Fortus Wins NYRA's Inaugural Hirsch Contest
Bob Fortus of The Times-Picayune is one of two turf writers awarded top honors in the inaugural Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Contest, the New York Racing Association announced Thursday. Fortus won in the "Wrap-Up" division for his recap of last year's Belmont, which opened with the Hirsch-esque lede: "The other Bird won, and so did the other Cajun."
With the Hirsch award, which recognizes the best in Belmont Stakes coverage, Fortus has now completed a sort of Triple Crown of turf writing. In 1995 he won Churchill Downs' Red Smith Award for Kentucky Derby feature writing and in 2009 he won Pimlico's Old Hilltop Award for "members of the sports media who have covered Thoroughbred racing with excellence and distinction," awarded annually during Preakness week.