Dear Birdie Named Kentucky Broodmare of the Year

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders announced Marylou Whitney's Dear Birdie has been chosen 2004 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year. The organization also honored the breeders of 2004 Kentucky-bred racetrack champions and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund leaders, as well as the recipients of the P.A.B. Widener Award, the Charles W. Engelhard Award, and the Hardboot Breeders Award at its April 27 luncheon at Keeneland.

Dear Birdie, an 18-year-old daughter of Storm Bird, is the dam of 2003 champion 3-year-old filly Bird Town and last year's star 3-year-old colt Birdstone , who ended the Triple Crown bid of Smarty Jones  with a victory in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Birdstone was named champion 3-year-old male by the KTOB. Whitney bred and raced Bird Town and Birdstone. The latter stands at stud at Gainesway Farm (Antony Beck, president) near Lexington.

Bred by Echo Valley Horse Farm and produced from the Silent Screen mare Hush Dear, Dear Birdie has produced 11 named foals, 10 of which are winners. She also is the dam of an unnamed 2005 Mineshaft  colt.

The other Kentucky-bred champions of 2004 are: Horse of the Year and older male Ghostzapper, bred by Adena Springs; 2-year-old-filly Sweet Catomine, bred by Martin and Pam Wygod; 2 year-old male Wilko, bred by Ro Parra; 3-year-old-filly Ashado, bred by Aaron and Marie Jones; older mare Azeri, bred by Allen Paulson; turf female Wonder Again, bred by Phillips Racing Partnership and John Phillips; turf male Kitten's Joy, bred by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey; sprinter Speightstown, bred by Aaron and Marie Jones; Kentucky-bred racing abroad Shamardal, bred by Brilliant Stable: and steeplechaser McDynamo, bred by Nathan and Richard Fox and Richard Kaster.

The KTDF award winners are Overbrook Farm for leading owner; Brereton C. Jones for leading breeder; Dale Romans for leading trainer; A.P. Indy for leading sire; and Miss Wellspring for leading earner.

Aaron and Marie Jones received the P.A.B. Widener Award trophy, which is the KTOB's highest award for breeding.

The Charles W. Engelhard Award went to Seabiscuit.

Selected as the 2004 hardboot breeder is Diane Perkins. Created in 1999, the award recognizes the success of small breeders and their dedication to the industry.