Mike MacAdam of The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, N.Y., and The Blood-Horse's Claire Novak, writing for ESPN.com, earned top honors in the New York Racing Association's fourth Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest, which recognizes the best in print and Internet coverage of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), won last year by Union Rags .
MacAdam won in the follow/wrap-up division for his story that appeared in the June 10 edition of the Gazette and ran under the headline "Union Rags finds riches on the rail." The story recounted the handling of Union Rags by John Velazquez, who was weeks away from being inducted into racing's Hall of Fame.
Novak won top honors in the feature/advance division for her story that appeared June 8 on ESPN.com titled "Unforgettable Day at Belmont Park." The article chronicled the day when Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont, becoming the first horse in 78 years to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I) and miss the third jewel of the series.
Each of the winners will receive an engraved Tiffany crystal bowl, to be presented June 5 at Belmont Park during the June 5 draw breakfast for the 145th Belmont Stakes, which will be run June 8.