Stories from TDN Series Nominated for Bergstein Writing Award

by | 06.27.2013 | 9:17am

Team Valor International has nominated all 6 stories from a Thoroughbred Daily News series on drugs in horse racing for the Stan Bergstein Writing Award.

Bill Finley, Ryan Goldberg and Lucas Marquardt each wrote installments in the series “A Painful Truth,” which began on May 2 and wrapped up on June 22.

Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin initiated the award last year following the death of Bergstein, who relentlessly wrote about drug issues in both Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing for decades. The first award, decided by a 4-judge panel of writers, went to an installment from another series on drugs in racing that appeared in the New York Times.

The TDN series examined drugs in racing dating back to the early 20th century and moved forward with a look at the present dysfunctional regulatory system that differs drastically from state to state. The writers also compared America's permissive drug rules to the stringent standards in place in most other countries with horse racing and placed a spotlight on several positive developments, including emerging laboratory technology, cooperation among some jurisdictions and tracks incorporating private property rights to exclude presumed bad actors.

The full series is accessible at The following 6 stories will be presented individually to the panel of judges for the second annual Stan Bergstein Writing Award, which will carry a $25,000 prize and will be presented at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program's Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming:

A History of Drugs In Racing, by Ryan Goldberg, published on May 2;

War on Drugs? Vet Records and State Rules Say No, by Ryan Goldberg, May 10;

The International Difference, by Bill Finley, May 17;

Behind Closed Doors: A Look Inside U.S. Testing Labs, by Lucas Marquardt, May 30;

As The Science Gets Better, Catching the Cheats Becomes Easier, by Bill Finley, June 15; and

Race Horse Is Not a Diagnosis, by Ryan Goldberg, June 22.

For the 2013 award, Team Valor previously nominated a piece from Ray Paulick on the Paulick Report website about the absence of veterinary records in California's mandatory post-mortem examinations for equine fatalities.

Stories may be submitted for consideration to Jeff Lowe at [email protected] by November 1.

  • betterthannothing


    “Race Horse Is Not a Diagnosis” is a classic but dramatic title that says it all.

  • Ben van den Brink

    TDN deserves this. Next year Paulick Report??????

  • Kate Downey Corcoran

    Kudos. Keep the pressure on!

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