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     Longtime track photographer Jim McCue, whose career includes documenting four Triple Crown champions, has been selected to receive the 2017 Special Award of Merit, given by the Maryland Jockey Club to those who have made a positive impact on the racing industry.

A native of Brookline, Mass. who grew up in Pennsylvania, the 70-year-old McCue was introduced to racing by his father, Vincent, who owned and raced horses at Laurel, Pimlico, Bowie and Charles Town in the 1960s.
McCue discovered his love and talent for photography while serving with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, graduating from the Army’s photography school in Fort Monmouth, N.J. and serving for a time as an instructor there before becoming assistant to late Maryland track photographer Jerry Frutkoff in 1970.
The two worked together for 33 years until Frutkoff passed away in August 2003 at the age of 81. The Jerry Frutkoff Preakness Photography Award has been presented annually since 2002 to the photographer of the best Preakness picture from the previous year. McCue earned the Frutkoff Award in 2007.
McCue’s job has allowed him to witness the last four horses to sweep the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes – Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978) and American Pharoah (2015). He lists Secretariat as his all-time favorite horse.


1989 Fred Grossman, Daily Racing Form
1990 Dennis Swanson, ABC Sports
1991 Jim McKay, ABC Sports
1992 Joe Hirsch, Daily Racing Form
1993 "Racing Across America", ESPN
1994 Thomas V. Mike Miller, State Senator
1995 John H. Mosner, Former Chairman of Maryland Racing Commission
1996 D. Wayne Lukas, Trainer
1997 Steve Gigliotti, WMAR-TV
1998 Carl F. Pascarella, VISA, USA
1999 Steven Crist, Daily Racing Form
2000 Chick Lang, WBAL Radio
2001 award not presented
2002 John Heisler, Former Maryland Steward
2003 NBC Sports
2004 King Leatherbury, Trainer
2005 Jerry Bailey, Jockey
2006 Jeff Beauchamp, WBAL Radio
Dr. Dean Richardson, University of Pennsylvania
Edgar Prado, Jockey
2008 Karen De Francis
2009 award not presented
2010 award not presented
2011 Joseph C. Bryce, Chief Legislative Officer for Governor Martin O'Malley
2012 Team Rapid Redux
2013 Horse Player Now
2014 Ramon Dominguez, Jockey
2015 Rosie Napravnik
2016 Team Pharoah
2017 Jim McCue