Team Valor launches Stan Bergstein Writing Award

by | 11.29.2011 | 12:11pm

The Stanley Bergstein Writing Award has been instituted by Team Valor International in order to foster the type of writing engaged in by the recently deceased horse racing giant and author of hard-hitting racing journalism.

CEO Barry Irwin, a former Turf Writer who greatly admired Mr.  Bergstein's Daily Racing Form columns, will select the winner from a list of stories chosen for consideration by a group of 5 panelists to be named next year. Four panelists will be appointed each year by Jeff Lowe, who was an award-winning Turf Writer prior to joining Team Valor as media director. Lowe will serve as the fifth panelist.

Writers may also submit their own pieces for consideration.  There are no restrictions as to where the pieces are published, whether in print or on-line, in newspapers, magazines or blogs. More information is available at

Stanley Bergstein passed away earlier this month in his adopted home of Tucson, Arizona. He was an influential Op/Ed writer on important issues facing horse racing.

Team Valor will announce the winner at 11 a. m. on December 4, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky at a luncheon in the Thoroughbred Club of America adjacent to Keeneland, where the recipient will receive a trophy commemorating the achievement, as well as a check in the amount of $25,000.

Irwin began in racing as a writer with The Blood-Horse, later editor of The Thoroughbred of California and wrote a syndicated column for Daily Racing Form. The past 15 years he has contributed editorial pieces to The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Daily News and the Paulick Report.

In explaining his desire to reward Turf Writers for journalistic excellence, Irwin said “There was a time in the 1990s when I felt singularly alone in tackling some of the sport's most daunting issues. When Mr. Bergstein began to write his columns for Daily Racing Form and Andy Beyer wrote similarly in the Washington Post, I was relieved and I greatly appreciated their content.

“In the current climate of a drastically shrinking amount of space devoted to coverage of racing in the print media, I think it is important to lend support to those writers still plying their trade, by establishing a path for them to take on the important issues facing the sport, in hopes that by doing so they will move racing's participants to effect positive changes.

“Not all writers and publications seem interested in this sort of thing. Now that Mr. Bergstein has departed the scene, I want to do something to encourage Turf Writers to pick up where he left off and establish a trend.

“Hopefully, the Stanley Bergstein Writing Award will encourage Turf Writers to branch out and take a different look at what is going on in racing that requires some attention in the press.”

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