2023 Media Eclipse Awards Winners Include TDN Writers' Room Podcast

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The Thoroughbred Daily News was among six 2023 Media Eclipse Award winners Friday when the awards were announced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.

The 2023 Media Eclipse Award winners are as follows:

Multimedia – TDN Writers' Room Podcast“Wade and Carson Jost,” Sept. 20, 2023; Thoroughbred Daily News

Gulf War veteran Wade Jost and his son, Carson, joined TDN Writers' Room podcast hosts Bill Finley, Randy Moss, and Zoe Cadman on Sept. 23 for an in-depth and emotional discussion of Carson, a 31-year-old stricken with Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome and a Grade I-winning 2-year-old, Carson's Run, named in his honor.

“I was watching the NYRA show the day that Carson's Run made his first start at Saratoga, and Maggie Wolfendale interviewed Terry Finley in the winner's circle after he won, and they talked about the story behind the naming of the horse,” said Susan Finley, Thoroughbred Daily News Publisher. “Bill Finley contacted Terry and wrote a story for that day's TDN, and when Carson's Run won the GI Summer S., Bill decided to invite Wade Jost onto the Writers' Room. We were all very moved by his openness and honesty, and his willingness to discuss Carson's situation and struggles, and what Terry's friendship and the naming of the horse has meant to him.

“All the credit to Wade Jost, and the incredible team that combines to produce the TDN Writers' Room every week; our hosts Bill Finley, Randy Moss, and Zoe Cadman, to our producers, the TDN's Katie Petrunyak and Anthony LaRocca, and our editors Alia LaRocca and Nathan Wilkinson from the Patty Wolfe Media Group.”

Wade Jost added, “It's phenomenal. Overwhelming is the only word I can use. It makes us feel good that people look at this and hear this type of story and say, 'you know what, we have a story we want to tell, too.' That's awesome. It's about Carson, but also the stories written about him and, of course, your podcast. You did a great job with that and I appreciate the opportunity to have had that conversation. We continue to grow with Carson's Run and the whole horse racing industry and can't wait to see where it takes us and where it takes Carson. All the stories that go along with him are pretty phenomenal.”

Honorable Mentions in the Multimedia category went to TDN for “Will Walden Racing Gives Fresh Start to an Improbable Team,” published on Jan. 11, 2023, Katie Petrunyak, Producer: and to America's Best Racing for “Experience the Thrill of Winning the Kentucky Derby with Ramiro Restrepo,” which appeared on Bloodhorse.com and on NBCSports.com on May 9, 2003, Greg Charkoudian, producer. 

Writing – Feature/Commentary – Tim Layden, NBCSports.com“Maple Leaf Mel and the long arc of a horse racing tragedy,” Nov. 1, 2023

Tim Layden, a writer-at-large for NBC Sports, won his fourth Media Eclipse Award for “Maple Leaf Mel and the Long Arc of a horse racing tragedy.” Layden related the story of Melanie Giddings, the trainer and cancer survivor of undefeated 3-year-old filly Maple Leaf Mel–named after Giddings–who suffered a fatal injury while leading the GI Test S. at Saratoga Aug. 5.

Writing- News/Enterprise – Sean Clancy, The Saratoga Special “The Worst Test,” Aug. 6, 2023

Sean Clancy was not originally assigned to cover the Test S. at Saratoga on Aug. 5, but sprang into action and wrote a news account of the race of the tragic consequences of the fatal accident to Maple Leaf Mel and the reactions of individuals surrounding the event.

Clancy is the co-editor and publisher of The Saratoga Special along with his brother, Joe, which they co-founded in 2001. This is the second Eclipse Award for Clancy.

Live Television Programming – NBC Sports – “The Breeders' Cup World Championships,” Nov. 3-4, 2023; Lindsay Schanzer, Senior Producer

For the fourth consecutive year, NBC Sports has won the Eclipse Award for Live Television Programming for its broadcast on NBC, Peacock, and the USA Network, of the two-day coverage of the 40th Breeders' Cup World Championships from Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.

Feature Television Programming – Woodbine Entertainment: “SECRETARIAT The Last Race,” – Oct. 8, 2023. Airing on TSN (The Sports Network) in Canada. Tammy Gillanders, Producer

“In SECRETARIAT The Last Race,” the Woodbine Entertainment broadcast team produced a retrospective of the last race of the 1973 Triple Crown winner's career in the Canadian International on the turf at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The feature aired on Oct. 8, 2023, on TSN (The Sports Network) during the 2023 running of the Canadian International.

Photography – Carolyn Simancik“Trading Horse Paint,” (Cody's Wish/National Treasure battle in Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile) The Press Box, Nov. 4, 2023

Carolyn Simancik, who has been photographing for Eclipse Sportswire since 2018, captured the most dramatic finish of the 2023 Breeders' Cup World Championships in “Trading Horse Paint,” which appeared on the Press Box website on Nov. 4, 2023.

Media Eclipse Award winners will be presented their trophies at the 53rd Annual Eclipse Awards Ceremony and Dinner at The Breakers Palm Beach in Florida on Thursday, Jan. 25.

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