Joe Clancy hustled behind jockey Kent Desormeaux, up the stairs into the jockeys’ room at Pimlico Race Course, followed the Hall of Fame rider inside and gathered enough information to get started on another award-winning recap of the Preakness Stakes.
Such was the start of a second David F. Woods Memorial Award for excellence in journalism, which Joe will receive Thursday, May 18 at the Alibi Breakfast at Pimlico Race Course. Joe will be recognized by the Maryland Jockey Club for “Preakness-winning Desormeaux brothers fueled by early days in Maryland,” a feature on Keith and Kent Desormeaux, trainer and jockey respectively of 2016 Preakness winner Exaggerator, that appeared in the July 2016 edition of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred.
The story earned Joe his second David F. Woods Memorial Award in three years, along with his 2015 piece “Horse of a Lifetime” that recapped California Chrome’s victory that also earned an Eclipse Award for the co-owner and co-founder of ST Publishing Inc.
The David F. Woods Memorial Award was initiated in 1982 to honor the memory of Dave Woods, a long-time racetrack publicist and Evening Sun columnist. Sean Clancy, Joe’s brother and also the co-owner and co-founder of ST Publishing, is a four-time winner of the David F. Woods in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2014.
“The Maryland Jockey Club goes out of its way to pay tribute to quality coverage of the Preakness and I'm honored to receive the David Woods Award, especially when you look at the previous winners,” Clancy said in a statement from the Maryland Jockey Club. “To be listed with Billy Reed, George Vecsey, Dave Kindred, Bill Christine and all the others is truly a career milestone. Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred is an old-school print magazine and we couldn’t produce it without the support of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and a great team in the office.
“I never know where a story is going when I start, but the Desormeaux brothers were a compelling part of the 2016 Preakness and it was fun to find people who remembered Keith and Kent when they were in Maryland. I work with my brother, but I couldn't imagine the feeling of winning the Preakness with him. Kent and Keith were gracious with their time and the other interview subjects helped it all come together.”
Along with being editor of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, Clancy and his brother own ST Publishing, which produces The Saratoga Special newspaper, thisishorseracing.com and other projects within Thoroughbred racing. Clancy grew up in a racing family and worked in the barn of his father, former Mid-Atlantic-based trainer Joe Clancy Sr., in high school and college.