This Is Horse Racing's Joe Clancy has won the 2014 Eclipse Award for writing for an article about the 2014 Preakness Stakes which appeared in the July edition of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine.
Clancy's entry, in the News/Enterprise category, chronicled California Chrome's march from the West Coast to national racing star with victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Leading up to the latter, Clancy talked to trainer Art Sherman in an exclusive interview as he walked to the paddock. Sherman, a 77-year-old former jockey and once an exercise rider of the great Swaps, took in the scene and said "I never thought of this. I was just training my horses and hoping I'd get lucky someday."
The Preakness coverage started with that scene and weaved through the build-up, the race itself and the reactions of players including Sherman, his son and assistant Alan, jockey Victor Espinoza, owner Steve Coburn and all the others caught up in the run at the Triple Crown.
This is the first Eclipse Award for Clancy, a 1987 University of Delaware graduate whose journalism career began at small newspapers The Whale in Lewes, Del., The Cecil Whig in Elkton, Md. In 1994, he and his brother Sean (an Eclipse Award winner in 2008) started Steeplechase Times newspaper which has evolved to become ST Publishing, the publisher of The Saratoga Special daily newspaper and thisishorseracing.com website among other projects. In 2012, Joe Clancy was named editor of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, a monthly published by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.
Before embarking on a journalism career, Clancy worked in the barn of his father, former trainer Joe Clancy Sr. on the Mid-Atlantic circuit.
Clancy will be presented the honor at the 44th annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 17, at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The Eclipse Awards are presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders' Cup and The Stronach Group and produced by the NTRA.
Honorable mention in the News Enterprise Category went to David Grening for "Durkin: The stories he has told," about the retirement of the prolific track announcer Tom Durkin in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which appeared on the Daily Racing Form web site on August 28, 2014, and to 2012 Media Eclipse Award winner Ryan Goldberg for "Secret To Success: a Derby Win and Racing's Doping Addiction"which appeared on propublica.com, about mysterious circumstances surrounding the 1964 Kentucky Derby. Judges for the News/Enterprise category were Rob Longley or the Toronto Sun; Richard Rosenblatt, sports writer for The Associated Press, and David Papadopoulos, a managing editor at Bloomberg News.
The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age 5 and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies. The Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements in North America have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Those awards are voted by NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters. Eclipse Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.