06/24/2016 9:50AM

DRF's Hovdey, Simon honored by American Horse Publications

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Daily Racing Form’s Jay Hovdey and Mark Simon earned first-place honors in their respective categories at the American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards, presented at the organization’s annual seminar in Orlando, Fla.

Hovdey, DRF’s executive columnist, earned first-place honors in the “Breaking News – Single Article” category for “American legend Nerud dead at 102,” his obituary of legendary horseman John Nerud published last August.

“Comprehensive, well-sourced and thorough job of reporting,” the judging panel wrote in its comments. “Sets a high standard for other breaking-news pieces.”

Simon authored “Out-of-competition testing would eliminate need for bill” in November, honored in the “Personal Single Column” category for its circulation class.

“Thank you for a true column,” the judging panel wrote. “Taking an issue, taking a stance, and providing facts about the issue. I appreciate your lead – you make the story relevant to your reader. Then, you close your story with a strong statement that provides your reader with a call to action.”

DRF also earned honors in two other categories. Writer Nicole Russo and creative director Jenine Zimmers earned a runner-up award in the “Editorial Infographic” category for “American Pharoah: Head to Tail,” a close-up look at the Triple Crown winner. National correspondent Jay Privman earned an honorable mention in the “Personality Profile” category for “Carl Nafzger and his Unbridled moment,” which looked back at one of racing’s most memorable moments on the 25th anniversary of Unbridled’s Kentucky Derby win for owner Frances Genter.