Jerry and Ann Moss of California, owners of racing superstar Zenyatta, were honored Sept. 10 as the leading national owners of 2009 by the Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association. Also honored at TOBA’s annual awards dinner, held at Keeneland, was Edward Evans as national breeder of the year and Barbara and Keith Card of Hi Card Ranch as the national small breeders of the year.
“It proves if you try something long enough, it works,” Jerry Moss said as he and Ann accepted the award. “We have an had an amazing life in racing.” Moss recounted how his friend and composer Burt Bacharach introduced them many years ago to the late trainer Bobby Frankel. Through that association, they met Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs who became their racing manager.
“She helped point us in the right direction and avoid the (pitfalls) along the way,” Moss said. Ingordo-Shirreffs is married to Zenyatta’s trainer John Shirreffs, and her son David is the Mosses’ bloodstock adviser. David Ingordo picked out Zenyatta in the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale, where he bought the daughter of Street Cry for $60,000. She has now won 18 consecutive races, of which 16 were in graded stakes. Her career earnings to date total $6,254,580.
Edward Evans, owner of Spring Hill Farm near Casanova, Va., is also racing one of the hottest horses in the country. His 4-year-old homebred Quality Road has won four graded stakes in 2010, including the grade I Woodward Stakes Sept. 4 at Saratoga, and also the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) and Donn Handicap (gr. I).
Spring Hill Farm manager Chris Baker accepted the award, saying Evans first thought he was being honored only as the breeder of the year for Virginia. When Evan realized it was the national award as breeder he asked Baker: “You mean better than Farish and Darley and Juddmonte and Stronach?” Evans then paused and followed up with, “Well, that sounds right.”
“No one is more committed to breeding and raising good horses than Mr. Evans,” Baker said. “And like most people in this business, we’re optimists. We’re enjoying where we are right now but we continue to believe our best days are ahead.”
Visibly touched, Barbara Card accepted the national small breeder of the year award. The Cards own the 10-acre Hi Card Ranch near Murrieta, Calif. In 2009 they raced homebred gelding California Flag, who won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park. Keith Card was not able to attend the dinner because his health prevents him from traveling.
“This is probably our proudest moment,” Barbara Card said. “I wish my husband could be here with me.”
Other breeders and owner recognized included:
Eastern Region Owner of the Year: Godolphin
Midwestern Region Owner of the Year: Augustin Stable
Southern Region Owner of the Year: Ken and Sarah Ramsey
Western Region Owner of the Year: Jerry and Ann Moss
Alabama Breeder of the Year: Bobby G. Pruitt
Arizona Breeder of the Year: Dennis E. Weir
California Breeder of the Year: Hi Card Ranch
Georgia Breeder of the Year: White Fox Farm
Illinois Breeder of the Year: Team Block
Indiana Breeder of the Year: Dr. Crystal Chapple
Iowa Breeder of the Year: River Ridge Ranch
Kansas Breeder of the Year: Dr. Richard and Gail Radke
Kentucky Breeder of the Year: Juddmonte Farm
Louisiana Breeder of the Year: Frank and Barbara Rowell
Maryland Breeder of the Year: Robert E. Meyerhoff
Massachusetts Breeder of the Year: Salim Stable
Michigan Breeder of the Year: Arnold Farms
Minnesota Breeder of the Year: Curtis Sampson
New Jersey Breeder of the Year: Edwin T. Broome Racing Stable
New Mexico Breeder of the Year: William T. Stradley
New York Breeder of the Year: Anthony Grey
North Carolina Breeder of the Year: Maple Lane Farm
Ohio Breeder of the Year: Fair Winds Farm
Oklahoma Breeder of the Year: Mighty Acres/Center Hills Farm
Oregon Breeder of the Year: George and Rose Hurliman
South Carolina Breeder of the Year: Donald J. Baker
Virginia Breeder of the Year: Edward P. Evans
Washington Breeder of the Year: Rich and Ann Richardson
West Virginia Breeder of the Year: Robert H. Lloyd
Canadian Breeder of the Year: C.E.C. Farms
Rood & Riddle Thoroughbred Sport Horse of the Year: Courageous Comet
TOBA Broodmare of the Year: Sweet Life