on 11/24/2009 5:07 AM

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Castleton Lyons and Thoroughbred Times announced today that they will be co-sponsoring the Fourth Annual Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award and are now taking entries for the prestigious prize. Presented to the author of the best book about Thoroughbred racing published in 2009, the award comes with a $10,000 cash prize, making it one of the richest book awards in the world.

"We are proud to again co-sponsor the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award," said Shane Ryan, president of Castleton Lyons. "This gives us an opportunity to both recognize great writing and help promote the sport of racing we love so much. I know we will have some outstanding works entered this year."

Named for the late founder of Castleton Lyons who conceived the award in 2006 to reward literary excellence, the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award is presented annually to the author of the best book published about an aspect of Thoroughbred racing.

"This is a tribute to Dr. Ryan's vision," said Mark Simon, president of the Lexington-based publication company Thoroughbred Times. "This award is unique in racing in that it is the only one that recognizes authors of books. This is their Eclipse Award competition, so to speak."

The deadline for submissions for the 2009 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award is December 31, 2009. The semi-finalists will be announced in February and the three finalists will be named in March.

The announcement of the winner of the 2009 Book Award will be made in April, 2010. The winner also receives a Tipperary Crystal trophy. The runners-up will each receive a trophy and a check for $1,000.

Nominees for the Book Award can be in any category: fiction, non-fiction, handicapping, training, children's, health care, photography, etc., as long as it pertains to an aspect dealing with Thoroughbreds. Judges selected by Thoroughbred Times will critique books on content, plus design, layout, and artwork, when relevant, to select the 2009 winner.

To submit nominees to the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, authors or publishing companies should send seven (7) copies of the book, along with the nomination form, to: Book Award, Thoroughbred Times, 2008 Mercer Road, Lexington, KY 40511. Entries must be received by December 31, 2009.

The 2008 Dr. Tony Ryan Award winner was Rudy Alvarado for The Untold Story of Joe Hernandez: The Voice of Santa Anita. The runners-up were Vic Zast, author of The History and Art of 25 Travers, and Dick Francis and Felix Francis, authors of Silks.

Past winners of the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award:
2008- Rudy Alvarado, The Untold Story of Joe Hernandez: The Voice of Santa Anita
2007- T.D. Thornton, Not By A Long Shot: A Season at a Hard-Luck Horse Track
2006- Joe Drape, Black Maestro
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