Wednesday, February 1, 2012

TURF Member McCalmont Honored As Sovereign Award Finalist

TURF member Keith McCalmont ( was recently announced as a finalist for a prestigious Sovereign Award for Outstanding Newspaper Story for his story, Emma’s Great Excaper, published on on November 2, 2011.

“It is an honour to be nominated for this award alongside a pair of talented, Sovereign Award winning, writers such as Beverley Smith and Allan Besson,” said McCalmont of the nomination.

Ostensibly a preview of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, the story was a rare glimpse into the development of a potential champion and the bond between horse and rider.  While finishing second in the Juvenile Turf, the 33-1 long shot ran a determined race, validating trainer Ian Black’s decision to retain Breeders’ Cup rookie Emma-Jayne Wilson, Excaper’s regular pilot, in the horse’s biggest race to date.

“I'm forever thankful to jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson who made telling this story a simple task,” McCalmont continued.  “Emma generously shared the details of the months of conditioning, engineered by trainer Ian Black that went into building up a Breeders' Cup calibre horse.  My job, as a writer sharing her anecdotes, was simply to stay out of the way.  I won't soon forget the smile on Emma's face following their second-place finish in the Juvenile Turf, or the kiss that an exuberant Black planted on her cheek during the post-race interview.  Little moments like that are what horse racing is all about.”

“This is the third straight year that Keith has been nominated for a Sovereign Award,” said Valerie Grash, founding member of the international bloggers’ group, “and we couldn’t be prouder of his achievements. His unique insider’s view of Woodbine racing, along with his deep love of the sport, permeates his writing and allows him to bring to light stories of extraordinary depth and clarity.”

Sovereign Award winners will be announced at a ceremony on April 5, 2012 at Woodbine Race Track in Toronto.

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