The Man Named 2017 Pennsylvania Horse of the Year
His name is simply, The Man and throughout the 2017 racing season at Parx Racing, he proved to be just that, The Man. A victory in the $100,000 Banjo Picker Stakes on Sept. 2 capped off a perfect season for the 6-year-old gelded son of Ecclesiastic, winning all six of his starts and at the annual horsemen’s awards banquet on March 28, he was honored as the top thoroughbred in Pennsylvania for 2017.
Racing in the name of his wife, Natalie, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sent The Man, a Pennsylvania-bred, east into the care of trainer John Servis in hopes of taking advantage of the state-bred bonus program. Take advantage he did. He immediately responded with a resounding four-length win in his first local start and never let up, racing right through three allowance conditions before winning the stake his final start of the year.
Other highlights from the evening included jockey Frankie Pennington, winning his fourth consecutive riding title and now fifth of his career. If he can capture the riding title again in 2018, he’ll become the first jockey in the history of the racetrack to win five consecutive titles. Trainer Patricia Farro won the third training title of her career, her second straight, and in doing so became the first female trainer to win three career titles here. Jockey Dexter Haddock won the award as top apprentice jockey, and owner Marshall Gramm, racing as Ten Strike Racing, was awarded top honors as leading owner for the second consecutive year.
Following is a list of all other divisional and individual award winners:
2YO Colt or Gelding – DJ Stable, Cash is King and LC Racing’s Diamond King (Trained by John Servis)
2YO Filly – James Reichenberg Jr. & Bruno DeJulio’s Ms Locust Point (John Servis)
3YO Colt or Gelding – Uptowncharliebrown Stud and Godric’s Midtowncharliebrown (Ed Coletti)
3YO Filly – WMT Stable’s Trace of Grace (Bernard Houghton)
Older Male – Natalie Baffert’s The Man (John Servis)
Older Female – Starladies Racing’s Firsthand Report (Todd Pletcher)
Claiming Horse of the Year – Hidden Acres 4-D Farm’s Cozy Lover (Patricia Farro)
Outstanding Claim of the Year – Longball Stable’s Dirt in Your Face (Alfredo Velazquez))
Winningest Horse – Mario Villanueva’s Wendy Wend (Mary Pattershall)
Apprentice Jockey – Dexter Haddock
Leading Jockey – Frankie Pennington
Leading Owner – Ten Strike Racing
Leading Trainer – Patricia Farro
“B” Division Trainer (top percentage with less than 150 starts and less than 10 stalls) – Joe Taylor
“B” Division Owner – Kirwan Equine Group, Inc.
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