01/03/2014 2:43PM

DRF's Hersh, McGee win Eclipse Awards


Two Daily Racing Form reporters, Marty McGee and Marcus Hersh, and the New York Times were named as winners of Media Eclipse Awards on Friday by the organizers of the awards.

Both McGee and Hersh were selected for their first Eclipse Awards. McGee, 54, has worked for the Daily Racing Form for 21 years, while Hersh joined the publication in 1999.

McGee was selected for a long-form piece examining the off-the-track troubles of Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux and the impact the problems have had on his family, including his brother, the trainer Keith Desormeaux. The piece, titled “For Desormeaux, conflicting views of his struggles,” was published in the April 20 edition of the Form. It was selected for the Feature Writing category of the Eclipse Awards.

“I’m overwhelmed and deeply honored to receive this award,” said McGee in a release. “It is the culmination of nearly 30 years of work and the pinnacle of my profession. I decided I wanted to be a turf writer when I was 12, so this is huge.”

McGee lives in Louisville with his daughters, Kelly, 18, and Molly, 16. His brother Paul is a trainer based at Churchill Downs.

Hersh’s piece, which was selected for the News/Enterprise category, was based on an interview with Rene Douglas on his first visit to a racetrack since he was paralyzed from the waist down in a riding accident at Arlington Park in 2009. Douglas traveled to Meydan racetrack in Dubai to watch a horse he co-owns, Private Zone, run in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Hersh was in Dubai to cover the Dubai World Cup.

“I’m honored to win the award,” said Hersh, 45, a resident of Chicago. “The list of names who have won Eclipse Awards in the past gets a great deal of respect from me. You write these stories in the end for other people, not yourself, and it’s rewarding to know they mean something.”

The New York Times was selected for the Eclipse Award for Multimedia presentation. The winning entry, which in its printed form was one of the longest stories published in the New York Times sports section the entire year, focused on Russell Baze, the all-time winningest jockey in history, and the web version included extensive audio, video, and photographic elements.

Barry Bearak, a Times reporter, wrote and narrated the piece. It appeared on the newspaper’s website on Aug. 13.