Commentator Named NY Horse of the Year

Commentator Named NY Horse of the Year
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Commentator won the Whitney for the 2nd time in 2008.
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For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, the New York Thoroughbred Breeders champions for 2008 included two or more grade I winners for the year, as speedy Commentator gained his second NYTB Horse of the Year title, and arguably just-as-fast Bustin Stones   garnered champion male sprinter honors. Commentator won the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga for the second time, and Bustin Stones took the Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct.

These and other equine and human champions for 2008 were honored at the NYTB's annual awards banquet April 13 at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

NYRA announcer Tom Durkin served as Master of Ceremonies, and television commentator Jan Rushton—the co-host of NYRA's Race Day and renowned for her colorful attire and flamboyant hats--was a special guest.

The 2008 New York-bred Divisional Champions were:

Doremifasollatido: Champion 2-Year-Old Filly
Breeder: Edward J. Messina
Owners: Susan Moore and M & M Thoroughbred Partners

Cribnote: Champion 2-Year-Old Male
Breeder/Owner: Red Diamond Stable, LLC

Sweet Vendetta: Champion 3-Year-Old Filly
Breeders: David Cassidy and Edward Lipton
Owners: Team Penney Racing, LLC and WinStar Farm, LLC

Tin Cup Chalice: Champion 3-Year-Old Male
Breeder: Mike Lecesse
Owners: Scott Van Laer and Mike Lecesse

J'ray: Champion Older Female
Breeder/Owner: Lawrence Goichman

Commentator: Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male
Breeder: Michael Martinez
Owner: Tracy Farmer

J’ray: Champion Turf Female
Breeder/Owner: Lawrence Goichman

Pays to Dream: Champion Turf Male
Breeder/Owner: December Hill Farm

Be Certain: Champion Steeplechaser
Breeder: Sugar Maple Farm
Owner: Alnoff Stable

By the Light: Champion Female Sprinter
Breeder: Paul Rothfuss
Owner: Jay Em Ess Stable

Bustin Stones  : Champion Male Sprinter
Breeder/Owner: Roddy J. Valente

Twice Forbidden: Broodmare of the Year (dam of NYTB 2008 Champion Tin Cup Chalice and 2004 New York Derby winner Don Corleone)
 

Human honorees were Eclipse Award winner Edgar Prado, jockey of the year; Gary Contessa, trainer of the year for the fourth time in five years; and Becky Thomas Ray, breeder of the year. Michael Lecesse and Corra Cavalo’s Thoroughbreds' multiple stakes producer, New York-bred Twice Forbidden (dam of Tin Cup Chalice and 2004 New York Derby winner Don Corleone), was named broodmare of the year. Honored with a special Lifetime Achievement Award was Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud, who has been active in New York breeding, racing, and stallion management for almost two decades.
 

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