Dallas Observer Editor Julie Lyons recently won a first-place award in sportswriting from the National Association of Black Journalists for her July 17, 1997, article "The Saint," about Lone Star Park jockey Marlon St. Julien.
St. Julien, 26, is the only prominent black thoroughbred racing jockey in the United States. A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, St. Julien--whose nickname is "Saint"--won the first race ever run at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. He went on to ride well at last year's inaugural meet, placing second in the jockey standings to veteran rider Ronald Ardoin.
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This year, St. Julien ran away with the jockey's title at Lone Star--winning 78 races and $1.7 million in purse money during the meet that ended earlier this month.
St. Julien's success encouraged him to attempt to break into a higher-level racing circuit than the Texas-Louisiana-Arkansas series of thoroughbred meets. He recently moved his gear to Chicago and is now riding at Hawthorne Race Course.
Lyons' award was in the print category for publications with circulation of 150,000 or less.
Two staff members from the Houston Press, the Observer's sister paper, also won NABJ awards. Shaila Dewan won first place in the features category for publications with circulation of 150,000 or less. Bob Burtman won first place in the enterprise category.