Mark Midland, a former racetrack executive who founded the Horse Racing Nation fan website, has won the 5th annual Ron Rippey Award for Handicapping Media for his “Preakness 2018 longshot Bravazo ran huge in Derby.” The detailed post mortem of Bravazo’s 2018 Kentucky Derby trip appeared on HorseRacingNation.com.
Midland will accept the award and $1,000 cash prize at the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) Awards Dinner on Wednesday, October 31, at Whiskey Dry in Downtown Louisville—host city of this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships on November 2-3 at Churchill Downs.
Midland, 49, is a graduate of the University of Illinois with an MBA from the University of Louisville who has nearly 20 years of experience in the horse racing industry, including stints at Churchill Downs Inc. and Caesars Entertainment before founding Horse Racing Nation in 2010. He lives in Louisville with his wife Kelley and their two daughters.
“Quality handicapping content is critical to developing new racing fans,” Midland said. “What drew me to this story was the simplicity of it. Anyone can relate to seeing a horse have a terrible trip in the Derby but show the heart to never quit. And sometimes handicapping is as simple as spotting a bad trip and keeping an open mind on a longshot that not many gave a chance.”
An additional entry received an honorable mention: “Trainers – A Path to ???” by Barry Meadow appeared in the July 2018 edition of the Horseplayer Monthly newsletter that Horseplayers Association of North America publishes. Meadow won the inaugural Rippey Award in 2014.
The Rippey Award is open to any article, blog post, or video pertaining to a handicapping topic published in the past year. Rippey won the 2006 NHC and was a 10-time qualifier for the prestigious event. He also contributed his handicapping thoughts to the Newark Star-Ledger and Brisnet.com.
“Handicapping horse races is both an art and a science, and the ability to produce compelling content about the topic is a specialty that deserves recognition,” Brisnet.com Director of Marketing Ed DeRosa said. “We not only want to acknowledge the good work done in this regard but also encourage people to continue to produce this type of content. Who better to honor than successful handicapper and newspaper columnist Ron Rippey?”
For more information on attending the NTWAB dinner, visit NTWAB.org.