- 13 Feb
Maryland backstretch workers Luis Barajas and Gabriel Emmanuel were among the many individuals and equines recognized for 2018 during the second Renaissance Awards dinner in Baltimore the evening of Feb. 12.
The awards program is a joint effort among the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Maryland Jockey Club.
The MTHA each year accepts nominations for two grooms, one based at Laurel Park and the other at Pimlico Race Course, and makes a selection. Barajas, 28, works for Laurel-based trainer Brittany Trimble Russell, while Emmanuel, 63, is employed by Pimlico-based trainer Mary Eppler.
Both men said they were honored to have been chosen and grateful for being able to accept their awards. Emmanuel was joined by his wife, Adeline, and daughter, Laura Emmanuel, a physician with MedStar Health who was a recipient of two racing-related scholarships, one from the Maryland Racing Media Association and the other from Race For Education.