Booklet, winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I), was honored as the 2002 Florida-bred Horse of the Year during the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association's annual awards dinner Monday night in Ocala. The Notebook colt also was recognized as the champion 3-year-old colt for a campaign that included a victory in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) and a runner-up finish in the Toyota Bluegrass Stakes (gr. I). Booklet captured three of his seven races in 2002 and earned $425,760. His career earnings stand at $989,460.
"Florida-breds are a very tough, sound tenacious group of horses," said Booklet's trainer John T. Ward Jr., who was on hand to accept the awards. Owner John C. Oxley could not attend because "he took his children and his grandchildren all on a cruise," according to Ward.
Ginger Park and Charles A. Baldree Jr. bred Booklet.
Harry T. Mangurian Jr., who formerly operated Mockingbird Farm near Ocala, was recognized as the Florida Breeder of the Year for the fifth year in a row. Montbrook, who stands at Ocala Stud, was honored as Stallion of the Year, and Sheer Ice, the dam of 2002 Metropolitan (gr. I) and Ancient Title Breeders' Cup (gr. I) Handicap winner Swept Overboard, received the Broodmare of the Year award.
Other champions recognized were Cellars Shiraz, 3-year-old filly; Lone Star Sky, 2-year-old colt; Ivanavinalot, 2-year-old filly; Hal's Hope, older male; Clearly a Queen, older female; Swept Overboard, sprinter; and Ladies Din, turf runner.
Also honored were John Franks, leading owner by Florida-bred earnings; William and Annabel Murphy, the Needles Award for outstanding contributions by a small Thoroughbred operation; politician Karen J. Thurman, the Bruce Campbell Award for bringing honor and recognition to Florida's Thoroughbred industry; Mangurian and Swept Overboard, the Joe O'Farrell Memorial Award for the most outstanding Florida-bred racehorse that was offered at a Florida auction; Formal Dinner, leading Florida juvenile sire; Concerto, leading Florida freshman sire; Ruskin, Florida-bred Claiming Horse of the Year; Ralph Ziadie, leading Florida trainer of Florida-breds by stakes wins and earnings; and William White, leading Florida trainer of Florida-breds by wins.
The festivities also included a special tribute to Affirmed, who swept the Triple Crown 25 years ago.