2023 Renaissance Awards Winners

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The winners of a host of awards recognizing the best of Maryland racing and breeding in 2023 were announced the week of Feb. 26-March 1 by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association. They will be honored at the April 17 Renaissance Awards dinner at the Marriott Owings Mills.

OWNER OF THE YEAR: The Elkstone Group, owned by attorney Stuart Grant, made the most of 98 starts on the racetrack in Maryland last year with a 23.4% winning rate and a 55.1% clip in the top three spots. The operation was among the top money-earners in the state with earnings just above $1 million. The mare Hybrid Eclipse, purchased for $107,000 at auction in 2022, won three stakes in Maryland last year—the Nellie Morse, Caesar’s Wish and Thirty Eight Go Go—and finished second in the Carousel. Nationally, The Elkstone Group won 41 races for earnings in excess of $1.9 million.

TRAINER OF THE YEAR: Brittany Russell, Maryland’s Trainer of the Year in 2021 and 2022, earned her third consecutive award with 119 victories at tracks in the state and more than $5.4 million in earnings. Overall, Russell won 177 races for total earnings of almost $8 million. In Maryland, Russell won 26.6% of her starts and captured 15 stakes with Hybrid Eclipse, Prince of Jericho, Cats Inthe Timber, Cap Classique, Post Time, Saddle Up Jesse, Full Count Felicia, Apple Picker, Be Better, Bosserati, L Street Lady and Swill. She was leading trainer at the Laurel Park spring and fall meets and the Pimlico Race Course spring meet.

JOCKEY OF THE YEAR: Jaime Rodriguez, a winner of 237 races nationally last year, spent most of his time in Maryland and came away with 166 victories in the state. His mounts earned more than $6.2 million in Maryland and $8.2 million overall.Rodriguez won stakes with Beth’s Dream (Heavenly Cause), Copper Tax (James F. Lewis III), Coffeewithchris (Miracle Wood) and Mavilus (Conniver). He captured the riding titles   during the Laurel Park winter, summer and fall meets and, for good measure, also finished atop the standings at the 2023 Delaware Park meet.

Male Dirt Horse of the Year: Seven’s Eleven (The Cottonwood Stable, owner; Carlos Mancilla, trainer)

Male Turf Horse of the Year: Witty (Elizabeth Merryman, owner and trainer)

Female Dirt Horse of the Year: Intrepid Daydream (Paul Fowler Jr., owner; Gary Capuano, trainer)

Female Turf Horse of the Year: Bosserati (Joel Politi, owner; Brittany Russell, trainer)

Claimer of the Year: Brother Conway (Sheffield Stable, owner; Kieron Magee, trainer)

Previously announced Backstretch Workers of the Year: Jenile Tapscott (Laurel), Damon Gladden (Pimlico)

Maryland-bred Horse of the Year, Champion Sprinter and Champion Older Female: Intrepid Daydream (Paul Fowler Jr., breeder/owner; Gary Capuano, trainer)

Maryland-bred Champion Older Male: Double Crown (Built Wright Stables, owner; Raymond Ginter Jr., trainer; Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Bowman and Rebecca Dove, breeders)

Maryland-bred Champion Turf Horse: Wet My Beak (Thelma & Louise Stable, owner; Vladimir Cerin, trainer; Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds, breeder)

Maryland-bred Champion 3-year-old Male: Seven’s Eleven (The Cottonwood Stable, breeder/owner; Carlos Mancilla, trainer)

Maryland-bred Champion 3-year-old Filly: Bosserati  (Joel Politi, breeder/owner; Brittany Russell, trainer)

Maryland-bred Champion 2-year-old Male: Catahoula Moon (Super C Racing, owner; John Robb, trainer; Angela Coombs, breeder)

Maryland-bred Champion 2-year-old Filly: Kissedbyanangel (Joanne Shankle, owner/trainer; Super C Racing, breeder)

Maryland Breeders of the Year: Dr. & Mrs. Thomas Bowman

Maryland Stallion of the Year: Great Notion (Northview Stallion Station)

Maryland Broodmare of the Year: Otherwise Perfect

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