The Thoroughbred Owners of California awarded its Owner of the Year honor to Robert Bone - for the second year in a row - at the TOC Annual Meeting Aug. 13 at Del Mar. TOC also recognized veterinarian Rick Arthur with its Chairman's Award. Bone's runners last year included Choctaw Nation, winner of the San Diego Handicap (gr. II), Onebigbag, winner of the Saratoga Handicap at Bay Meadows, and San Simeon Handicap winner Glick. He received the most votes from TOC members to win the prestigious Owner of the Year Award.At the TOC cocktail party and awards ceremony following the races, TOC Director Billy Koch presented Bone with a bronze racehorse sporting his racing colors. TOC Chairman Alan Landsburg presented the Chairman's Award to Arthur. In awarding him a bronze in his multi-colored diamond silks, Landsburg cited his major contributions to California racing. A practicing veterinarian in Southern California for more than 25 years, Arthur has been at the forefront of nearly every racing medication and veterinary treatment issue in California over the past decade. Due in large part to his tireless efforts, TCO2 testing was introduced at California racetracks in the Fall of 2004, and has been highly successful in identifying, and drastically reducing, the illegal practice of "milkshaking" - and creating a more level playing field for all participants in California racing.The awards for both he most races won and most purse money won went to Bone. Honors for Most Stakes Races Won went to Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, who led all California owners with six California stakes victories in 2004. The stable earned more than $1.7 million last year with runners including Intercontinental, winner of the grade I Matriarch, Light Jig, winner of the grade I Yellow Ribbon Stakes, and Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap winner Etoile Montante. TOC Director Tom Bachman congratulated Juddmonte Farms, who were unable to have a representative at the ceremony. The TOC held its awards ceremony at a paddock reception after the races.
California fairs offer a realistic option for horse racing&amp;#8217;s future at a time when two major racetracks in the state are facing redevelopment and other privately held venues are pressured by stockholders, officials said.