11/24/2003 1:00AM

Scholarship to honor Hirsch

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Daily Racing Form announced Friday night that they will create a college scholarship in honor of Joe Hirsch, the Racing Form's executive columnist, who is retiring this month.

The annual scholarship will be funded by Daily Racing Form and NTRA Charities, the organizations said, with assistance from The Jockey Club, Keeneland, and other industry organizations. The amount of the scholarship has yet to be determined, according to Eric Wing, a spokesman for the NTRA.

The scholarship, which will go toward college education costs, will also include an internship at a racing-related or journalism-related company.

Hirsch has been employed by the Racing Form or its predecessor, the Morning Telegraph, for 55 years. His last column is scheduled for Saturday.

"Joe Hirsch's greatest legacy perhaps will be the enthusiastic and endless help over the years he provided to hundreds of writers who came onto the horse racing beat," said Daily Racing Form's chairman, Steven Crist. "It is with great joy that we establish this annual scholarship and internship program, which is the ultimate honor to Joe by continuing his love of helping others."