It is an honor and pleasure to bring our thoughts from my barn in Georgia and Pudge’s barn in Manheim, Pennsylvania. This year of racing without a doubt has been exciting, very open at times, challenging, some upsets, growing pains, disappointments and tremendous triumphs. We love our equine friends and all that they bring to the racetrack. The horses, the trainers, the owners, the breeders and all the folks at the track stand behind all the enjoyment the fans see at the venue that we call horse racing. It can be a long difficult road to the Kentucky Derby and an even longer road to the Breeders’ cup and year end championship awards. It’s not easy and it makes us relish the joy of being in the top spotlight of Thoroughbred racing all the more. This year was no exception. We thank everyone and every horse for all that they did for the sport.
This year’s Horse of the Year honor went to California Chrome. His owners and all connections were very proud and that was evident as we witnessed their acceptance for the award. It brought tears to my eyes and Pudge’s too. California Chrome was and will always be the “people’s horse”. His list of accomplishments is long, but make no mistake he earned every one of them. His owners are very forthright type of folks who work hard at what they do. This year was a tremendous learning experience for both horse and connections too. They carefully mapped out a plan for their horse and put a lot of thought into that plan. Pudge and I think California Chrome is just tremendous and loved him and believed in him from the start. His Mom, Love the Chase is a beautiful mare and because her owners believed in her the experience was much the sweeter. When we saw the loss in the Belmont, we knew that he was still the people’s horse. That did not change. The disappointment of that loss was felt around the world but we knew that did not define the horse or the connections. It was hard that day, but this brilliant team kept on moving forward. They kept on moving forward and their reward was Horse of the Year. We extend our most proud and hearty congratulations to California Chrome, the connections and all the fans who loyally supported him and of course the voters who made a great selection.
“I’m so excited. I wish Espinosa was here. He did everything right with this horse. It’s a tough game and very rewarding to me. It’s just been a great ride for my family and my wife Fay for 54 years for putting up with me. – Art Sherman
“Once again, it’s truly an honor. I have no words. But I have to say one thing – I want to thank all of the fans. Do not deviate from thanking our fans. Thank you so much.” – Steve Colburn
Once again, Steve mentions the fans. We have heard this before from Steve. We like that he “gave” us the people’s horse and did so with great love and pride.
The other winners are champions to the highest degree. Pudge and I like to think of our equine friends as Champions of Champions. This list is impressive:
Take Charge Brandi
Judy the Beauty
Work All Week
Female Turf Horse:
Male Turf Horse:
NTRA Fan Moment of the Year:
The human connections had their awards too and again a nice long impressive list!
Drayden Van Dyke
Owner AND Breeder!:
Ken and Sarah Ramsey
Eclipse Award of Merit:
Eclipse Special Award:
Old Friends Farm, Michael Blowen
Media Eclipse Award for Photography:
Media Eclipse Award:
Eclipse Award News Enterprise Writing:
Handicapper of the Year:
To see the pictures from the awards ceremony please go to this link:
Friends it has been another wonderful year of racing and we hope that you have been enjoying 2015’s road to the Roses so far! In our next blog we’ll be sharing the latest news on the prep races so please stay tuned.
Please join Pudge and I by giving the high hoof salute to all the nominees and the winners for the 2014 Eclipse awards. These accomplishments are something to cherish and remember with pride.
Luv to all from your friends in racing! Indy and Pudge ♥