Team Valor Institutes Turf Writing Award

Named in honor of the late columnist Stanley Bergstein.

Team Valor International has announced it will institute an annual turf writing contest in honor of the late Stanley Bergstein that will award $25,000 to the winner.

According to an announcement from Team Valor, the Stanley Bergstein Writing Award has been instituted “in order to foster the type of writing engaged in by the recently deceased horse racing giant and author of hard-hitting racing journalism.”

Bergstein, the Daily Racing Form columnist and longtime executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America, died Nov. 2 at age 87.

Barry Irwin, Team Valor CEO and a former Turf writer, will select the winner from a list of stories chosen for consideration by a group of five panelists to be named next year. Four panelists will be appointed each year by Jeff Lowe, who was a Turf writer prior to joining Team Valor as media director. Lowe will serve as the fifth panelist.

Writers may also submit their own pieces for consideration and there are no restrictions on whether the material was published in print or online, in newspapers, magazines or blogs. More information is available at

The inaugural award will be presented Dec. 4, 2012, during a luncheon at the Thoroughbred Club of America in Lexington. In addition to the $25,000 prize, the recipient will receive a trophy commemorating the achievement.

Irwin began in racing as a writer with The Blood-Horse, also served as editor of The Thoroughbred of California, and wrote a syndicated column for Daily Racing Form. For the past 15 years he has contributed to various industry publications and websites.

“In the current climate of a drastically shrinking amount of space devoted to coverage of racing in the print media, I think it is important to lend support to those writers still plying their trade, by establishing a path for them to take on the important issues facing the sport, in hopes that by doing so they will move racing’s participants to effect positive changes,” Irwin said in a statement.

“Not all writers and publications seem interested in this sort of thing. Now that Mr. Bergstein has departed the scene, I want to do something to encourage Turf writers to pick up where he left off and establish a trend. Hopefully, the Stanley Bergstein Writing Award will encourage turf writers to branch out and take a different look at what is going on in racing that requires some attention in the press.”