Orientate, Take Charge Lady KTM Award Winners

Robert and Beverly Lewis' Orientate, champion sprinter of 2002, and Take Charge Lady, a multiple grade I-winning 3-year-old filly owned by Jerry and Feye Bach's Select Stable, have been chosen as the Kentucky-based "Horses of the Year" for 2002 by members of Kentucky Thoroughbred Media.

Orientate, a D. Wayne Lukas-trained 4-year-old son of Mt. Livermore who ended his racing career with a front-running victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), was selected as the winner of the "Boston Harbor Award," which each year goes to the outstanding colt or gelding to race and train primarily in Kentucky last year. Take Charge Lady was the choice for the second consecutive year for the "Morris Code Award," which honors the outstanding filly or mare that competed on the Kentucky racing circuit during that 12-month period.  

The awards recognize horses whose connections have made a commitment to support racing at all Kentucky tracks. The awards are named in honor of the horses that earned the inaugural honors in 1996 as the KTM's Kentucky-based Horses of the Year: Overbrook Farm's juvenile champion Boston Harbor and Dolphus Morrison's multiple stakes-winning filly Morris Code.

Orientate launched his championship season with a victory in Keeneland's Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II), a race in which he defeated future sprint star Aldebaran. After a pair of grass races, Lukas focused Orientate on dirt sprints for the rest his campaign and the result was a five-race winning streak that began in the Aristides Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and concluded with his Breeders' Cup win. The string also included the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course and Saratoga's Alfred G. Vanderbilt (gr. II) and Forego (gr. I) handicaps. Orientate raced 10 times in 2002 with a record of 6-1-0 and earnings of $1,412,970.

Take Charge Lady, a daughter of Dehere trained by Ken McPeek, joined Mike Pegram's Silverbulletday (1998-99) as the only two-time winners in the KTM awards. The highlights of her year included victories in the Ashland (gr. I) and Spinster (gr. I) at Keeneland and the Dogwood (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. She also finished second to Farda Amiga in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill.

After a sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), a race in which she was discovered to have been suffering from a lung infection, she returned to finish second to Allamerican Bertie in Churchill's Falls City (gr. II) and completed her year with a romp in the NTRA Great State Challenge Distaff at Sam Houston Park. Take Charge Lady compiled a record of 6-3-0 in 10 starts in 2002 and earned $1,388,635.

The awards will be presented to representatives of the winning horses at Turfway Park Sept.13 as part of the celebration of the Northern Kentucky track's annual Kentucky Cup Day of Champions.

Kentucky Thoroughbred Media is a professional organization of print and electronic journalists, photojournalists and publicists who work in or around Kentucky's Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry.

Previous winners of the KTM awards include:

MORRIS CODE AWARD (Top Kentucky-based filly or mare)

1996 – Morris Code (age 5)
1997 – Feasibility Study (5)
1998 – Silverbulletday (2)
1999 – Silverbulletday (3)
2000 – Caressing (2)
2001 – Take Charge Lady (2)
2002 – Take Charge Lady (3)

BOSTON HARBOR AWARD (Top Kentucky-based colt, horse or gelding)

1996 – Boston Harbor (age 2)
1997 – Favorite Trick (2)
1998 – Awesome Again (4)
1999 – Charismatic (3)
2000 – Bet On Sunshine (8)
2001 – Guided Tour (5)
2002 – Orientate (4)