Updated on 11/12/2013 10:01AM

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.

Karen Livolsi More than 1 year ago
I am so sorry I was not there with you Paul, at the end, like we spoke about…if it were not for me being ill these last few days, you know I would have been….I can still feel your hair in my hands as I washed it and gave you your last haircut… I will forever miss you my...friend! I will cherish the memories of the fun times we had together and now laugh at our little political disagreements….I will drink a wine in silence tonight and dream of you….you will now rest in peace- Love, Karen
Lou Franchi More than 1 year ago
A GREAT WRITER RIGHT UP THERE WITH JIMMY CANNON AND RED SMITH AND A INTELLIGENT WIT TO BOOTH. OH, HOW WE WILL MISS HIM AND ALWAY HUNGER FOR HIS STORY AND COMMENT ON THE TURF SCENE AND BEYOND. REST IN PEACE, GOOD FRIEND.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
A great writer & wit. Saratoga Springs would do well to lower their city flags in his honor for three days, and rename a street in the town that comes into contact with the one named after Frank Sullivan.
Nick Arden More than 1 year ago
He could really write, which is a rarity among modern turf writers.
Bill Kaup More than 1 year ago
Moran was a man who told it the way he saw it , regardless of whose feelings may have been hurt. You have to respect that kind of integrity. Rest in peace.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Had the pleasure to speak with Paul about two years ago regarding a Trainer being ignored by the Hall of Fame Induction Committee. He asked me about that Trainer's methods and any unusual practices or techniques used by this Trainer. I recalled a Sunday morning of routine chores being broken by the appearance of a great-strapping Racehourse, under tack, Rider up, seemingly intent on removing or displacing every item on our side of the barn. Dozens of people had fallen in behind horse and Trainer as the made their way thru the paddock and on to the track. The same track that upon the evening before Seattle Slew won his Flamingo on his own terms. Trainer had rider take Seattle Slew the wrong way at which time the Colt spun himself round and began a run-off which lasted a full circuit before rider got him gathered in and then they commenced on a more normal two mile gallop which brought the Colts' feet back to earth. Moran said he had not heard that story before and asked if he could use it. He was going back to the HoF and campaign, entreat - cajole in attempts to get them to consider again, Trainer William H Turner for induction. I am in full belief that Moran will find a way to continue his work on that behalf. So to all who read this and Read Pauls' words on the same subject, write to the Hall of Fame supporting Billy Turners' induction.I need to ask everyone, please stop using tobacco. It's poison.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
And here's to the Induction of Paul Moran into the Hall of Fame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very Sad News. . . A major loss to the racing community, to his friends who shared press box space with him through the years. . .Paul was insightful, imaginative and a constructive critic of the game who frequently offered concepts that were way ahead of the establishment's ability or desire to actualize badly needed reforms. Paul was an avid horseplayer, a committed horse owner, a strong supporter of New York's breeding indiustry who loved Belmont Park and especially Saratoga where he lived for many years. He touched many people during his career and those who never had the pleasure of reading or knowing hiim, do not know what a good man and a gem of a writer they missed. . . .Steve Davidowitz
Ed More than 1 year ago
Even when Paul seemed to have a grim view of the game, his writing was top notch and compelling. At his peak, he was Shakespeare.
William Eisele More than 1 year ago
r.i.p. mr. moran, i always respected your writings & opions about the game
Anthony T- Bone Stabile More than 1 year ago
Nice guy ! Had a wealth of knowledge of the sport. May he rest in peace.