Union Bridge, MD --- On Tuesday night, Mar. 20 the Maryland Horse Industry Board, a division of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, hosted “A Night of Maryland Horse Racing Champions.” This event honored 2011 Maryland Thoroughbred, Standardbred, Steeplechase and Arabian racing champions, and was held at the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards.
Speakers and presenters were Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Earl “Buddy” Hance, Deputy Secretary Mary Ellen Setting and secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Alexander Sanchez. Everyone spoke of the great history of horses and horse racing in Maryland and also what a great event to bring all aspects of the industry together.
Harness racing had two Touch of Class Award winners for the night: Cheri Stambaugh, administrator of the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund, spoke to the crowd about the many accomplishments Roll With Joe had achieved as a 3-year-old, and also about his breeder, Winbak Farm. Joe, Joann and Kim Thomson, along with farm manager Garett Bell, yearling manager Jim Ladwig and large group of Winbak’s staff were on hand to accept Roll With Joe’s award.
GooGoo GaaGaa was the second Standardbred honoree of the evening. Stambaugh gave a rundown of his racing career, concluding with mentioning seven weeks, six starts, four stakes records, four track records, one national season’s mark and a world record. Unfortunately, his owner, Richard Hans, was unable to attend. Richard’s mother Sandy, and his brother, Michael Hans, along with Thomas Cooke, accepted the Touch of Class Award for GooGoo GaaGaa.
Rapid Redux and his owner Robert Cole were the Thoroughbred Touch of Class Award winners. Karin DeFrancis of the Maryland Jockey Club made the introductions and gave the bio of Rapid Redux.
Other honorees for the evening were the Arabian racing champs Golden Odessy and Dixies Valentine, and the steeplechaser Bon Caddo, the champion U.S. timber horse. Along with the equine awards there were two human awards, Irv Naylor, champion U.S. steeplechase owner and Tom Voss, Champion U.S. steeplechase trainer.