Dan Farley, longtime horse racing writer, dies at 72

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (AP) Dan Farley, an award-winning horse racing writer who covered hundreds of Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup races and was a former president of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, has died. He was 72.

He died Friday in the hospital, according to his wife Betsy. He had been confined to a wheelchair for many years as a result of muscular dystrophy, but it didn't deter him from covering major stakes races in the U.S. and overseas.

Farley began his career with The Blood-Horse in 1971 and then served as a staff writer, managing editor and editor of The Thoroughbred Record. He covered U.S. racing for Pacemaker International in the early 1980s and then worked for the International Racing Bureau.

He was president of the NTWAB from 1982-86 and became the American correspondent for the Racing Post when it began publication in 1986. He received the Walter Haight Award for career excellence in turf writing from the NTWA in 2009.

He retired in 2013, although he still contributed blogs and columns to the Racing Post.

''When Dan talked horse racing it was best to listen because he knew what he was taking about,'' said Ed Schuyler, retired racing writer for The Associated Press and a longtime friend. ''He had a lot of inside knowledge.''

Farley was the proud owner of a massive collection of racing memorabilia including programs, posters and racing publications and was a daily fixture in press box at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.

''This was his favorite time of year and he was really excited about this year's Kentucky Derby,'' said Betsy Farley, his wife of 49 years.

The Farleys moved from their longtime home in Lexington to Ashland, Virginia, a year ago to be closer to family. He was a native of Princeton, Indiana, and a graduate of Indiana State University.

Other survivors are daughters Alison and Carrie; and grandson Noah.

A memorial service will be held later in Lexington.

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