08/13/2009 11:00PM

Hall institutes Hirsch honor roll

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame will honor the memory of the late Daily Racing Form columnist Joe Hirsch by establishing the Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor beginning next year, it was announced on Friday.

Ed Bowen, chairman of the Hall of Fame's nominating committee, announced the creation of the Roll of Honor at Friday's Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

"The media roll of honor will be a perpetual and annual honor, so we'll be talking about Joe Hirsch each and every year," Bowen told a packed house at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. "It will honor turf writers and other racing media both from the past and today, criteria for which are being developed."

Hirsch was with Daily Racing Form for 55 years before his retirement as executive columnist in 2003. Hirsch died on Jan. 9 at the age of 80 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.

Hirsch wrote five books and was the founder of the National Turf Writers' Association.

At Friday's ceremony, the award-winning writer Bill Nack spoke of Hirsch in glowing terms, calling him "the greatest ambassador that American racing ever had."