National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Announce Annual Award Recipients

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Dave Johnson | Horsephotos

Longtime broadcaster Dave Johnson and Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze are among the Thoroughbred industry standouts that will be honored by the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association (NTWAB) at its 57th annual awards dinner Nov. 2 at Altadena Town & County Club in Altadena, California. Scott Hazelton of TVG will emcee the dinner.

Members of the NTWAB also voted to honor longtime writer Hank Wesch and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Former jockey Rene Douglas will receive a special award.

Johnson, the host of Down the Stretch on SiriusXM but best known as the longtime announcer of the Triple Crown races for ABC Sports, will feted with the fourth annual Jim McKay Award for broadcasting excellence.

Baze, the winningest jockey in racing, will be honored with the Mr. Fitz Award typifying the spirit of racing. Having recently retired in June, Baze’s blue-collar work ethic and attention to detail with regard to his mounts made him the king of Northern California racing.

Wesch will receive the Walter Haight Award for career turf writing excellence, having completed a nearly 50-year career as a newspaper sportswriter with his retirement in September 2010. The last 36 years of that career were spent at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) will be presented with the Joe Palmer Award for long and meritorious service to racing.

Douglas, whose career was cut short when a 2009 spill left him paralyzed from the waist down, will be presented with the second annual Bill Mooney Award for displaying courage in the face of tremendous adversity.

At the dinner, a silent auction featuring autographed racing industry collectibles, memorabilia and halters wore by prominent stallion and race-winners also will be part of the NTWAB dinner that is set to run from 5-9 p.m. The Awards Dinner is the NTWAB’s only fundraiser and a portion of the proceeds from the event are used toward scholarships for prospective Thoroughbred racing journalists and to support Thoroughbred industry charities.

Tickets for the event are $75 for NTWAB members or $100 for non-members and guests. Invitations will be mailed to members and non-members can request an invitation by contacting Loren Hebel-Osborne at [email protected]

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