Sweet Life, a daughter of Kris S. who is the dam of champion Sweet Catomine and 2009 Breeders’ Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) winner Life Is Sweet, was named Kentucky Broodmare of the Year when the 2009 Kentucky-bred champions were honored April 21 at Keeneland.
The awards for Kentucky-bred champions and top Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund earners are presented by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
A stakes winner for her breeders, Mr. and Mrs. Martin J. Wygod, Sweet Life has been a prolific producer for her owners. The Wygods bred and raced Sweet Catomine, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2004, and Life Is Sweet, who won four graded stakes last year and increased her earnings to more than $1.7 million.
Not surprisingly, the Kentucky-bred Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old filly was superstar Rachel Alexandra, who was voted Eclipse Awards in the same categories. Bred by Dolphus Morrison, the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro began racing for her breeder and Michael Lauffer while trained by Hal Wiggins. The filly’s four straight victories to begin the year were highlighted by a record 20 ¼-length romp in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). After being purchased by Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick and sent to trainer Steve Asmussen, Rachel went on to win the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Mother Goose (gr. I), Haskell Invitational (gr. I), and Woodward Stakes (gr. I) to end the season with a record of eight wins in as many starts.
Other Kentucky-bred award winners who were also voted Eclipse Awards in 2009 (and their breeders) were champion 2-year-old colt Lookin At Lucky(Gulf Coast Farms), champion 2-year-old filly She Be Wild (Mike and Nancy Mazzoni), 3-year-old male Summer Bird (Drs. Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman), handicap horse and turf male Gio Ponti (Kilboy Estate Co.), and handicap mare Zenyatta (Eric Kronfeld).
Other Kentucky-bred champions were female turf horse Ventura (bred by Juddmonte Farms), sprinter Informed Decision (Drs. Charles Kidder and Nancy Cole), steeplechase horse Red Letter Day (Dr. John A. Chandler), and racing abroad, Ghanaati (Shadwell Farm).
In other awards, the P.A.B. Widener Trophy went to Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms and Fred Mitchell received the Hardboot Breeder Award. Dr. T. Pearse Lyons received the William T. Young Humanitarian Award, and Thoroughbred Times received the Charles W. Engelhard Award.
The KTDF award winners were Unbridled’s Song, sire; Furthest Land, leading earner; Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, owners; Michael Maker, trainer; and Brereton C. Jones, breeder.