06/22/2014 8:43AM

Daily Racing Form wins 6 AHP awards

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Daily Racing Form won six writing awards for work published in 2013 at the American Horse Publications annual awards dinner, presented Saturday night in Charleston, S.C.

Regular contributor Mary Simon won two awards – for best personality profile for “Daring Diane,” an article on riding pioneer Diane Crump that was published June 22, 2013, and for best personal column for the article “Catching up with A.P. Indy: Still carrying himself like a champion,” which was published May 5.

Simon also took home a second-place award in personality profile for a feature on former jockey Eddie Donnally entitled “Redemption of Eddie,” published Sept. 14.

Executive columnist Jay Hovdey earned a third-place award in the news category for his piece on injured rider Joy Scott, “Scott sees some good in latest injury,” which was published April 12.

Staff writer Marcus Hersh earned a third-place award in the category of feature for an article on blinkers, entitled “Under the hood,” which was published July 6.

DRF photographer Barbara Livingston was awarded second place in the category of editorial series for her two-part “Behind-the-scenes stars,” on exercise riders, which was published July 20 and 27.

Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
Interesting read. First of all, congrats to Mary and her awards. As a longtime subscriber of the TTs, I enjoyed many fine articles from the "Simons." Good stuff. However I was not happy when they went down because I had just renewed my annual subscription for, I think $99 two weeks prior I believe. I thought that was very unfortunate. Then I received a letter from BH offering me a discount on a BH subscriber because I still had a sub left with the TTs. Thought that was ridiculous. They actually wanted me to pay again at a discounted rate, if memory serves me correctly. I cut my losses and never subscribed to BH. But I really do miss the TTs. As far as the DRF, I am almost to the point where I may quit buying the print issue. I remember buying the DRF daily for $1.50. Then it was $2, then $3 and now it is over $9 after tax. Actually at the Concord, CA store, they charge you a .75 surcharge, making it about $10.17 after tax. About a year ago, I quit buying it daily and only buy it on weekends because I work during the week and seldom play until the weekend. However, I am seriously considering just buying it when I attend live races and sticking to Online PeePees when I gamble from home on weekends. Anyone else thinking about giving up the print issue? Vince P
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Mr. Piscitelli ... I am so sorry about what happened to you, re: the TTimes. A lot of people were hurt with the cluster-mess that went down there in Sept. of 2012--staff, correspondents, contributors, and subscribers. My husband was editor there for 26 years and I had been a longtime writer for this publicationthat I had loved and believed in with all of my heart. The loss, and how it happened, was a nightmare of epic proportions, brought about by an evil, incompetent, lying senile snake of an owner ... but that's a story for another time. As you can tell, after nearly two years, I still haven't let go of my boiling rage. ... As for DRF, for whatever flaws it may have, I personally appreciate having a place to ply my trade as an occasional freelance historian and observer of racing--whether or not it's a natural home for what I write ... and even if, perhaps, I end up writing to an empty, echoing cosmos. ;)
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
Mary, Don't get me wrong - I have no complaints with today's DRF - actually I do have one and it's driving me crazier than I already am, lol. I love reading the articles and as you know, by purchasing it in print, I also get access to many extra Plus articles online, so I have no complaint about that. My favorite writer - besides you of course:-) was Joe Hirsch - he was the Jim Murray of horse racing writers. He was also very good friend with one of my favorite football players - Joe Namath. Sorry for the digression. Back to today's DRF. As previously mentioned, I like the new format, writers and the PeePees, of most tracks I play. And note, I always buy the Premium version si I can check on many tracks. My major complaint that drives me crazy is in the Premium edition I buy (not the California only one) they ALWAYS start the PeePees of the Northern Ca track (my home track whether the fairs or Golden Gate) after the southern track which is fine, but then the form splits after about 3 to 3 1/2 races and continues with the PeePees in the back for that northern CA race. It's almost impossible to handicap the races without having to leaf over about 50-60 pages searching for the continuation of the northern California race you're handicapping. My buddy and me always complain about this. I understand the need to center and staple but splitting up one track makes no sense. I know it's a rather silly thing to complain about but next time you have the printed Premium western edition, please check what I pointed out and you'll see how difficult the DRF makes it for the NorCal track handicappers. Thanks, Vince P
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
It does seem ridiculous, doesn't it? I'll ask why they do that. There must be some reasonable reason ... or not. By the way, I also loved Joe Hirsch. Not only his writing, but as a person. When I moved to Kentucky from California years ago, I worked in publicity at Keeneland during the spring meets of '86 and '87. That first year, I was young and inexperienced, kind of shy, didn't know what I was doing. I had to go around the backstretch getting quotes every morning from the trainers or horses slated to run in the Blue Grass. Joe was there and saw how hard it was for me at first--and how some of the trainers were rude or dismissive to me. He took me under his wing, walked around with me, introduced me to people, opened a bunch of doors that otherwise would have been slammed in my face. Made my world a better place ... and I loved him for that. Still do, all these years later. What a fine man, Joe was!
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Not from the trainers "or" horses. From the trainers "of" horses! Too bad we can't go back and edit these posts! :)
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
Lol....I was thinking of Mr. Ed when I first read your reply. Great to hear Mr. Hirsch took care of you. I always respected him as a person from what I heard and read about him. Vince P
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Myself, I'd take a long walk to get my form, with articles.. I saw that Mary :-)
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Hail No ... I flew into an unseemly rage at someone's insulting remarks--then promptly flagged his ugly commentary, hoping they'd be taken down ... along with my own. I totally understand someone not being "into" the journalistic side of DRF and preferring to cut to the chase and head straight to PPs. That's their privilege. But he prattled on about the uselessness of writers like myself ... totally ignorant of the fact that DRF has been the platform of wonderful editorial product for more than 100 years. Some of the best racing journalists of all time have had their bylines in the Daily Racing Form and its sister newspaper, the Morning Telegraph. I wanted to tell this guy that if his single, solitary interest in racing was as a wagering avenue, he'd do just as well to belly up to a poker table instead. By not reading about this wonderful sport, he misses out on so much.
Bob More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't walk across the street to pay $5 for a copy of the DRF. I don't care who is writing articles for the paper or what kind of awards they have won!
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Then by all means, don't! If you despise DRF so much, what on earth are you doing trolling around over here anyway?
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
You're a mean-spirited so-and-so. Not one ounce of class, not even in your little finger. Take a short walk off a long pier, Mr. Fan.
thomas j More than 1 year ago
Those of you who are complaining that Daily Racing Form is charging a fee for their articles should understand that no business has to provide their product free of charge. The main, important product that DRF provides for horse players is the purchase of past performances. If you want to read thoroughbred articles free of charge go to another web site. All newspapers have admitted that they blew it big time by not charging the public for reading their product on the web back in the 1990's when the internet took off.
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Plus, Thomas ... I've asked that my own articles be made free to the public. I understand that most hard-core handicappers won't necessarily be interested in what I have to say, since for the most part I write historical pieces, personal commentary and profiles of people in racing, but at least they don't cost anything. ;)
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
TomJ - what about the complainers that are paying for what they don't receive ? The next time you buy the form 87 days in a row I'll stand by and have you lecture me on what I should or should not be complaining about.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Tj, you can't seriously be telling customers and potential customers, "Go to another web site?" I also highly doubt that all, if any, newspapers, would have increased sales, even in the 90's.
r More than 1 year ago
Funny how DRF didnt block this article behind DRF plus. I am sure the winners are noteworthy, but this site is ridiculous with charging for reading about its sport. You would think they would encourage its readers to learn about its sport, but no...corporate greed obviously rules here.
Bob More than 1 year ago
I couldn't agree more r.....The DRF has degenerated into a money-grubbing rag that is of little use to racing fans. If their advertising staff would get off their-you-know what and go sell some ad space they would be able to give the Form away and still make money! Then again, that assumes they have someone on their advertising staff that is anything other than a degenerate gambler, which is what most of their editorial staff seems to be. I'm sure the stories that won these awards were noteworthy in terms of their subject matter, but I am just as certain that you could have read about the same subjects in the Blood Horse magazine or the Thoroughbred Times....And as far as past performances go, the BRIS PPs are vastly superior to the raggedy old DRF PPs, with their useless Beyer Speed Figures, and if you know where to look you can get the BRIS Premium PPs for free at various websites on the internet......that's right, I said FREE!
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Yes ... once upon a time, Bob, you could have read these articles in the Thoroughbred Times--and I would have been writing them there. But note that the TTimes went bankrupt because of lack of money and patronage. And the Blood-Horse is as we speak skating on the thinnest of ice ... you can literally hold its magazine up to the light and see straight through it, like tissue paper. It's only a matter of time before it's either gone the way of the passenger pigeon or the organization that digs deep into its pocket to subsidize it simply gives up and starts charging on-line for its product. It won't be long for this world if it doesn't. ... I hate it that things be given away for free, but that's just the sad way it is. Thoroughbred Times was a superb publication that gave away everything--and it's DEAD and GONE. And now hear I sit, reading a bunch of posts from irate people who are incredulous that DRF has the audacity to charge for its product. I can hardly believe it.
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
And excuse my typos, but I'm just so disheartened at the diatribes I see here ... my hands are shaking. :(
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Mary - You deserve to get paid . Your pieces are some of the best here. However ,the DRF is now and always has been THEE most expensive daily newspaper in the world. If DRF is not on good footing then those at the top are making too much money. The main point is that regardless of what the non-paying non-wagering internet trolls have to say on the subject many paying longtime customers are getting fed up with the new DRFs lack of regard for their loyalty . We're sorry don't cut it ! You're sorry alright DRF. A sorry excuse for a website ! I spent yesterday NOT reading the articles that I paid for in advance AGAIN !
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
And I don't like having to go to Blood Horse or elsewhere just to see a list of invitees for the Belmont Derby that I should be able to see here . When I said Mary sent me DRF laughed out loud behind the Red door .... My next paragraph *** can't be displayed *** Sorry about that . Maybe next time :)
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Jackson, I hate to say it ... but I'm sorry.
Bob More than 1 year ago
Charging for its product is one thing Mary Simon. Charging $5 to $6 a copy for a daily newspaper is beyond the pale. Especially in light of the fact that the paper sells very little advertising, the revenue from which could easily mitigate the need to charges its readers for access to "news" that is available for free at other locations on the internet! What the DRF suffers from is a bad business model and it has been a bad business model for decades. What the racing world needs in general is a business model that results in LOWER costs for the fan base, NOT higher costs; and the cost of the DRF for anyone who is a serious fan of the sport is NOT as trivial matter. At $5 to $6 a copy or even $20 a month for an online subscription is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for the content provided by the DRF. Especially when you consider that the DRF+ monthly fee doesn't include access to PPs! Aside from the articles, their data-basing model for racing info such as PPs, results charts, etc...hasn't really changed in at least 40 years, other than the fact that it is now accessible online. Whereas, companies like BRIS have reinvented the product DRF has been selling for the last century and are leaving their competition in the dust! If the Blood Horse magazine goes bust, as you seem to be suggesting it will, it will be a dark day for racing because what the DRF needs is MORE competition, not less! And what the racing industry needs is a product that costs its fans LESS not MORE!
Bob More than 1 year ago
And by the way, my criticism of the DRF is in no way intended to be a criticism of Mary Simon or her work as a journalist. I consider her work to be one of the few bright spots in an otherwise abysmal publication and the best thing the DRF could do to promote the work of talented people like Mary is to provide access to it's journalistic content for free, even if that means (as I suggested in my original post) that the staff at the DRF get off their collective rear ends and go sell some advertising!
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
I agree with your earlier post, Bob, re: competition. The day Thoroughbred Times died is the day the Blood-Horse stopped trying to be a real magazine. They never competed with DRF--they were always in direct competition with TTimes. Those two publications kept one another at the grindstone, trying hard to produce the best product for readers. When the Times went belly-up for lack of advertising and in the hands of an incompetent, senile owner, the powers-that-be at BH must have cracked open one gigantic bottle of champagne and unleashed confetti streamers, because it meant they no longer had to invest in an honest magazine ... and you can surely see the results today. ... DRF may totally enrage you for its business model, and I can't speak to that because I have nothing to do with it, but editorially it's been working very hard to improve it's product this past year. You may not care less, but if that's the case, you would not likely have noticed what a wonderful publication TTimes once was ... and how low the BH has sunk since the Times' demise. As for those handicappers who come on here and directly insult DRF writers like myself, saying they have zero interest in reading what I have to write ... well, I have this to say. Some of the people I adore most in racing are hard-core handicappers. What those folks have in common, though, is a love and fascination for the sport they wager on. They have intellectual curiosity and passion for what makes racing different than, say, a poker table or roulette wheel. So, anyone who comes here and insults my fellow turf writers or claims to have no interest in reading what they have to say ... just go away. You're better off in front of a slot machine, anyway.
RandomNameMeToo More than 1 year ago
I've read some of the winning articles and will look up the others (would have been nice if links were provided to them, but I'll find them). Congratulations to the writers!
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Loved your other comment, and I responded to it. Thanks so much for the kindness and common sense. It's rare and much appreciated. :)
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Wonder why they didn't charge us for this story of self congratulations? Mary a well deserving winner and makes sure her work can be read by all.
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
As I've said before, Barbara, my articles are always free.
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Who's going to win for this article ?? Didn't John Hartig win an award ?? I mean the new DRF deserves a noble prize not just some cheezy AHP award. John Hartig should receive the presidential order of merit !!
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Jackson Jackson ... stirring the pot yet again? ;)
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Mary, Nothing against you kid :) I harbor no ill will toward you for your wrongheaded stance on Lasix use :) I'm just ticked off over paying for something in advance and then being denied access to what I've already paid for . If I log in and have a subscription to DRF plus / pps. then I should be able to access the articles. I shouldn't have to try different entry points . I shouldn't have to beg for what is rightfully mine . I shouldn't have to cross my fingers. I shouldn't have to contact customer disservice . It should be auto-stronaching-matic once I log in. You know what is automatic Mary ? If I attempt to pull the remaining number of forms on my subscription (which is time limited for what good reason ?) at 9:00 and 1 second pm pacific , I'm too late ! I lose my remaining forms early just because I live on the west coast. It isn't like DRFs computer doesn't know where my computer lives . JJ
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Your first post read almost verbatim as to your follow up, to me. I feel that! Quint :-)
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Quint ... What can I say. I only have so many words! That said--I am concerned.
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Mary - it's an inside joke. In real life I'm a shark slayer.
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
It sounds to me like you have totally legitimate gripes, Jackson. By the way, where on the West Coast (generally speaking) are you? I grew up a stone's throw from the now-defunct Pomona racetrack.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can tell you for a fact he spends most of his time in these two places #1 the MikeA school of *Turf Handicapping* located on Dan illmans blog #2 The California Department Of Transitional Assistance Hot 'N' Nasty
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
Okay Mary now there is a pot stirrer for you :) H & N can bring the heat :) She's a very smart girl with a mean streak as wide as the river Charles and an affinity for classic rock :) Love that dirty water VQ ! Mary is every bit as formidable as .. the terror of Colorado Blvd. Catch you on the flip side . Peace JJ / BSB / Quint / Chupacobra / Squanto / Kokomo / Cobra... SSSSSSSSSS :)
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
You all are hilarious ... I have no idea what you or Jackson are talking about. :(
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Congrats to Mary and Jay, and all of the DRf, well done, Engaging and always look forward to more:)
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't know every article I want to read is DRF plus. I usually read the same articles free at Bloodhorse or other sites.
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Ian--Not one of my articles has been behind the pay wall. Not a single one. But, then, I don't imagine you were ever looking for my articles. Just looking for something to complain about.
RandomNameMeToo More than 1 year ago
I don't think it's unreasonable for DRF to charge for articles. I don't pay, since I'm always broke, but I also don't expect everything to be free. Honestly, I don't know how some other sites can afford to put up the content they do for free/without charging for subscriptions--ad revenue goes only so far. I wonder how many ugly red thumbs these comments will get me, lol.
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Random--FINALLY a voice of reason. It never ceases to amaze me how many people seem to believe they have a right to get something for nothing. They live in a fantasy world where data manufactures itself out of thin air. Where writers and researchers don't need to get paid. Where past performances and statistics produce themselves. Where handicappers work out of the goodness of their hearts ... all to provide free information for readers. (And if you could get everything absolutely free on-line--why on earth would you ever buy the hands-on newspaper?) Pay walls at DRF, New York Times, and an increasing number of publications are a means of survival and paying bills in the very difficult world of modern journalism. Publications that continue to give away their information are not only beyond naive, but they will eventually die--probably sooner, rather than later. I assume that's what those who complain so bitterly about having to "pay" would like to see ... am I right?
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Whoa, not so fast, Mary. Most, if not all handicappers pay thru the nose for PPs, (300-400 every 3 months) and there is no way in hail that we should have to pay to read, anything, especially if, or when, our subscription runs out and we don't want to reup our sub immediately. If I had to pay to read exclusively, I would never do it, and I would never have ended up buying your book, or Hovdeys or others. Even for perennial payers, and if we "lapse", we can't even get to material that we have already paid for. I understand a fair wage for fair work, maybe when the beyrs gravy train runs out, they'll be "more" to go around, but please, I (we've) been paying thru the nose, for decades. Other than that, love your writing :-)
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Hail No ... perhaps I don't know what I'm talking about here. What I do know is its expensive to run publications these days. And what I do know is that corporate owners demand profits ... whether its DRF, NYT, or whatever. Publications aren't the evil empire, though they behave that way at times. In truth, they're dying like flies and have been for years. I will continue to maintain, perhaps naively, that survival more than pure greed is the machine that drives the proliferation of pay walls--though possibly a mixture of both could be the fairest assessment. All of this said, I feel your pain.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Not at all, Mary, I know and you know exactly what you're saying. I am not one to complain, it's a double edged sword and the marketing or business plan that DRF has adopted is cutting and drawing bad blood, and frankly it's a bit petty. If appreciation were dollars, you'd have a million from me :)
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
And furthermore :) The customers pay to supply the best content. A quirky business plan indeed :) Like the news stations begging for free cell phone videos so they don't have to pay real cameramen :) Some posters on formblog are routinely paraphrased by this or that "writer" within a weeks time of posting an interesting outlook. You may not need to do that Mary but some of the other hambones around here do :) All that said , I paid for hambones and I expect hambones for my money :) JJ PS... I was born and raised in the Valley. Pomona was always one of my favorite meets. As a player I will miss it. I've been many times and I've also been to sales there with no intention of bidding :) My son went to the races for the first time at Pomona when he was about a week old. A couple of my baseball buddies played for LaVerne in those days.
Mary Simon More than 1 year ago
Jackson ... I was born and raised in Upland. Pomona was one of my first racetracks, though I always considered Santa Anita to be my home track. It's a kind of exquisite torture to find myself living a continent apart from the world's best racetrack, bar none. There's no place on earth that could so much as kiss the sod of Doc Strub's art deco masterpiece. Not even close. ... As for writers occasionally paraphrasing posters who come up with a good idea--why not? Though, it's always good to give credit where credit is due. If ever I decide to steal one of your thoughts, I'll be sure to say: "As my friend Jackson Jackson said ..."