Breeders of the winning 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships races were honored Jan. 12 by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association/Breeders' Cup and the Thoroughbred Club at a dinner held at Keeneland Race Course.
Three of the breeders were on hand to accept their awards. Phil "P.G." Johnson, owner, breeder, and trainer of Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi, received a standing ovation. He accepted his award, a miniature version of the Breeders' Cup trophy with his daughter, Kathy, and granddaughter. Volponi was bred by Johnson's Amherst Stable. Virginia Kraft Payson, breeder of Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Vindication, and Maria Niarchos-Gouaze, breeder and owner of Domedriver, winner of the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), were also present.
David O'Laughlin accepted the trophy on behalf of Sean Coughlan as breeder of John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner High Chaparral, and the Breeders' Cup's Pam Blatz-Murff acknowledged Catherine Dubois, breeder of Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Starine. Neil Howard, general manager of Gainesway Farm, represented Graham Beck's Gainesway Farm, breeder of NAPA Sprint (gr. I) winner Orientate. Dell Hancock, of the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm, accepted for the late Ogden Phipps, breeder of Long John Silver's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Storm Flag Flying, and John Sikura, of Hill 'n' Dale Farm, accepted on behalf of the late Allen Paulson, breeder of Distaff (gr. I) winner Azeri.
The evening's guest speaker was U.S. Representative Ernie Fletcher (Ky-R). Fletcher has announced he is a candidate for the 2003 race for Governor of the state of Kentucky.