, who won Belmont's Prioress Stakes (gr. I) and just missed in Saratoga's thrilling Test Stakes (gr. I), was named 2002 New York-bred Horse of the Year. The announcement was made April 1 at the 23rd annual New York Thoroughbred Breeders' awards banquet, co-sponsored by the New York Breeding and Racing Program. In addition to New York-bred Horse of the Year, the brilliant filly, who races for Frank Stronach in partnership with original owners Hemlock Hills Farm (Alfred and Lupe Hemlock), Gabrielle Farm (John Acierno), Justine Zimmerman, and Sanford Goldfarb, also was voted state-bred titles for champion 3-year-old filly and best sprinter. Carson Hollow's breeder, Patricia Staskowski Purdy
of Ivy League Farm in Ithaca, N.Y., was Breeder of the Year.
Among the other New York-bred divisional champions for 2002 was Theodore and Michael Gatsas' millionaire Gander
, who had been New York-bred Horse of the Year for 2000 and has captured all or part of the older male division for the last three consecutive years, including 2002. His breeder is Angela Rugnetta. Cynthia Knight's homebred Dat You Miz Blue
beat out millionaire Critical Eye for the older female title.
James Cassels' and Bob Zollars' Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Private Emblem
, bred by Dr. Douglas Koch's Berkshire Stud and Tom Tatham's Oak Cliff Stable, beat out graded winners Finality and Roman Dancer in an unusually contentious 3-year-old male division. The 2-year-old male division came down to a tight contest between two undefeated multiple stakes winners, with Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide,
bred by Bill Casner's and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm, getting the nod over Grey Comet. The 2-year-old filly title was hotly contested as well, with Chester and Mary Broman's multiple stakes winner Beautiful America
, who was bred by Thomas Ryba, edging out stakes winner Marc's Rainbow.
Although Dogwood Stable's grade II winner Finality
bred by Albert Fried Jr., did not get the 3-year-old male title, he did capture the turf male division, beating out Whitmore's Conn. The turf female division was so closely contested that it produced co-champions, with Leonard Green's Rhum
, also bred by Berkshire Stud and Oak Cliff Stable, and Dennis D'Arcangelo's and Donald George's Shopping for Love
, bred by New River Stable Partnership sharing the title. Berkley Stable's Hendler
, who won 2002 jump races at several tracks, was named New York-bred champion steeplechaser and is another New York-bred champion bred by Richard Bomze, who earlier bred millionaires Fourstardave and Fourstars Allstar.
Capturing the 2002 New York Champion Broodmare title was Herbert Schwartz's homebred Critical Crew
, whose daughter, Critical Eye, missed garnering any state-bred 2002 championships despite winning five open races at all three NYRA tracks in 2002 and becoming a millionaire.
In other "human" categories, the trainer of the year was Richard E. Dutrow Jr.
, and the jockey of the year was John Velazquez
--both connected to Carson Hollow.