12/05/2012 5:14PM

Romans receives Big Sport of Turfdom Award

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Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Dale Romans received the Big Sport of Turfdom Award on Wednesday.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Dale Romans, trainer of Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Little Mike, was presented with the Big Sport of Turfdom Award on Wednesday at a luncheon held during the University of Arizona Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming.

The award, presented by the Turf Publicists of America, is given to an individual who has worked with publicists and the media to promote the sport. In an acceptance speech, Romans said that he was honored to receive the award, citing the other individuals who had received it before him.

But Romans also said that his cooperation with journalists during the year was a labor of love.

“At first, I was thinking why would they give me an award for talking about horses?” he said. “That’s all I know how to talk about and all I want to talk about.”

Horses trained by Romans have won 20 graded stakes this year. In addition to Little Mike, the graded stakes winners include Shackleford, Dullahan, and Tapitsfly.

Also at the Wednesday luncheon, Sherwood Chillingworth, executive vice president of the Oak Tree Racing Association, was presented the Clay Puett Award for lifetime service to racing. The award is presented by the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona.

In a speech, Chillingworth thanked the RTIP for designating him for the honor, but he said he also believed the award “was designed to honor Oak Tree itself.” Oak Tree operated a not-for-profit lease at Santa Anita Park for 42 years before its lease was canceled in 2011 by the track’s owner, a company controlled by Frank Stronach.

◗ Earlier this week, the Turf Publicists of America, which represents approximately 150 racing publicists, elected Mandy Minger, the vice president of marketing for Daily Racing Form , to be the organization’s president for a two-year term.