The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) hosted their 36th annual TOBA National Awards at Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa in Paris, Kentucky, on September 11. Top breeders were selected from 18 states and Canada during the event. A year ago the TOBA Awards, like many events in the industry and beyond, were conducted virtually. But the event returned to in-person Saturday right here in Bourbon County and was capped by a performance by the “Empress of Soul,” Gladys Knight. Knight has recorded two number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles (“Midnight Train to Georgia” and “That’s What Friends Are For”), eleven number-one R&B singles and six number-one R&B albums. She has won seven Grammy Awards. Knight reportedly was in awe at the beauty of Bourbon County, particularly that of Xalapa Farm. And regarding the TOBA event, some of the biggest prizes of the night were National Owner of the Year Gary Barber, National Breeder of the Year Peter Blum, and National Small breeder of the Year Angie Moore. For Barber, 2019 Preakness Stakes (G1) victor War of Will showed his versatility and talent in winning the 2020 Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes (G1T) at Keeneland by a nose. Long-time breeder Peter Blum was honored off a season in which he bred Horse of the Year Authentic. Maryland-based breeder Angie Moore saw her first Breeders’ Cup winner in record-breaking Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile (G1) winner Knicks Go.
— photos by Bobby Shiflet | Citizen Staff