During an intimate reception hosted by Castleton Lyons last evening, T.D. Thornton's book, Not By a Longshot: A Season At a Hard-Luck Horse Track was recognized with the prestigious Castleton Lyons-Thoroughbred Times Book Award.
Thornton worked for Suffolk Downs as an on-air commentator for its new simulcasting program in 1992. After six years of handicapping and analysis, he was promoted to Director of Media Relations for the track. The honest and poignant work was developed during his final season at Suffolk Downs. Two other finalists were also honored: Rachel Pagones for her book, Dubai Millennium: A Vision Realised, A Dream Lost; and Bill Nack for his piece, Ruffian: A Racetrack Romance.
This yearís esteemed panel of judges included Audrey Korotkin, former executive director of Triple Crown Productions and two-time Eclipse Award winner for broadcast news and sports reporting; Kay Coyte, current editor with The Washington Post and an Eclipse and American Horse Publications award-winning photographer, and former editor and publisher of The Horsemanís Journal; Joe Drape, last yearís Book Award winner and reporter for the New York Times, whose numerous awards include an Eclipse Award for outstanding achievement in horse racing writing; Ashbel Green, former Vice President and Senior Editor at Alfred A. Knopf publishing house, whose career has included editing books by filmmaker Ken Burns, newsman Walter Cronkite, and Nobel-prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
The Castleton Lyons-Thoroughbred Times Book Award was inaugurated by the late Dr. Tony Ryan, who purchased Castleton Lyons Farm in 2001. Dr. Ryan approached The Thoroughbred Times with the concept of creating an award to honor authors who make contributions to racing through literature. This was the 2nd year for the annual award, which presents a $10,000 check to the winner and a crystal trophy.