Updated on 11/12/2013 11:01AM

Turf writer Paul Moran dead at 66

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Paul Moran, an award-winning Thoroughbred racing writer, died Nov. 9 from complications of lung cancer in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He was 66.

Moran covered general sports early in his career after a stint in the armed services, where he served a tour in the Vietnam War.  Upon his return from active duty, he worked the football and hockey beats for his hometown Tonawanda News. He moved to Florida in the early 1970’s, when he began covering racing for the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. In 1985, he relocated to New York, where he was the lead turf writer for Newsday and New York Newsday for nearly 25 years. During that time, Moran won a number of awards for his coverage, including two Eclipse Awards for outstanding newspaper writing. In 1985 he won for a profile on Daily Racing Form’s executive columnist Joe Hirsch, and in 1990 he was cited for a stirring deadline piece on the fatal breakdown of Go for Wand in the 1990 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Moran also won the Red Smith Award for his Kentucky Derby coverage, as well as the prestigious Associated Press Sports Editors award, among other honors.

During his tenures at the Sun Sentinel and Newsday, Moran covered every Triple Crown race and Breeders’ Cup from 1973 until his retirement in 2008. He was well respected by his peers, fans, and horsemen alike. "I always enjoyed listening and talking to him," said trainer Shug McGaughey. "He had a great knowledge of the game and the people around the game respected his opinion. It's a sad day. He'll be sorely missed."

Toward the end of his career, Moran, who had a good eye for a horse and a solid knowledge of pedigrees, was a horse owner and breeder.

Moran moved to Saratoga Springs upon his retirement, but still kept at his old beat, writing a monthly column for espn.com and covering the Saratoga meeting for the Associated Press. His last column for espn.com appeared on Oct. 28.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

In a previous version of this article it was incorrectly stated that Moran worked for the Buffalo News. He worked for the Tonawanda News. He was also 66, not 67, at the time of his death.