11/20/2010 2:05PM

East Coast racing publicist Steve Schwartz dies at 64

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Steven Schwartz, a long-time racetrack publicist in New York and New Jersey, died Saturday at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, N.J., following complications from surgery.

Schwartz, 64, joined the New York Racing Association in 1979 as assistant manager of sports publicity and was promoted to director of media relations in 1983, a role he held until 1991. He also served as executive assistant to the president at NYRA.

Schwartz worked as a writer and handicapper for The Racing Times, before joining the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority’s at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands as the morning-line maker, program analyst, and TV analyst. He went on to be named media relations director for the NJSEA tracks but ultimately had to leave due to healthi issues.

Schwartz, a New York native who attended Dickinson College and New York University, was an avid racing fan. Early in his career at American Turf Monthly, served as editor of Sports Action, and as a handicapper for the Philadelphia Journal.

He was president of the Turf Publicists of America from 1988-1990, and is an honorary lifetime member of that organization.

Schwartz is survived by his son Eric and daughter Meagan. A celebration of life will be scheduled next summer at Saratoga.