The National Turf Writers And Broadcasters will honor recently retired Oaklawn Park track announcer Terry Wallace, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and New York-based turf writer David Grening writer at its annual awards dinner Nov. 2 in Louisville, according to a release.
Wallace, who has been called the “most recognizable voice in Arkansas,” will receive the Mr. Fitz Award during the 52nd annual NTWAB Awards Dinner at the Louisville Slugger Museum in downtown Louisville.
Presented annually to an individual or group for typifying the spirit of horse racing, the Mr. Fitz Award is named for the late Hall of Fame trainer Jim “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons. Past winners of the Mr. Fitz Award include 2010 recipient Richard Migliore, Luke Kruytbosch, Calvin Borel, Robert and Beverly Lewis, and Joe Hirsch.
Wallace retired as track announcer at Oaklawn earlier this year after a 37-year run in the position. He called 20,191 consecutive races at the Hot Springs, Ark., track until he let the streak come to an end by not calling the fifth race on January 28, 2011. Wallace was named “Man of the Year” by the Arkansas Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and after calling his 20,000th consecutive race. Hot Springs Mayor Mike Bush declared it “Terry Wallace Day.”
The Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, a public charity that provides financial assistance to nearly 60 former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries, will receive the Joe Palmer Award. Named for the former New York Herald Tribune Turf writer, the Palmer Award is presented annually for meritorious service to racing. Past winners of the Palmer Award are 2010 winner Old Friends Equine, Dr. Dean Richardson and the New Bolton Center, Joe Hirsch, and Laffit Pincay Jr.
Led by Nancy LaSala, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund has disbursed more than $2 million to those jockeys, many of whom have sustained paralysis or brain injuries. LaSala, who got the fund up and running, volunteered for the responsibility with no initial compensation.
Grening, the lead turf writer in New York for Daily Racing Form since September 1998, will receive the Walter Haight Award. Named for the former Washington Post Turf writer and columnist, the Haight Award is presented annually for career excellence in Turf writing. Past winners include 2010 winner Neil Milbert, Steve Crist, Steve Haskin, Joe Hirsch, and Jennie Rees.
Grening is the inaugural winner of the 2010 Joe Hirsch Award for best feature story on the 2009 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He started covering racing in July 1991 for The Trentonian before signing on as racing writer and handicapper for the New York Post in May 1994. In addition to providing daily coverage of NYRA tracks for DRF, Grening covers racing’s major events, including every Breeders’ Cup since 1991 and every Triple Crown race since 1992.