Horse Racing Journalist Joe Kelly Dies At 94

Posted on November 27, 2012

By PressBox Staff

(Photo Courtesy of Jim McCue/MJC)
Joe Kelly spent almost three-quarters of his life surrounded by the sport of kings. A Baltimore native, Kelly lived the entirety of his 94 years in Charm City and covered horse racing for The Baltimore Sun and the Washington Star for almost 50 years before becoming the publicity director for Maryland Million and a historical consultant at Pimlico Race Course the last 26 years. Kelly remained a racing advocate until he died of cancer on Nov. 26.

On Oct. 30, 1947, while he was with The Sun, Kelly became part of the first live remote television broadcast when he announced the fifth and sixth races at Pimlico Race Course with the legendary Jim McKay on WMAR-TV. More than two decades later, while working at the now-defunct Star, Kelly penned a story on Maryland-bred horse Dancer's Image, a 1968 Kentucky Derby winner who was disqualified for a post-race medication violation. The story earned him a national award courtesy of the Thoroughbred Racing Association.

After covering horse racing for more than 30 years, Kelly earned Pimlico's Old Hilltop Award for his outstanding coverage. He took home the award once again in 2000, thus becoming the only two-time winner to date.

"He is a true representative of the greatest generation and always someone you could turn to for historical information," Dave Rodman, Pimlico and Laurel Park announcer, said in a statement. "He was eager to share stories about Maryland racing, especially the Preakness. Nobody loved Pimlico more than Mr. Kelly, who continued to drive to the track almost every day. Coming to the races kept him very sharp. He loved to talk about the horses and handicap the races."

Posted Nov. 27, 2012

Advertisement

Baltimore Top Stories

Amateur Baseball Team

Keith Mills and Pat O'Malley highlight the best local amateur baseball players from the 2000s.

FIL World Championship

Players with Maryland ties could help lead the U.S. to victory against Australia July 12.

Terps' Big Ten Schedule

Phil Jackman says the Terps' football team has an intimidating 2014 schedule in the Big Ten.

Schedule Gets Tougher

The O's began a tough stretch of games by winning a series against the Nationals July 7-10.

Ravens Calendar

The Ravens' joint practices with the 49ers are a new element for the training camp schedule.

CAREER YEAR FOR PEARCE

Jim Henneman says the Orioles' Steve Pearce is on track for a big paycheck after this season.

REIMOLD'S ORIOLES CAREER

Nolan Reimold didn't spend a lot of time on field for O's, but Paul Folkemer says he made a mark.

Advertisement

Get PressBox's Free Weekly Newsletter

Email:

For Sports Fans

Enter To Win

Enter to win a framed signed photo of Matt Wieters and a case of Matt Wieters Crab Seeds.

Second Thursday Lunch

Baltimore's sports experts and icons in a series of lunches by sports fans, for sports fans

PressBox Lax Weekly

Sign up for our new weekly high school lacrosse email, with key matchups, recruiting and more.

Advertisement
x