Noosa Beach honored as Washington Horse of the Year | Washington Champion Thoroughbreds

Over 225 racing enthusiasts gathered at Emerald Downs in Auburn for the Washington Champions and Annual Awards Banquet on Feb. 19 to celebrate the 2010 Washington champion racehorses and honor industry members whose contributions throughout the years have added so much to our wonderful sport.

Two long-time industry members were honored with the highest awards given in the Washington Thoroughbred industry. Longtime veterinarian and industry leader Dr. John Traber, a veterinary, was chosen as the recipient of the S.J. Agnew Special Achievement Award and Murdock MacPherson was presented with the second WHBPA/WTBOA Special Recognition Award for his many years of caring service to horsemen.

The nearly perfect Noosa Beach was named Washington Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male runner. The 2010 Longacres Mile winner faced his stiffest competition for the title from R.E.V, Racing’s Atta Boy Roy, who won the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2), on Kentucky Derby Day, from his midwest base last year.

Noosa Beach was bred and is owned by Jeff and Doris Harwood. The now five-year-old gelded son of Harbor the Gold has been a state champion in each of his three seasons of racing, with $225,930 of his lifetime $336,770 being earned in 2010. Noosa Beach is also trained by Doris Harwood, who was given a special training achievement award, her third accolade in the past four years.

The connections of Atta Boy Roy, didn’t go home empty handled, as the now six-year-old was awarded his second consecutive trophy as the top Washington-bred sprinter and Roy and Ellie Schaefer were given an award as the 2010 leading owner by Washington-bred money.

Gordy Jarnig, Ken Marshall and Eric Schweiger’s 2009 Washington Horse of the Year was named Champion Turf Horse, a title she also earned in 2009 and is already a frontrunner for in 2011 after her 2-1-0 record in her three starts over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course, including a win in the Wishing Well Stakes.

Nina Egbert’s homebred Clair Annette earned top older filly or mare honors and her dam, Windsong Maria – who also produced two-time Washington champion Makors Mark – was named Broodmare of the Year.

In another close division, double Oaks winner Zenovit, a homebred for Gerald and Gail Schneider’s Riverbend Farm and Dana Claxton, was named Champion Three-year-old and Three-year-old Filly. Her closest rival, Michael and Amy Feuerborn’s Sis’s Sis, who had defeated Zenovit in both her stakes wins, was named Most Improved Plater.

Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz’s Slew the Man was awarded the Champion Three-year-old Male trophy . The California-based partners also race Grade 1 stakes winner Smiling Tiger. Both runners were purchased out of the 2008 WTBOA Summer Yearling Sale.

Slew the Man’s breeders, Nina and Ron Hagen and their El Dorado Farm, were named the leading Washington breeder for the third straight year. The Hagens stand Matty G, who was awarded his fourth title as top stallion in the state.

Champion Two-year-old Filly honors went to Lady Golightly Racing’s two-time stakes winner Lady Golightly, who is from the first Washington crop of Matty G.

Gottstein Futurity winner Couldabenthewhisky, who races for Friendship Stables, Longshot Racing and Craig and Stanley Frederickson, earned the title of Champion Two-year-old. His trainer, Bonnie Jenne, was also honored with a special training award.

Other horse awards were given to Plater of the Year Bijou Barrister and 2004 Washington horse of the year Demon Warlock, who was named top freshman sire of 2010.

The Mark Kaufman Media Awards were given to Rich Moore, of KJR AM Sports Radio, and Daily Racing Form columnist and handicapper Nick Rousso.

Others who received well deserved recognition were 45-year racing veteran Darrell LaFrance, “willing hearts” Melissa Wenzel and Josh Riley, and Jill Hallin, who took care of and shared Washington’s only Eclipse Award winner, Chinook Pass, with his adoring public until his death at age 31 last year.

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