03/27/2017 1:06PM

DRF's Livingston a finalist for Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award


Barbara D. Livingston, chief photographer of the Daily Racing Form, was one of three finalists announced Monday for the 11th annual Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award.

The award was founded in 2006 by Ryan, the late owner of Castleton Lyons in Lexington, Ky., to recognize the best book focused on any aspect of Thoroughbred racing published in the previous year. The winner receives a $10,000 prize, the remaining two finalists receive $1,000 each, and all three receive Tipperary crystal statuettes of Castleton Lyons’s stone tower.

The winner will be announced April 20 during a by-invitation reception at Castleton Lyons.

Livingston’s book “Old and New Friends,” published by DRF Press, chronicles the lives of 100 retired racehorses, including fan favorites from American Pharoah to Xtra Heat. The book features extensive photography from the four-time Eclipse Award winner, along with Livingston’s written first-person experiences with the horses. This is her first time as a Ryan Book Award finalist.

“Old and New Friends” is Livingston’s seventh book as writer or photographer, following “Old Friends: Visits With My Favorite Thoroughbreds,” “Barbara Livingston’s Saratoga,” “Four Seasons of Racing,” “More Old Friends,” and “Horses: In Living Color.” She also provided the photography for “Standardbred Old Friends,” with the text written by Ellen Harvey.

“I’m passionate about books and am always touched that Dr. Ryan had such a deep respect for literature – and that his award has continued on,” Livingston said.

Also among the finalists was Eliza McGraw for “Here Comes Exterminator! The Longshot Horse, the Great War, and the Making of an American Hero.” The book covers 1918 Kentucky Derby winner Exterminator, who won 50 races over his long career and gained national attention in the closing months of World War I into the Roaring Twenties.

Rounding out the finalists was “The Great Sweepstakes of 1877: A True Story of Southern Grit, Gilded Age Tycoons, and a Race That Galvanized the Nation,” by Mark Shrager. In the book, Shrager examines the circumstances around a highly anticipated three-horse race with great ramifications in a post-Civil War America.