by winning the Eclipse Award,” Radosevich-Hernandez stated in a NTRA press release. “I grew up in horse racing [as the daughter of Shelly and Jake Radosevich, a veteran trainer in Ohio]. As a youngster we traveled a great deal and I developed a passion for the horses. Now I am enjoying my second career.”
According to the NTRA press release, Radosevich-Hernandez, who’s married to jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr., positioned herself on a ladder on the inside of the Churchill Downs Matt Winn turf course to take the photo on assignment for Reed Palmer Photography. Radosevich-Hernandez stated the reflections of the grandstand lights made the raindrops look like snowflakes.
McGee and Radosevich-Hernandez will be presented their awards during the 43rd Annual Eclipse Awards Ceremony January 18 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. The Eclipse Awards will be aired live on HRTV beginning at 8 p.m. EST.
Photo: Courtesy NTRA.com, M. McGee, Reed Palmer Photography