Joe Drape is a reporter for The New York Times who has covered thoroughbred racing for nearly two decades. He is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for outstanding coverage of horse racing. His book, "Black Maestro: The Epic Life of an American Legend," is a biography of Jimmy Winkfield, the last African American jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. It was awarded the inaugural winner of the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, given annually to a work that contributes to the literature surrounding thoroughbreds. In 2012, he co-authored The New York Times series Breakdown: Death & Disarray at American Racetracks that prompted widespread reform in drug rules and penalties and won several prizes for investigative journalism. Its companion documentary was nominated for an Emmy Award. He is the author six books, including he NYT Bestseller "Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen.
Drape is a Kansas City native and a graduate of Southern Methodist University. He previously worked for The Dallas Morning News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He lives with his wife and son in New York City.
"American Pharoah: The Untold Story" is about history being made made at the 2015 Belmont Stakes when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, the first since Affirmed in 1978. As magnificent as the champion is, the team behind him has been all too human while on the road to immortality. Through extensive interviews, Drape explores the making of an exceptional racehorse, chronicling key events en route to history. Covering everything from the flamboyant owner's successful track record, the jockey's earlier heartbreaking losses, and the Hall of Fame trainer's intensity, Drape paints a stirring portrait of a horse for the ages and the people around him.