The Bluegrass Sports Commission (BSC) will honor WinStar Farm at the eighth annual Bluegrass Sports Awards. WinStar Farm will receive the 2019 Jim Host Sports Business Award. Owner Kenny Troutt and WinStar Farm have a history of success inside its fences, most notably 2018 Triple Crown winner, Justify. WinStar also owns Super Saver, winner of the 2010 Kentucky Derby; Drosselmeyer, winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes; and Creator, winner of the 2016 Belmont Stakes.
WinStar won the prestigious Eclipse Award for Outstanding Owner in 2010 and was a finalist for the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder in 2008. WinStar Farm claimed the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder of 2016 after leading all North American breeders with earnings of $10,516,427, led by Tourist. Horses bred by WinStar earned 15 graded stakes wins and 239 overall wins in 2016, placing WinStar first in these categories as well.
“Kenny Trout and WinStar Farm are the gold standard in the horseracing industry. They routinely produce derby horses every year and this year they did it again with Triple Crown winner, Justify,” said Jim Host. “The impact and prestige that Kenny Troutt and his team bring to the Bluegrass is unparalleled. WinStar is very deserving of this award.”
WinStar joins previous winners the Lexington Center Corporation, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Bill Farish, Mitch Barnhart, Alan Stein, Jerry Carroll and Ted Bassett as the Jim Host Sports Business Award recipients.
This year's banquet will be held on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at the Lexington Convention Center's Bluegrass Ballroom.
“This event continues to grow and be one of the most fun nights of the year,” said BSC President & CEO Brian Miller. “I think our committee did an incredible job putting together our award winners and I can't wait to celebrate them on January 30.”
In addition, the Tom Hammond Kentucky Sports Media Award goes to Tom Leach. As a high school senior in Paris, Leach listed his ultimate career goal “to become the next Voice of the Wildcats.” Nearly every broadcaster covets that seat in Rupp Arena, but the dream came true for Tom. Leach began his work on the UK Radio Network in 1989 as host of the postgame scoreboard and call-in shows. Eight years later, he was named the play-by-play voice for Kentucky football and he added men's basketball responsibilities in 2001. Since then, he's been named Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year five times.
Leach has been at the microphone for many memorable moments for UK sports. These include the 2012 national championship for the Kentucky men's basketball team and an upset of then number one-ranked LSU on the gridiron in 2007. He's worked four Final Fours and nine bowl games while covering the Wildcats.
Leach is also a two-time winner of the prestigious Eclipse Award for excellence in coverage of Thoroughbred racing and he covers racing for Keeneland. Through his Tom Leach Productions company, he hosts a daily radio show on UK sports in The Leach Report. He is also an author, having penned “Rich Tradition,” about Rich Brooks and his revival of the UK football program and is a contributor to Keeneland.com providing daily pics on the day's races.
“In the grand tradition of Claude Sullivan and Cawood Ledford, Tom Leach has continued the tradition of excellence as the voice of the Wildcats,” said Hammond. “His calls are accurate and exciting and reflect his deep knowledge of the events he broadcasts. He has become a Kentucky tradition and I am proud to honor him.”
Leach joins past winners Jennie Rees, Larry Vaught and Dick Gabriel, Mike Battaglia, Donna Brothers, Kenny Rice, Billy Reed and Jerry Tipton.
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