Leaving On My Mind, a four-time stakes winner for breeder/owner George Wolff of Boerne, Texas, will be honored as the 2004 Texas Horse of the Year and champion 2-year-old colt/gelding by the Texas Thoroughbred Association.Leaving On My Mind, a gelded son of Valid Expectations, faced the starter 13 times in 2004 and earned $299,873. Trained by Danny Pish, the Texas-bred earned stakes victories in the $100,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs, the $125,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park, and the $100,000 Middleground Breeders' Cup and Mocha Express Stakes, both at Lone Star Park. Leaving On My Mind also placed in three stakes.This year's TTA gala awards banquet, usually held in January, will be held June 23-25 at the Horseshoe Bay Resort Marriott near Austin, Texas. The event will also include TTA's annual conference and a celebration of the association's 50th anniversary.Five other Texas-bred runners will also be recognized as divisional champions for their achievements during the past year, as will the 2004 Texas broodmare of the year.
The other 2004 Texas divisional champions are: champion 2-year-old filly, Berdelia; champion 3-year-old male, Charming Socialite; champion 3-year old filly, Native Annie; champion older male, Yessirgeneralsir; champion older female, Fleeta Dif; and broodmare of the year, Sudden Attraction.
Ro Parra's homebred Berdelia earned Texas champion 2-year-old filly honors with a pair of stakes wins at Lone Star Park in the TTA Sales Futurity and Texas Stallion Stakes. The daughter of Wild Zone earned $173,248 in 2004 running for trainer Steve Asmussen. This marked the third consecutive year that Parra has bred or owned the state's top juvenile filly (Parting in 2002 and Hay Lauren in 2003).Charming Socialite, a Sunny's Halo gelding running for William Pettit and Paul Sutton, captured the title of Texas champion 3-year-old male with three stakes wins late in the year. His biggest victory came in the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes at Lone Star Park, where he defeated grade II winner Bwana Charlie. Sutton and Pettit also bred Charming Socialite and the latter conditions the gelding.Native Annie, a homebred daughter of Manzotti running for Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable, finished the year with an undefeated record in Texas and was named champion 3-year-old filly. She recorded three Texas-bred stakes wins last year and banked $187,050. Under the care of trainer Mike Stidham, she also competed against some of the top distaffers in the country and finished fourth in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico.Jim Jackson's homebred Yessirgeneralsir was the only Texas-bred to win a graded stakes in 2004, and his efforts were rewarded with the Texas champion older male title. The Patton gelding, trained by Dallas Keen, won the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) and competed in three grade I stakes at Hollywood Park and Saratoga. Yessirgeneralsir also finished third in the $300,000 Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park.Fleeta Dif earned $100,000 during the year and took home honors as Texas champion older female for Tom Warren, who bred and trains the 6-year-old Hadif mare and co-owns her with his wife, Patricia. Fleeta Dif scored in two sprint stakes at Lone Star Park, and then ventured to Remington Park, where she took the Adena Springs Matchmaker Turf Sprint. Wolff's Sudden Attraction, the dam of Leaving On My Mind, was named Texas Broodmare of the Year. The 13-year-old daughter of Rare Performer has produced two other stakes winners and her three runners have combined to earn nearly $600,000.Annual titleholders are determined by a process that assigns numeric value to performances in stakes. The system allots graduated points for victories and placings in graded, open and restricted stakes company, with the number of points being dependent upon the size of the purse. In the case of a tie in any division final, year-end money earnings are calculated to determine the winner.