Joe Drape of the New York Times
has won the media Eclipse Award for writing in the news/commentary category for his series of articles on a fraudulent wagering scheme associated with the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6.
Drape's seven articles, published between Oct. 29 and Nov. 13, followed the story from its onset after the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to the subsequent arrest of the perpetrators, who have since pleaded guilty. This is the first Eclipse Award for Drape.
"Truthfully, this is the only award I've ever wanted to win, partly because I don't count covering the people involved with horseracing as work," Drape said.
He will received his award at the Eclipse Awards Dinner, to be held Jan. 27, 2003 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The panel of judges for the writing – news/commentary category included Frederick C. Klein, columnist for Sports Business Journal
; Pete Coates, Bloomberg News' primary horseracing reporter; and Steve Wulf, executive editor of "ESPN The Magazine
"The winner did a nice job of explaining the complex wagering fraud as it unfolded," said Coates. "The writer not only stayed on top of the investigation but detailed the implications to the horseracing community."