The Virginia Thoroughbred Association's residency program hit a new gear in 2019 as $1,357,730 in bonus monies were distributed from 338 victories at tracks in the Mid-Atlantic region. A total of 156 different owners, who had a horse spend at least six months at a registered farm in the Commonwealth prior to Dec. 31st of their 2-year-old year, shared in the monies.
The top bonus earnings owner was Taylor Mountain Farm who racked up $75,781 from 20 wins, all at Charles Town and all trained by James Casey.
Taylor Mountain-owned Hero's Man scored five wins which accounted for $18,472 of the total bonuses. The 4-year-old Charitable Man gelding has finished in the top three in 10 of 11 career starts and has bankrolled $125,504. He started 2020 with an allowance win January 22. Taylor Mountain's largest bonus check came via Boundtobebad, a 3-year-old Windsor Castle filly who is 3-for-4 with wins in a maiden special weight, the West Virginia Futurity and the $75,000 Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders Classic Stakes.
The second-leading bonus earning owner was Matthew Schera with $54,952. His 4-year-old fillies Tass, a Temple City Kentucky-bred and Zonda, a Scat Daddy Maryland-bred, bagged three wins each and scored maximum bonus checks of $10,000. The former prevailed in the $125,000 Maryland Million Ladies Stakes while the latter connected in a $90,000 allowance test at Aqueduct. Both fillies are trained by James Lawrence. Schera collected nine wins total and those came at seven different tracks.
Larry Johnson's ten wins and $49,087 in bonus earnings put him in third spot among owners. Maryland-breds Sky Magician, Thatsthewaytodoit and Never Enough Time each connected twice. The former is a 4-year-old Street Magician gelding who competed just three times in 2019. Overall, the Mike Trombetta trainee has three wins and four seconds from nine starts and earnings of $132,540. Johnson bred the trio who were all raised at his Legacy Farm in Bluemont.
Melinda Golden's six wins all came from a single horse and translated into $34,723 in bonus monies. Parisian Diva, co-winningest Virginia-Certified horse in 2019, scored the double hat trick at Charles Town. The 4-year-old Freedom Child West Virginia-bred filly bankrolled a $8,943 bonus check from the Tourism Office Breeders Classic Stakes and $7,500 paydays from the Sylvia Bishop Memorial and Its Binn Too Long Stakes. Stacey Viands trains Parisian Diva who has accumulated $242,170 in earnings.
Rounding out the top five is Pewter Stable who earned $34,080 from seven scores. Pennsylvania-bred Word on a Wing reached the winners circle three times at Parx in respective maiden special weight and two allowance efforts. The 4-year-old Windhill gelding has earned $97,310. Maryland-bred Adreamgoesonforver had been winless in her first six starts but connected back-to-back late in the year at Penn National. The pair are trained by Kathleen Demasi.
Owners O'Sullivan Farms, Erin McClellan & Judith Barrett, and David Bloom all eclipsed the $20,000 mark in bonus winnings.
O'Sullivan's $28,611 came from nine wins. Nico, Firebird and Unruly Julie won two each between the Mountaineer and Charles Town ovals. The McClellan/Barrett combo rode their Pennsylvania-bred filly Fish To Fry to six wins, which tied her for most Certified victories with Parisian Diva. The daughter of Well Spoiled captured the six-pack at Penn National and accumulated $21,135 in incentive monies. Bloom parlayed six wins into $20,017. West Virginia-bred Chiefs Kingdom prevailed on four different occasions at Charles Town while Berry Strong won twice.
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