The finalists for six of the now seven prestigious Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards have been announced. The winner of the Thoroughbred Industry Community Award, which has only one prize, has been decided. This year's recipient is Bobby Lillis, Executive Director of the Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Foundation Inc. and Director of Benefits for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
A new category was added this year to honor those in an administrative role, and this group of finalists, along with those in the other six categories, will be recognized at the awards ceremony luncheon graciously hosted once again by Keeneland on October 11 in Lexington, Ky.
The shortlist judging panel, the first of the two judging panels, met at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Tuesday, August 13, to decide the finalists and the Community Award winner. The second and final stage of judging will take place on October 10, with a second judging panel deciding the winners in the six remaining categories.
Panel Chairman Dan Fick stated, “I was truly honored to again be a part of these meaningful awards, and on behalf of my fellow judges, let me offer sincere congratulations to Bobby Lillis, as well as to all the finalists and all of the nominees. Yet again, our job was a difficult one as the quality of the group was extremely high. All those involved, including the nominators, should be very proud of their participation this year.”
“Godolphin and Sheikh Mohammed, in partnership with the National HBPA, TOBA, The Jockey Club, and Breeders' Cup, have been underwriting these awards for four years now and they have quickly become a very important part of our industry's landscape. Without the support of Sheikh Mohammed, these hard-working individuals might not truly get the acknowledgement and recognition they deserve for the important work they do.
“I look forward to sitting down with each of the finalists when the final judging panel meets in October. And based on the strength of the nominees, we will certainly have our work cut out for us, but it will be an honor for all of us to meet these exceptional individuals in person.”
The shortlist panel was composed of Chairman Dan Fick, Chairman of Racing Officials Accreditation Program; Ramiro Restrepo, Market Representative for Fasig-Tipton; Maggie Wolfendale, Paddock Analyst and reporter for the New York Racing Association; Cate Johnson, Director of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame; and Stuart Angus, Sales Account Manager at Taylor Made.
The finalists are:
Andrea Greathouse Paramount Sales
Bessie Gruwell Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association
Maria Catignani Charles Town HBPA
Dedication to Breeding Award
Barrett Midkiff Taylor Made Farm
Ernest Blair Lane's End Farm
Steve Clark Godolphin, LLC
Dedication to Racing Award
Cristobal Trejo Tomlinson Thoroughbred Training LLC
Janeen Painter Richard Mandella
Lesley McCall Moquett Racing
Leadership – Breeding Award
Jenny Carpenter Buttonwood Farm
Joe Peel Claiborne Farm
Mark Cunningham Airdrie Farm
Leadership – Racing Award
Destin Heath WinStar Farm
Saul Castellanos Mark Hennig Racing Stable
Thomas Brandebourger Chad Brown
Amy Stokes Godolphin, LLC
Courtney Schneider Shawhan Place
Michael Norris Katherine Ritvo
Thoroughbred Community Award Winner
Bobby Lillis Executive Director of the Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Foundation Director of Benefits for the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Assoc.
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