Renaissance Champions Awards Winners Announced
Larry Johnson, Brittany Russell and Jevian Toledo were voted the top owner, trainer and jockey in the 2022 Renaissance Champions Awards, which were announced from Feb. 27-March 4 in advance of the April 14 awards dinner. On the equine side, Laurel Park-based Fille d’Esprit took down three Maryland-bred championships for older mare, sprinter and Horse of the Year.
The Renaissance Champions Awards were created to recognize the best of Maryland racing and breeding from the previous year. This year, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association added five equine awards to recognize top performers based in Maryland but not necessarily bred in the state. The MTHA earlier announced its Grooms of the Year for 2023: Martin Haiber at Laurel and Ricardo Martinez at Pimlico Race Course.
The Preakness Stakes post-position draw will be held Monday, May 15, at Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore and will include a public concert by English musician John Waite, who is known for his many popular songs in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
After days of negotiations, the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and Maryland Horse Breeders Association reached an agreement with the Maryland Jockey Club on hiring consultant John Passero to examine the Laurel Park dirt surface and make recommendations for its improvement in the wake of a string of equine injuries during training and racing.