The Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Maryland Jockey Club recognized excellence in Thoroughbred racing at the inaugural Renaissance Awards Feb. 12 at the Sagamore Pendry hotel in Fells Point.
More than 200 guests attended the event and a portion of the proceeds from the evening will benefit local charities Beyond the Wire, the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation and Maryland horse industry scholarships.
The Renaissance Awards were created to celebrate the resurgence of the racing and breeding industries in Maryland. The Maryland Jockey Club reported a total handle of more than $600 million in 2017, a 12 percent increase from 2016. Several of the state’s most prominent race days reported record crowds and wagers including the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes which set all-time records with a crowd of more than 140,000 fans wagering more than $97.1 million. In the past eight years, the number of mares bred to Maryland sires and the number of Maryland-bred foals has increased more than 40 percent.
Renaissance Awards winners included Maryland-bred Horse of the Year: Just Howard (bred by Howard M. Bender, owned by Skeedattle Associates); Owner of the Year: Sagamore Farm; Trainer of the Year: Claudio Gonzalez; Jockey of the Year: Jevian Toledo; Maryland-bred champion 2-year-old male: Whirlin Curlin (bred and owned by Marathon Farms Inc.); Maryland-bred champion 2-year-old filly: Limited View (bred by Barbara G. Smith, owned by John E. Salzman Jr., Fred Wasserloos and George Greenwalt); Maryland-bred champion 3-year-old male: Just Howard; Maryland-bred champion 3-year-old filly: Crabcakes (bred by Buckingham Farm, owned by Morgan’s Ford Farm); Maryland-bred champion older male: Struth (bred by Fitzhugh LLC, owned by Mark Sitlinger); Maryland-bred champion older filly: My Magician (bred by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Brooke C. Bowman and R. Larry Johnson, owned by Euro Stable); Maryland-bred champion sprinter: Crabcakes; Maryland-bred champion turf runner: Just Howard; and Maryland-bred champion steeplechaser: Swoop (bred and owned by Mary Voss).
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