from April 2023 News & Views

The 2022 Renaissance Champions Awards were announced on social media from February 27 through March 4 with the awards dinner taking place on April 14. The Renaissance Champions Awards were created to recognize the best of Maryland racing and breeding from the previous year. This year, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association added five equine awards to recognize top performers based in Maryland but not necessarily bred in the state.

Owner and breeder Larry Johnson won 28 races in 2022 with runners earning $1.55 million. His homebred mare Spun Glass won back-to-back stakes races at Laurel Park and Colonial Downs to earn more than $172,00 in 2022 alone. Spun Glass earned a 2022 championship as well as Johnson earning Top Owner.

Brittany Russell was the Trainer of the Year in Maryland in 2021 and won again for 2022. Overall, she won 100 races, more than 70 of them at Maryland tracks, and trained two 2022 champions, Post Time and Whereshetoldmetogo.

Jevian Toledo added his third Jockey of the Year win for 2022, previously winning in 2017 and 2021. In 2022, he won 145 races in Maryland, topping the Laurel winter meet and Pimlico spring meet with victories. He rode horses at Maryland tracks to earn $5.66 million in 2022.

The new awards for 2022 were as follows:
• Male Dirt Horse: Cordmaker, owned by Hillwood Stable, trained by Rodney Jenkins and bred by Robert Manfuso and Katherine Voss of MHC-member Chanceland Farm.
• Female Dirt Horse: Luna Belle, owned by Deborah Greene and Hamilton Smith, trained by Hamilton Smith and bred by Fred Greene Jr., Deborah Greene and Hamilton Smith.
• Male Turf Horse: English Tavern, owned by Jerry Romans Jr. and Hamilton Smith, trained by Hamilton Smith and bred by Dr. Charles Huber and English Channel Co-Owners.
• Female Turf Horse: Spun Glass, owned by Larry Johnson, trained by Mike Trombetta and bred by Larry Johnson.
• Claimer: Eastern Bay, owned by Built Wright Stable, trained by Norman Cash and bred by Nancy Lee Farms.

The following are the Maryland-bred champions for 2022:
• Horse of the Year, Older Mare and Sprinter: Fille d’Esprit, owned by CJI Phoenix Group and MHC-member No Guts No Glory Farm, trained by John Robb and bred by Sweet Spirits Stables. Fille d’Esprit in her 6-year-old season won five races—all of them stakes at three different tracks—and earned $420,055.
• 2-year-old male: Post Time, owned by Hillwood Stable, trained by Brittany Russell and bred by Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Bowman, Dr. Brooke Bowman and Milton P. Higgins III.
• 2-year-old filly: Malibu Moonshine, owned by Happy Face Racing Stable, trained by Charlton Baker and bred by Dr. Ronald Harris Parker.
• 3-year-old male: Joe, owned and bred by The Elkstone Group and trained by Mike Trombetta.
• 3-year-old filly: Luna Belle.
• Older male: Whereshetoldmetogo, owned by Madaket Stables, Ten Strike Racing, Michael E. Kisber and BTR Racing, trained by Brittany Russell and bred by David H. Wade.
• Turf runner: Field Pass, owned by Three Diamonds Farm, trained by Mike Maker and bred by Mark Brown Grier.
• Steeplechaser: Who’s Counting, bred and owned by South Branch Equine and trained by Sean McDermott.
• Breeder: Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman.
•Stallion: Great Notion (Northview Stallion Station).
• Broodmare: Slow and Steady.