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Jon White Wins Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest with Xpressbet Blog

by New York Racing Association Press Release

May 28, 2019

ELMONT, N.Y. - Paul Volponi of BloodHorse and Jon White of Xpressbet/XBTV earned top honors in the New York Racing Association, Inc.'s (NYRA) 10th annual Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest, recognizing the best in media coverage of the 2018 Belmont Stakes, won by Justify.

Volponi won for his feature piece entitled "The Long Ride," which investigated the pacing, positioning, and circumstances jockeys must account for to succeed in the 1 ½ mile "Test of the Champion".

White won for his Belmont Stakes recap, "Triple Crown Perfection," which vividly retold the story of Bob Baffert's 2019 campaign with Justify and Mike Smith, culminating in their victory in the Belmont Stakes to become the 13th Triple Crown winner.

This is the first Joe Hirsch Award for both Volponi and White.

The award presentation will be held Tuesday, June 4 at Citi Field, prior to the post-position draw for the 151st running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on June 8.

The awards are named in honor of Joe Hirsch, the longtime executive sports columnist for Daily Racing Form (DRF) who died January 9, 2009.

Previous winners of the Joe Hirsch Award include Dave Grening of Daily Racing Form (DRF) and Bob Fortus of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans in 2010, Ed Fountaine of the New York Post and DRF's Jay Privman in 2011, Ed McNamara of Newsday and Todd Simmons of the Staten Island Advance in 2012; Mike MacAdam of The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, N.Y., and Claire Novak, writing for ESPN.com in 2013; Nicole Russo of DRF in 2014; Alicia Wincze-Hughes of the Lexington Herald-Leader in 2015; Joe Clancy of ST Publishing and Richard Rosenblatt of The Associated Press in 2016; Privman and McNamara in 2017; Bob Ehalt of Thoroughbred Racing Commentary and Tom Law of ST Publishing in 2018.