Justify Named 2018 Kentucky Horse of the Year by KTOB

Justify, winner of the 2018 Triple Crown, was named Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Male by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders during today’s KTOB Awards Luncheon at Keeneland. The KTOB recognized 12 other Kentucky-breds at the luncheon, led by Broodmare of the Year Stage Magic, the dam of Justify, and awards were also bestowed upon numerous individuals for their exemplary contributions to the industry.

“It was another exceptional year for Kentucky-breds at the racetrack, punctuated by Justify’s historic Triple Crown,” said Chauncey Morris, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/ Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders. “Our award recipients—both equine and human—exemplify the dreams and aspirations of our industry, and we’re proud to celebrate their memorable achievements.”

Justify, bred by John D. Gunther and campaigned by China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm, took the racing world by storm in 2018, winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness Stakes (G1), and Belmont Stakes en route to becoming racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner. The history-making son of Scat Daddy retired undefeated in six lifetime starts after earning $3,798,000. In January, he was named Horse of the Year and was a unanimous selection as Champion 3-Year-Old at the Eclipse Awards.

Broodmare of the Year is Stage Magic, the dam of Justify. The organization’s oldest award (first presented in 1946) and one of the most prestigious, Broodmare of the Year nominees are named by the Awards Committee and voted upon by the association’s membership.

Stage Magic is owned by Gunther, who received the P.A.B. Widener Trophy. Awarded since 1972, the Widener Trophy represents Breeder of the Year, and nominees are determined by points earned in graded stakes and are voted upon by KTA/KTOB Board of Directors.

Roaring Lion earned the Racing Abroad award. Bred by RanJanRacing and owned by Qatar Racing Limited, the son of Kitten’s Joy rattled off four consecutive Group One scores in Europe in2018, winning the Coral Eclipse S. (G1) at Sandown Park, the Juddmonte International S. (G1) at York, the Irish Champion S. (G1) at Leopardstown, and the Queen Elizabeth II S. (G1) at Ascot.

The 2018 KTOB Kentucky-bred champions and their breeders are as follows:

  • Two-Year-Old Male: Game Winner (Summer Wind Equine)
  • Two-Year-Old Filly: Jaywalk (Gainesway Thoroughbreds LTD)
  • Three-Year-Old Male: Justify (John D. Gunther)
  • Three-Year-Old Filly: Monomoy Girl (FPF LLC & Highfield Ranch)
  • Older Dirt Male: Accelerate (Mike Abraham)
  • Older Dirt Female: Abel Tasman (Clearsky Farms)
  • Male Turf: Oscar Performance (Mrs. Jerry Amerman)
  • Female Turf: Rushing Fall (Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding)
  • Male Sprinter: Roy H (Ramona S. Bass, LLC)
  • Female Sprinter: Marley’s Freedom (Jack Swain, III)
  • Steeplechase Horse: Balance the Budget (Liberation Farm & Oratis)
  • Racing Abroad: Roaring Lion (RanJan Racing, Inc.)
  • Horse of the Year: Justify (John D. Gunther)
  • Broodmare of the Year: Stage Magic (Owner: John D. Gunther)

Additional awards:

  • P.A.B. Widener Trophy: John D. Gunther
  • Charles W. Engelhard Award: Horse Racing Radio Network
  • Hardboot Breeders’ Award: Frank Penn Jr.
  • William T. Young Humanitarian Award: Thoroughbred Charities of America
  • Lifetime Contribution Award: Alice Headley Chandler
  • Lifetime Contribution Award: James E. Bassett, III

Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund Leaders

  • Sire of the Year: Kitten’s Joy (Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm)
  • Earner of the Year: Bound for Nowhere (Wesley A. Ward)
  • Owner of the Year: Kenneth L. & Sarah K. Ramsey
  • Trainer of the Year: Michael Maker
  • Breeder of the Year: Kenneth L. & Sarah K. Ramsey