The National Turf Writers and Broadcasters will honor Art Sherman, who saddled California Chrome and became the oldest trainer to win the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), racehorse partnership pioneer Cot Campbell, trailblazing broadcaster Charlsie Cantey, and Blood-Horse's online content editor Tom LaMarra at its 55th annual awards dinner on Oct. 29 in Arcadia, Calif.
Sherman will receive the Mr. Fitz Award, named for the legendary trainer "Sunny" Jim Fitzsimmons. Sherman first experienced the Kentucky Derby when he shared a boxcar with Swaps, the 1955 winner, from Los Angeles to Louisville. He returned to Churchill Downs this year—at age 77—to win the Derby and the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Sherman handled a pressure-packed situation with class and grace during a Triple Crown bid that fell short when California Chrome dead-heated for fourth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Campbell will be presented with the Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service to racing. Palmer was an esteemed Turf writer at the New York Herald Tribune. Campbell was at the forefront introducing new owners to racing through partnerships when he founded Dogwood Stable in 1973, which made the cost of participating accessible to many more people. He was recognized for a lifetime of special achievement with an Eclipse Award of Merit in 2013.
The second annual Jim McKay Award for broadcasting excellence goes to Cantey. The former exercise rider for Ruffian ranks as one of the most influential racing broadcasters of all time, having worked for ABC (1986-2000), CBS (1977-86), ESPN (1985-2002) and NBC (2000-05), among other outlets. She was regularly credited for making the sport easily understood by fans at all levels of interest.
LaMarra will accept the Walter Haight Award for excellence in turf writing, named for the former Washington Post Turf writer and columnist. LaMarra has been a turf writer since 1993, working for the Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse in 1998. He is regarded as one of the sport's most knowledgeable writers.
Award winners were selected by members of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. The dinner will be held at The Derby Restaurant, near Santa Anita Park, site of the 2014 Breeders' Cup World Championships.