After a season of near perfection that included six stakes wins, Daniel Lopez and George Chestnut's homebred Chub Wagon was named 2021 Pennsylvania-bred Horse of the Year at the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association's 43rd annual Iroquois Awards, held May 13 at The Inn at Mendenhall in Chadds Ford, Pa.
The richest state-bred of 2021 when banking $487,400, Chub Wagon scored in eight of her nine starts at age four, and was second in her only loss. After getting her first stakes win in the Unique Bella at Parx in April by 7 1/2 lengths, she followed with wins in the Skipat S. and Shine Again S. at Pimlico, and Dashing Beauty S. at Delaware Park. She rebounded off a second-place finish in the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial S. at Parx on Pennsylvania Day At the Races in August to take the Roamin Rachel S. against open company by four lengths two weeks later. She concluded her season in late September by winning the Plum Pretty S. in her first start beyond a mile.
A daughter of Lopez's homebred stallion Hey Chub out of the Lion Heart mare Takin The Plunge, Chub Wagon also took home awards for champion older female and champion female sprinter.
The evening's keynote speaker was Triple Crown-winning jockey Steve Cauthen, now a breeder/owner in Kentucky. The PHBA's Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in breeding in the state was presented to George Strawbridge, Jr., who over the course of the past five decades bred such Pennsylvania-bred standouts at GI Breeders' Cup Turf winner Tikkanen and five-time Grade I winner With Anticipation.
Other divisional champions were:
• Two-year-old female–Morning Matcha (Central Banker)
• Two-year-old male–Dance Code (Honor Code)
• Three-year-old female–Leader of the Band (Bandbox)
• Three-year-old male and male sprinter–Beren (Weigelia)
• Older male and turf male–The Critical Way (Tizway)
• Turf female–Caravel (Mizzen Mast)