Jay Privman (Benoit Photo)
NTRA Press Release
LEXINGTON, Ky.— The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB), and Daily Racing Form announced today that Jay Privman, whose prolific career encompassed print, television, and radio journalism, as well as multi-decades long service to the industry, will be honored with a Special Eclipse Award for Career Excellence at the 52nd Annual Eclipse Awards at The Breakers Palm Beach in Florida on January 26.
A highly respected member of his profession by Thoroughbred racing’s participants and his peers alike, Privman’s career went far beyond his work covering horse racing. He is actively involved in many charitable endeavors, and as a key member of the NTWAB, has provided invaluable guidance on matters affecting his colleagues and the sport.
“This is quite humbling and most appreciated, as it has been bestowed by my peers and those I covered,” Privman said. “I get very emotional seeing whose names have also won a Special Award, like the greatest rider I ever saw, Laffit Pincay Jr., and the great racing journalist Charles Hatton. The number 30 is used in print journalism to signify the end of a story, so I find it incredibly moving to be the 30th recipient of the Special Award at the close of my career.”
As a college student working part-time for The Los Angeles Daily News, Privman covered his first race in 1980 – eventual Hall of Fame inductee Spectacular Bid’s victory in the Malibu Stakes. He went on to work for The Daily News full-time from 1981 through 1991, then became West Coast editor for The Racing Times (1991 to 1992) and a West Coast correspondent for The New York Times (1992 to 1998). He also was a correspondent for The Thoroughbred Record and The Thoroughbred Times (1983 to 1998).
But Privman was best known to a national audience for his work at Daily Racing Form, which he joined in October 1998 as national correspondent, eventually taking over the popular Derby Doings column that was launched decades earlier by one of his mentors, longtime Daily Racing Form columnist Joe Hirsch, a fellow member of the National Museum of Racing Roll of Honor and for whom the honor is named after. Privman, named to National Museum’s Honor Roll in 2021, announced his retirement from DRF in September of 2022. The final major race he covered was Flightline’s romp in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
“For over three decades, Jay Privman has been the gold standard of professionalism and objectivity in news reporting,” said Steven Crist, former Editor-in-Chief at The Racing Times and former CEO and Publisher of Daily Racing Form. “He is widely respected by both his readers and his fellow journalists throughout the sport, and his exemplary coverage will be missed.”
In addition to his distinguished career in turf writing, Privman also covered horse racing on television for CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC, and NBCSN. Privman also was the longtime co-host of the radio show Thoroughbred Los Angeles on KLAA-AM 830.
During his years as a turf writer, Privman worked tirelessly to tell the story of Thoroughbred racing, turning what he describes as a childhood hobby into a true vocation, one that lasted more than four decades He was a mainstay on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, covering many major races leading to the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown. He covered every Kentucky Derby from 1982 through 2019 (missing 2020 and 2021 because of covid and surgery for bladder cancer, respectively) before returning for a final Triple Crown go-round in 2022 and every Breeders’ Cup from the inaugural in 1984 through 2021 (missing 2020 because of the pandemic).
Privman is the author of the books “Breeders’ Cup: Thoroughbred Racing’s Championship Day,” and “Del Mar at 75” and a contributing writer to the Daily Racing Form book “Champions.” He has also been a reporter on eight Eclipse Award-winning broadcasts: three each with ESPN and NBC and one each with Sirius Radio and Fox Sports West 2.
Privman has earned numerous honors for his Thoroughbred racing coverage. He is a six-time winner of the Red Smith Award (1989, 1990, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2008) from Churchill Downs for the best Kentucky Derby story; a two-time winner of the David F. Woods Award (2002, 2013) from the Maryland Jockey Club for the best Preakness Stakes story; and a two-time winner of the Joe Hirsch Award (2010, 2016) from the New York Racing Association for the best Belmont Stakes story.
Privman’s Breeders’ Cup awards include six Joe Hirsch Awards (2001, 2003, 2005, 2015, 2017, 2018) for news reporting and the Bill Leggett Award (2017) for feature writing. Other honors include the Old Hilltop Award from the Maryland Jockey Club (2005); Walter Haight Award, from the National Turf Writers Association (2005); induction into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame (2011); and the Charles W. Engelhard Award, from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders (2016).
Privman and his wife, Anne Warner, reside in Carlsbad, CA, 11 miles from the first track he ever attended, Del Mar.