KNICKS GO NAMED MD-BRED HORSE OF THE YEAR
The fourth annual Renaissance Awards, a collaborative effort between the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Jockey Club, which recognizes excellence in Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Maryland in the past year, went virtual this year. Throughout the week of Feb. 22, awards were presented through the MHBA’s social media accounts to the top Maryland owner, trainer, jockey, breeder, broodmare and stallion, Backstretch Workers of the Year, one for Pimlico Race Course and one for Laurel Park, MTHA’s Unsung Hero, as well as the champion Maryland-breds of 2020.
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Record-breaking Grade 1 winner Knicks Go took home top honors as Maryland-bred Horse of the Year and champion older male.
Owned by Korea Racing Authority and trained by Brad H. Cox, Knicks Go capped off an impressive year by breaking his own track record for one and one-sixteenth miles at Keeneland with his victory in the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile-G1, notching his second Grade 1 victory by three and a half lengths as he stopped the clock in 1:33.85. He went into the Breeders’ Cup after securing a 10 1/4-length victory in an allowance at Keeneland, where he had originally broken the track record in 1:40.79, which was preceded by an allowance victory at Oaklawn Park in February. A perfect 3 for 3 in 2020, the son of Paynter earned $608,440.
Knicks Go, bred by Angie Moore, was sold as a weanling for $40,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale, and later purchased for $87,000 as a yearling by Korea Racing Authority at the 2017 Keeneland September sale. Only the fifth Maryland-bred to win a Breeders’ Cup race, his share of the purse ($520,000) propelled him beyond the $1 million mark in career earnings.
Other divisional champions:
Champion 2-year-old male: Jaxon Traveler (dk.b./br.c., 2018, by Munnings—Listen Boy, by After Market). Bred by Dr. and Mrs. A. Leonard Pineau; owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner; trained by Steven M. Asmussen.
Champion 2-year-old filly: Street Lute (ch. f., 2018, by Street Magician—Alottalute, by Midnight Lute). Bred by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman and Dr. Brooke Bowman; owned by Lucky 7 Stables; trained by John J. Robb.
Champion 3-year-old male: Field Pass (gr./ro.c, 2017, by Lemon Drop Kid—Only Me, by Runaway Groom). Bred by Mark Brown Grier; owned by Three Diamonds Farm; trained by Michael J. Maker.
Champion 3-year-old filly and champion turf runner: Sharing (ch.f., 2017, by Speightstown—Shared Account, by Pleasantly Perfect). Bred by Sagamore Farm; owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gainesway Stable (Antony Beck); trained by H. Graham Motion.
Champion older female: Never Enough Time (dk.b./br.m., 2016, by Munnings—What Time It Is, by Partner’s Hero). Bred and owned by R. Larry Johnson; trained by Michael J. Trombetta.
Champion sprinter: Laki (ch.g., 2013, by Cuba—Truthful Dutch, by Swear by Dixie). Bred by Tom Michaels and Lorna Baker; owned by Hillside Equestrian Meadows; trained by Damon R. Dilodovico.
Also presented were the annual breeder, stallion and broodmare of the year awards. Angie Moore, breeder of 2020 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year and champion older male Knicks Go, was crowned the Maryland Breeder of the Year, while Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds LLC and Hillwood Stable LLC’s Love’s Reason, dam of 2019 Maryland-bred champion older female Majestic Reason, won Maryland Broodmare of the Year and Northview Stallion Station’s Great Notion took home the title of Maryland Stallion of the Year for the fifth consecutive year.
Other award winners for 2020 include Robert Bone, Maryland Owner of the Year; Claudio Gonzalez, Maryland Trainer of the Year; Trevor McCarthy, Maryland Jockey of the Year. Edgar Gallegos was honored as the Pimlico Backstretch Worker of the Year, while Antonio Lopez Salazar earned the title of Laurel Backstretch Employee of the Year, and jockey Victor Carrasco was recognized as the MTHA’s Unsung Hero.
Announcement videos are available here.