Boniface, Glorious Empire among Maryland Racing Media award winners
From a Maryland Racing Media Association release
Longtime Maryland trainer J. William Boniface, jockey Weston Hamilton, breeders Angie and Sabrina Moore, and top-class racehorse Glorious Empire will be honored Monday at Laurel Park as after having been chosen as award winners by the Maryland Racing Media Association.
Boniface was voted the organization’s highest honor, the Humphrey S. Finney Award for lifetime achievement in thoroughbred racing in Maryland. Boniface will always be linked with 1983 Preakness Stakes winner, Deputed Testamony (photo above, courtesy of the Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame), a horse he also bred via his family’s Bonita Farm operation. Deputed Testamony is the most recent Maryland-bred to win the state’s biggest race and a member of the Maryland Thoroughbred Hall of Fame. also saddled Grade I winner Ops Smile and graded stakes winners Oliver’s Twist — who was second in the 1995 Preakness — Angelina County, Jane’s Dilemma and Irish Forever. Boniface also was among the driving forces behind the inception of the Maryland Million, and Bonita Farm continues to stand three stallions.
Hamilton, son of former local jockey Steve Hamilton, was selected as the Dale Austin Newsmaker Award winner following a season in which he also garnered the Eclipse Award as champion apprentice jockey for 2018. Hamilton won with 120 of his 920 mounts and earned just over $3.5 million last year en route to becoming the 11th Maryland-based jockey to earn the Eclipse Award as champion apprentice. The award named for the late longtime former Baltimore Sun horse racing writer Dale Austin, a longtime MRMA member and past president.
Angie Moore and her daughter Sabrina Moore will receive the Nancy Alberts Breakthrough Award after emerging on the scene this year as breeders courtesy of the emergence of Knicks Go, winner of the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland Race Course and runner-up behind Game Winner in the Breeders Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. Knicks Go finished his freshman campaign with a 2-1-1 slate from six starts and earnings of over $670,000 and he was a finalist for the Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old male, which went to Game Winner, and he earned laurels as Maryland-bred Horse of the Year. Knicks Go, by Paynter, is out of the stakes-winning Outflanker mare Kosmo’s Buddy.
Glorious Empire, trained at Fair Hill by Chuck Lawrence for owner Matthew Schera, will receive recognition as Maryland-based Horse of the Year. He won four of six starts in 2018 and earned more than $767,000. His 2018 ledger included wins in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer and a pair of Grade 2 events. He was an Eclipse Award finalist for top male turf horse.
“It has been an amazing year in Maryland racing,” said Maryland Racing Media Association president Frank Vespe. “We’re so pleased to be able to recognize some of the many people and horses that have made it special.”
All of the recipients will be honored with their respective awards on Monday, February 18, when Laurel Park hosts the 28th running of the Maryland Racing Media Stakes for fillies and mares.