12/27/2007 1:00AM

Hiro, Mooney win Eclipses

EmailBrian Hiro, a reporter for the North County Times in Escondido, Calif., has been selected as the Media Eclipse Award winner in the feature/enterprise category for a three-part series on racehorse injuries, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Thursday.

Separately, the NTRA announced that Bill Mooney, a racing writer and historian, has been selected as the Media Eclipse Award winner in the news/commentary category.

Hiro's three articles appeared on consecutive days in the North County Times from Aug. 12-14. The first article examined the current state of racehorse injuries and how the industry is responding; the second dealt with changes in the breeding industry and the increased use of medication in racehorses; and the third explored the use of synthetic surfaces and their impact on injuries. The series was called "Death and Durability of the Racehorse."

Mooney, 60, was selected for a column about the September 2006 death of Precisionist that appeared in the January edition of Post Time USA, a Florida racing publication. Precisionist, the sprint champion of 1985, was euthanized after battling skin cancer. Mooney was present for the administration of the lethal injections and described the process in his column.

The award is the first Eclipse for Hiro, 32, a Notre Dame graduate who has been a general assignment reporter at the North County Times since 2001.

For Mooney, the selection was his second. He previously won in 1985 under the magazine writing category.