Lemons Forever, dam of Grade 1 winners Forever Unbridled and Unbridled Forever, has been named the 2017 Broodmare of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders. Winner of the G1 Kentucky Oaks, Lemons Forever is a 2003 foal by Lemon Drop Kid and out of the Argentine-bred mare Critikola, by Tough Critic.
Charles Fipke bred and raced both Unbridled Forever and Forever Unbridled, full sisters by the late Unbridled's Song. Unbridled Forever, a foal of 2011, was a multiple stakes winner who won the G1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga in 2015. Forever Unbridled, born in 2012, was a graded stakes winner at 3 and a multi-G1 winner at 4 and 5. Her victory in the G1 Breeders' Cup at Del Mar in November 2017 sealed her Eclipse Award as champion older dirt mare.
Besilu Stables, LLC was honored with two breeder awards at the KTOB's annual Kentucky-Bred Champions Award luncheon at Keeneland racecourse. Gun Runner was named the Kentucky-Bred Horse of the Year and as the Kentucky-Bred Champion Older Dirt Male.
2017 KTOB Broodmare of the Year and owner and 2017 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, LLC)
- Two-Year-Old Male: BOLT D'ORO (WinStar Farm, LLC)
- Two-Year-Old Filly: RUSHING FALL (Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding)
- Three-Year-Old Male: WEST COAST (CFP Thoroughbreds LLC)
- 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, LLC)
- Sprinter Female: LADY AURELIA (Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC)
- Racing Abroad: ARROGATE (Clearsky Farms)
- Steeplechase Horse: Mr. Hot Stuff (WinStar Farm, LLC)
Four merit awards were presented to individuals for their contributions to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Industry.
2017 Merit awards presented at the KTOB Luncheon:
- P.A.B. Widener Trophy for KTOB Breeder of the Year: CLEARSKY FARMS
- Hardboot Breeders' Award pays tribute to distinctive but unsung breeders that help make up the backbone of our industry: DON M. ROBINSON
- Charles W. Engelhard Award acknowledges a member of the media for outstanding coverage of the Thoroughbred industry: ANNE EBERHARDT KEOGH & ENZINA MASTRIPPOLITO
- William T. Young Humanitarian Award 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.
2017 Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF) Leaders:
- 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 while 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.
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