More Maryland Thoroughbred racing awards were celebrated on February 17 during the Winter Carnival at Laurel Park with the Maryland Racing Media Association’s 2017 awards. MRMA is the nation’s oldest state-level racing media organization and was established in 1937.
Fair Hill-based Irish War Cry was named Maryland-bases Horse of the Year for trainer Graham Motion and owner/breeder Isabelle de Tomaso. Irish War Cry won the Holy Bull (G2) and Wood Memorial (G2) in 2017. In addition, he ran second in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and is expected to make his 4-year-old debut in the $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) at Gulfstream Park this Saturday.
Photographer Jim McCue received the Humphrey S. Finney Award for lifetime achievement. He has been a photographer at Maryland tracks for nearly 50 years.
Maryland Jockey Club president and general manager Sal Sinatra earned the Dale Austin Newsmaker Award. This award honors those who have made big news during the past year. Sinatra oversaw many improvements at MJC racing facilities as well as improving MJC’s racing product that substantially grew the yearly handle. In 2017, the handle exceeded $600 million for the first time in nearly a decade.
The Nancy Albrets Breakthrough Award was presented to trainer Lacey Gaudet. Gaudet has won 53 races including numerous stakes races to total $1.5 million in purse earnings in her 2016-2017 seasons. This was after never having won more than 10 races in a single season.