Jay Privman, who retired from the Daily Racing Form in late 2022 after a career spanning six decades, will be presented with a Special Eclipse Award for Career Excellence at the 52nd Eclipse Award ceremonies to be held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, Jan. 26.
“This is quite humbling and most appreciated, as it has been bestowed by my peers and those I covered,” Privman said. “I get very emotional seeing whose names have also won a Special Award, like the greatest rider I ever saw, Laffit Pincay, Jr., and the great racing journalist Charles Hatton. The number 30 is used in print journalism to signify the end of a story, so I find it incredibly moving to be the 30th recipient of the Special Award at the close of my career.”
Privman's storied career as a reporter began when working part-time as a college student for the Los Angeles Daily News and he covered his first race in 1980–the GI Malibu S. won by future Hall of Famer Spectacular Bid. He assumed a full-time role with the publication from 1981-1991, then became the West Coast editor for The Racing Times (1991-1992) and a West Coast correspondent for the New York Times from 1992-1998. From 1983-1998, he was also a correspondent for The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times.
Privman joined DRF in 1998 as national correspondent and taking over the 'Derby Doings' column launched several years earlier by his mentor, the late Joe Hirsch. Privman joined Hirsch on the National Museum of Racing Roll of Honor in 2021 and retired last September, a short time after covering Flightline's historic victory in the GI TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar, the first track he ever attended. He and his wife, Anne Warner, reside in nearby Carlsbad.
Privman covered each running of the Kentucky Derby from 1982 through 2019 (missing 2020 and 2021 because of covid and surgery for bladder cancer, respectively) before returning for the 2022 Triple Crown. He was also on hand for every Breeders' Cup from the inaugural in 1984 through 2021 (missing 2020 because of the pandemic).
Privman is actively involved in many charitable endeavors, and as a key member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, has provided invaluable guidance on matters affecting his colleagues and the sport.
In addition to his distinguished career in turf writing, Privman also covered horse racing on television for CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, and NBCSN. Privman also was the longtime co-host of the radio show Thoroughbred Los Angeles on KLAA-AM 830.
“For over three decades, Jay Privman has been the gold standard of professionalism and objectivity in news reporting,” said Steven Crist, former Editor-in-Chief at The Racing Times and former CEO and Publisher of Daily Racing Form. “He is widely respected by both his readers and his fellow journalists throughout the sport, and his exemplary coverage will be missed.”