|George Strawbridge, Sasscer Hill and hall of famer, Jonathan Sheppard, before Bushwhacked's race, October 23.
Though Strawbridge was absent October 22, his homebred filly, Fugitive Angel, captured the Grade III Pin Oak Valley View Stakes with a flying finish, eating up ground and destroying the competition in the final yards. In doing so, the bay daughter of Alphabet Soup won the Keeneland gold tray, reportedly solid gold and worth $100,000, for her owner, George Strawbridge.
The tray is presented to owners who have won eight graded stakes at the track. It’s been claimed only 15 times previously, and Strawbridge became the first owner to receive the award since Michael Tabor in 2008.
The amazing group I call “Team Sheppard” headed by legendary genius and hall of fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, carefully brought along Strawbridge’s homebred filly, turning her into a powerhouse.
Maryland’s own Anna Napravnik figures prominently in the victory.
"She is definitely improving. She is a very quality filly," said Napravnik, who was riding the bay filly for the third time. Napravnik also won the day's fifth race aboard another Strawbridge horse, the 3-year-old filly Kitty Love.
|Anna "Rosie" Nabravnik
Some might say George Strawbridge needs a $100,00 gold tray like I need a fork in my eye. Truth be told, the man has done much for the sport of racing. His wealth allows him to own quality horses, and treat them like quality horses. He is patient, allowing a horse a year or more turn-out time if necessary. Owners like Strawbridge help us fight the negative press racing has been afflicted with in recent years. I’m glad he got a gold tray!
|Team Sheppard saddles Fugitive Angel
|A jockey change before "Angel's" race had the riders hanging about while waiting on the replacement jockey.
|Sasscer Hill and Paula Marie Weglarz celebrate Fugutive Angel's win.
A Matt Wooley photograph.