Frank Stronach and his Adena Springs operation were the biggest winners Sunday night in Ocala during the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association's awards banquet honoring the state's outstanding horses and horsemen of 2007. Stronach's homebred Ginger Punch was Florida's Horse of the Year and champion older female. Her dam, Nappelon, was Broodmare of the Year, and Stronach was the Breeder of the Year and the leading owner by Florida-bred earnings.
In addition, Adena Springs was the breeder of champion 2-year-old male Wicked Style and champion 3-year-old male Going Ballistic. Adena Springs received the Joe O'Farrell Memorial Award as the consignor of 2007's best Florida-bred racehorse, Ginger Punch. She was offered at Adena Springs' sale of 2-year-olds in training in March of 2005, but was bought back for $27,000.
"All these awards go to Adena Springs' some 350 employees between Kentucky and Florida," said Mark Roberts of Adena Springs South in Florida. "Without these people, we could not do this, and I want to thank them very much."
A 5-year-old daughter of Awesome Again , Ginger Punch earned $1,827,060 last year while capturing the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and the Go for Wand (gr. I), Ruffian (gr. I), and First Flight (gr. II) Handicaps. She also was a 2007 Eclipse Award winner as North America's outstanding older female.
"Horses like this don't come along often as everybody knows," Roberts said. "It's a thrill."
Other horses honored as Florida-bred champions during the banquet were Benny the Bull, older male and sprinter; Set Play, 2-year-old filly; Dearest Trickski, 3-year-old filly; and Soldier's Dancer, turf horse. Trippi was Florida's Stallion of the Year and the leading Florida sire of 2-year-olds, and D'wildcat was the leading Florida freshman sire.
Donald Dizney won the Bruce Campbell Award for making significant contributions to the Florida Thoroughbred industry. Haras Santa Maria de Araras received the Needles Award as a small operation that has made outstanding contributions to the Florida Thoroughbred industry.
Edward Plesa Jr. was the leading Florida trainer of Florida-breds by earnings and stakes wins, and Kirk Ziadie was the leading Florida trainer of Florida-breds by wins.