SECRETARIAT CHRONICLER EARNS ROLL OF HONOR AWARD

Bill Nack, Charles Hatton, Steve Crist, and Walter “Red” Smith are the inaugural selections to the National Museum of Racing’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor, according to a release. The honorees will be recognized in a ceremony Friday, Oct. 1, at Belmont Park, the day before the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at the track.

Nack (right) wrote about sports, politics, and the environment at Newsday for 11 years before joining the Sports Illustrated staff in 1978 as an investigative reporter and general feature writer, where he remained until 2001. Nack also served as an adviser on the made-for-TV-movie “Ruffian” (2007) and the Disney feature “Secretariat,” which is scheduled to be released in theaters nationwide in October. Both of those films were based on books written by Nack. He has won seven Eclipse Awards.

Hatton was a distinguished Turf columnist for Daily Racing Form for more than 45 years. He joined DRF in January of 1930 and wrote his final column May 7, 1975. Hatton was influential in the creation of the annual Eclipse Awards and was also a strong advocate for racetracks to offer the same purse structure for fillies and mares as they did for colts.

Crist has served as publisher and columnist for Daily Racing Form since 1998. He is the author of five books, including “The Horse Traders” and “Betting On Myself.” Prior to working for Daily Racing Form, Crist served as a Turf writer and columnist for the New York Times, and was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Racing Times.

Smith was one of America’s preeminent sports writers of the 20th century. He worked for several newspapers before joining the New York Herald Tribune, where his column was widely read and often syndicated. He joined the New York Times in 1971 as a contract writer. In 1976, he was the first sportswriter to win the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Furthermore, the Associated Press awarded him the first Red Smith Award for “outstanding contributions to sports journalism.” Also named in his honor is the Red Smith Handicap, a race at Belmont Park.

(Photo by Roger Ebert)