By BloodHorse Staff
The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) announced Nov. 22 that Art Sherman, trainer of champion and all-time North American earnings leader California Chrome, will be honored with the 2016 Big Sport of Turfdom Award—which recognizes a person or group of people who enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and racing publicists.
Sherman won in a vote determined by the nearly 150 active members of the TPA, a trade organization of Thoroughbred racing publicists and marketing executives.
"I am so delighted and honored to be among the people that have won this award, a who's who of racing," Sherman said. "I've always tried to be accommodating to the press and even anyone that asks me for an autograph. It's for the betterment of the game. Anything for racing."
Under Sherman's care, California Chrome has won 15 of 25 starts while amassing $14,452,650 in earnings across four seasons. As a 3-year old, the son of Lucky Pulpit won the 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) en route to Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male honors. This season, the 5-year-old chestnut continued to add to his illustrious resume with wins in three group or grade I races, including the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline, and was second in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
"Art Sherman is a publicist's dream," said TPA president Jim Mulvihill. "For three years he has trained one of the top horses in the world and during that span has made himself available for thousands of interviews. His genuine nature and likability have been major factors in California Chrome becoming one of the most popular racehorses of our time."
The Big Sport of Turfdom will be presented to Sherman at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program's annual Awards Luncheon Dec. 6, emceed by Santa Anita Park track announcer Michael Wrona. The luncheon is part of the 2016 Symposium on Racing & Gaming at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.
The Big Sport of Turfdom has been presented annually since 1966. Last year's winner was "Team American Pharoah."
Other previous winners include jockeys Mike Smith, Pat Day, Laffit Pincay Jr., Chris McCarron, Bill Shoemaker, Angel Cordero Jr., Eddie Arcaro and Gary Stevens; trainers Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas and Jack Van Berg; as well as other individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport like announcer Tom Durkin, author Laura Hillenbrand, broadcaster Jim McKay, turf writer Joe Hirsch and actors Tim Conway and Jack Klugman.