Josephine Abercrombie, a prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder, will be honored as this year's recipient of Arlington Park's 4th annual "Penny Chenery Distinguished Woman in Racing Award."The presentation will be made to Abercrombie, owner of Pin Oak Stud and a member of The Jockey Club, at an invitation-only charity luncheon to be held Aug. 10 at 11:30 a.m. in Arlington Park's International Room."I'm absolutely thrilled to be the recipient of this wonderful award," she said. "I'm really looking forward to Aug. 10 – it will be a very special day in my life." "I've known 'Jo' a long time," said Chenery. "She is a remarkable woman owner who is unafraid to demand results. She's a very feminine and a very attractive lady, and not at all pushy, but she's very definite, and sees no reason her horses shouldn't be successful. She has a variety of trainers, but she keeps in touch with all of them and knows her horses well." In her younger years, the 78-year-old Abercrombie was an accomplished horsewoman. She won numerous championship titles with her string of American saddlebreds, which she kept in Texas prior to the family's move to Kentucky.Notable Thoroughbreds bred at the original Pin Oak Farm in Versailles, Ky., included 1976 Preakness (gr. I) winner Elocutionist and 1982 English St. Leger (Eng-I) winner Touching Wood. The newer farm, called Pin Oak Stud, received the Eclipse Award for top female turf champion Laugh And Be Merry. In 1995 Pin Oak Stud celebrated a banner year with Peaks And Valleys receiving Sovereign Award honors in Canada for Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male, while Hasten To Add was named Canada's champion grass horse. Also that year, The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association named Pin Oak Stud winner of both nationwide and statewide honors as "Thoroughbred Breeder of the Year." Pin Oak will contribute more than $100,000 this year to Ronald McDonald House of Houston as well as Texas Children's Hospital, which was founded in 1953 by James Abercrombie, Ms. Abercrombie's father. That hospital specializes in all pediatric care but includes a cancer center. The Abercrombie Foundation also made a $225,000 donation to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Cancer Screening Program in 2000.
Arlington's Distinguished Woman in Racing Award is named after Penny Chenery, Thoroughbred Racing's unofficial First Lady since campaigning Meadow Stable's Secretariat to win the Triple Crown in 1973. Previous honorees were Amy Bondon-Peltz in 2003, Beverly Lewis in 2004 and Charlotte Weber in 2005.All proceeds from "Arlington's Women in Racing Luncheon" will go the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation.