Daily Gazette sportswriter Mike MacAdam was named the winner of the New York Racing Association’s fourth annual Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest for his story describing Union Rags’ victory in last year’s Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park.
MacAdam won in the follow/wrap-up division. The story appeared in the Sunday, June 10 edition of the Gazette under the headline “Union Rags finds riches on the rail.”
The story recounted the brilliant handling of Union Rags by John Velazquez as he stunned Paynter and Mike Smith at the wire in the Belmont.
MacAdam has been covering horse racing for the Gazette for over 20 years
Claire Novak won top honors in the feature/advance division for her story that appeared on June 8 on ESPN.com chronicling the events of June 8, when Triple Crown hopeful I’ll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont.
The awards are named in honor of Joe Hirsch, the longtime executive sports columnist for the Daily Racing Form who died Jan. 9, 2009.
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 and DRF’s Jay Privman in 2011 and Ed McNamara of Newsday and Todd Simmons of the Staten Island Advance in 2012.