Lemons Forever, dam of champion Forever Unbridled, was named 2017 Broodmare of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders

Lemons Forever, dam of champion Forever Unbridled, was named 2017 Broodmare of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders

Anne M. Eberhardt

Lemons Forever Named 2017 KY Broodmare of the Year

Dam of 2017 multiple grade 1 winner and champion Forever Unbridled.

Lemons Forever, winner of the 2006 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and a multiple grade 1 producer, added a new accomplishment to her résumé April 11 when she was named the 2017 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders. 

The 15-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid  was represented in 2017 by Forever Unbridled, who won all three of her starts in graded stakes and ended the season with a half-length win in the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) over an extraordinarily deep field that included grade 1 winners Abel Tasman, Paradise Woods, Elate, Champagne Room, Romantic Vision, and Stellar Wind. The daughter of Unbridled's Song was named the Eclipse champion older dirt female for 2017.

A homebred raced by Charles Fipke, Forever Unbridled is the second grade 1 winner produced by Lemons Forever, whom Fipke bought for $2.5 million at the 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The mare is also the dam of Unbridled Forever, a full sister to Forever Unbridled who placed in the 2014 Kentucky Oaks, TVG Acorn Stakes (G1), and TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) before finally achieving grade 1 status in the 2015 Ballerina Stakes.

Lemons Forever has produced four winners from five starters, who have amassed $4,426,585 in purses.

The annual KTOB Kentucky-bred champions awards Luncheon held at Keeneland bestowed state championship honors on 12 other Kentucky-breds, led by Horse of the Year and champion older dirt male Gun Runner , who was bred by Besilu Stables.

The 2017 KTOB Kentucky-bred champions and their breeders:

  • Broodmare of the Year: Lemons Forever (Owner: Charles Fipke)
  • Horse of the Year, Older Dirt Male: Gun Runner (Besilu Stables)
  • Two-Year-Old Male: Bolt d'Oro (WinStar Farm)
  • Two-Year-Old Filly: Rushing Fall (Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding)
  • Three-Year-Old Male: West Coast (CFP Thoroughbreds)
  • Three-Year-Old Filly: Abel Tasman (Clearsky Farms)
  • Older Dirt Female: Forever Unbridled (Charles Fipke)
  • Turf Male: Beach Patrol (Nancy C. Shuford)
  • Turf Female: Lady Eli (Runnymede Farm Inc. & Catesby W. Clay)
  • Sprinter Male: Roy H (Ramona S. Bass)
  • Sprinter Female: Lady Aurelia (Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings)
  • Racing Abroad: Arrogate  (Clearsky Farms)
  • Steeplechase Horse: Mr. Hot Stuff (WinStar Farm)

Four merit awards were presented to individuals for their contributions to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Industry.

  • P.A.B. Widener Trophy for KTOB Breeder of the Year: Clearsky Farms
  • Hardboot Breeders' Award, which pays tribute to distinctive but unsung breeders that help make up the backbone of our industry: Don M. Robinson
  • Charles W. Engelhard Award, which acknowledges a member of the media for outstanding coverage of the Thoroughbred industry: Anne Eberhardt Keogh and Enzina Mastrippolito
  • William T. Young Humanitarian Award, which distinguishes a person or organization in the Thoroughbred industry "who recognizes and promotes the human endeavor: Central Kentucky Riding for Hope

Also receiving awards were the top Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) money earners in 2017 in five separate categories.

  • KTDF Sire of the Year: Kitten's Joy  (Ramsey Farm)
  • KTDF Earner of the Year: Res Ipsa (Deborah V. Wilson)
  • KTDF Owner of the Year: G. Watts Humphrey Jr.
  • KTDF Trainer of the Year: Ian Wilkes
  • KTDF Breeder of the Year: Calumet Farm

Recipients of the 2017 KTOB Kentucky-bred champion awards were voted on by the full membership of KTA/KTOB. The KTDF category leaders were tabulated using purse money won at Kentucky racetracks in 2017. KTOB merit-award recipients were voted on by the KTA/KTOB board of directors.