2021 Joe Kelly Unsung Hero Award Open For Nominations

The Maryland Million Ltd. Board of Directors plans to give this award annually in honor of Joe Kelly. Joe was the first and only publicist for the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day racing program. As a close friend of founder Jim McKay, he was involved from the introduction of the concept in 1985 until his death in 2012. He was a mentor to writers, horsemen and fans alike, and loved our sport from his early days as a sports writer.

Your unsung hero candidate should embody characteristics that are valuable, but often go unrewarded. He or she should be honest, hardworking and humble. They should inspire and set a good example through their principles and actions. The unsung hero award recipient will receive a $1,000 honorarium and be recognized on our website and various social media platforms.

Nominees that are not selected for the award this year will be considered again in future years. There is no need to fill out an application for the same nominee more than one time. Previous winners include: Holly Robinson (2013), Howard G. "Gelo" Hall (2014), Darryll-Ann Buschling (2015), Dr. David Zipf (2016), Mary Shunk (2017), Georganne Hale (2018), Heather Cellinesi (2019) and Ahesahmahk Dahn (2020).

Nominations are due by October 1

Download a Nomination Form


Nominee must-

• Have demonstrated a particular commitment, impact or contribution to the

Thoroughbred industry or equine community in general

• Have been involved in the Thoroughbred industry in Maryland for at least five


Your nomination should include two parts:

1) Completed nomination form, online or hard copy

2) A recommendation letter expanding on the reasons why you are nominating this person. Outline in 500 words or less such things as:

Areas of expertise or areas in which the nominee excels
Why the nominee is worthy of this recognition
Please return the completed form and your letter of recommendation to:

Maryland Million Ltd.

attn: Jordyn Egan

321 Main St.

Reisterstown, MD 21136

Or email documents to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.