NTWA Award Winners Announced

Edtied press release

Retired Racing Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, the late track announcer Luke Kruytbosch, and multiple Media Eclipse Award-winning turf writer Maryjean Wall will be honored later this year with awards presented by the National Turf Writers Association.

McCarron, who retired from the saddle in 2002 as the sport’s all-time leading rider by purses won, will receive the Joe Palmer Award during the 49th annual NTWA Awards Dinner at Castle Green in Pasadena, Calif. Oct. 22. Named for the former New York Herald Tribune Turf writer, the Palmer Award is presented annually for meritorious service to racing.

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, McCarron currently serves as executive director and instructor at the Lexington-based North American Riding Academy, a school he founded for aspiring jockeys in 2006.

Along with his wife, Judy, and comedian Tim Conway, McCarron also created the Don MacBeth Memorial Fund for disabled jockeys and served as an executive at Santa Anita Park after his retirement from riding.

Kruytbosch, the announcer at Churchill Downs and the voice of the Kentucky Derby since 1999 who passed away July 14, will be honored posthumously with the Mr. Fitz Award.

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.

An avid racing fan on and off the job, Kruytbosch was a graduate of the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona who called races at Ellis Park and Turf Paradise at the time of his death at age 47.

He had previously been the track announcer at Hollywood Park, Ruidoso Downs, The Downs at Albuquerque, Santa Fe Downs, Sunland Park, and Fair Meadows during his career.

Wall, a turf writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader from 1973 until her retirement earlier this year, will receive the Walter Haight Award, named for the former Washington Post turf writer and columnist and presented annually for excellence in turf writing.

Wall grew up in Canada and wanted to be a jockey until she later turned to writing when she moved to Kentucky in 1966.

One of the first women to cover racing on a full-time basis, Wall was also a three-time winner of Standardbred racing’s John Hervey Award. Wall currently writes about racing on her website, www.maryjeanwall.com, and is working to complete her dissertation for a Ph.D. in history at the University of Kentucky.