(Trainer Tom Amoss / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) today announced that trainer Tom Amoss is the recipient of the 2020 Big Sport of Turfdom award, which recognizes a person or group of people who enhances coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and racing publicists.
The announcement was made as part of NYRA’s America’s Day at the Races on FOX Sports this afternoon.
Amoss has amassed more than 3,800 victories and earnings of more than $107 million during his training career, highlighted by Serengeti Empress, winner of the 2019 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and 2020 Ballerina Stakes (G1) and Azeri Stakes (G2), among others; 2020 Woody Stephens Stakes Presented by Claiborne Farm (G1) winner No Parole; and 2020 Ohio Derby (G3) winner Dean Martini.
In addition to his training career, Amoss has served as a racing analyst for TVG, ESPN, NYRA TV and FOX Sports.
“Tom Amoss’ passion for racing, and his generously sharing his knowledge with fans through his broadcast work, is the embodiment of the Big Sport of Turfdom award,” TPA President Amy Gregory said. “He understands the importance of educating fans and conveying why they should love this sport. We congratulate Tom on his racing success and on winning this year’s award.”
A native of New Orleans, Amoss began his racing career in high school working for Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg. After graduating from Louisiana State University, he worked for trainer Frank Brothers, as a veterinary assistant for Backstretch Surgery & Medicine and as an assistant trainer to both Larry Robideaux and John Parisella. He took out his trainer’s license in 1987.
In addition to the aforementioned Serengeti Empress, No Parole and Dean Martini, Amoss trained Grade 1 winners Heritage of Gold and Big World as well as such graded stakes winners Chocolate Martini, Lone Sailor, Mo Tom, Venus Valentine, Grand Contender, Delaunay, Sum of the Parts, Backtalk, Rush and Baghdaria. Amoss finished third in the 2013 Preakness Stakes (G1) with Mylute.
Inducted into the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, he has earned leading trainer titles at Fair Grounds, Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs, Hoosier Park, Indiana Grand and Presque Isle Downs.
This year has marked a time of professional highs and personal lows for Amoss. His father, Walter James Amoss Jr., died of COVID-19 in late March at the age of 95. Amoss himself quarantined in March after being exposed to the virus.
“I am humbled and honored to be the recipient of the Big Sport of Turfdom award,” Amoss said. “Please be assured I will wear it proudly and respectfully.”
The Big Sport of Turfdom award is presented to the winner at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program’s annual awards luncheon, which is part of the Symposium on Racing & Gaming. Due to cancellation of this year’s Symposium as a result of the pandemic, Amoss will be recognized next year along with the 2021 Big Sport of Turfdom award winner.
The Big Sport of Turfdom has been presented annually since 1966. Trainer Mark Casse received the award last year, joining such previous winners as jockeys Mike Smith, Pat Day, Chris McCarron, Bill Shoemaker, Angel Cordero Jr., Eddie Arcaro and Gary Stevens; trainers Art Sherman, Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas and Jack Van Berg; two-time winner Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat; announcer Tom Durkin, author Laura Hillenbrand, broadcaster Jim McKay, Turf writer Joe Hirsch and actors Tim Conway and Jack Klugman.
A complete list of Big Sport of Turfdom winners is available online at http://www.turfpublicists.com/awards.html.