Speed Boat Beach is Florida Horse of the Year

Speed Boat Beach Benoit

In a vote by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association board of directors, Speed Boat Beach (Bayern) has been crowned the 2023 Florida-bred Horse of the Year. The result was announced Monday night at the FTBOA Awards Gala.

Bred by Richard Heysek's Caperlane Farm, who was also presented with the Needles Award recognizing the Small Thoroughbred Breeder of the Year in Florida, the Bob Baffert runner also took home the awards for champion 3-year-old colt and champion male sprinter. In 2023, Speed Boat Beach won the GI Malibu S. at Santa Anita Park and finished second in the GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship H. Speed Boat Beach's dam, Sophia Mia (Pioneerof the Nile), was named FTBOA Broodmare of the Year.

Marilyn Campbell's Stonehedge LLC took home Florida Breeder of the Year and leading breeder by Florida-bred earnings awards after Stonehedge-bred runners earned over $3.3-million with 103 wins during the year. Arindel was crowned leading owner by state-bred earnings with over $1.69-million to their credit.

Florida stalwart Khozan took home honors as the 2023 Florida Stallion of the Year, a fourth consecutive title, and tied Montbrook and Wildcat Heir by title count. He's the only Florida stallion to be honored four years in a row going back to 1991.

Florida-based Jena Antonucci was presented the 2023 Bruce Campbell Award for outstanding achievement as the first woman to train the winner of a Triple Crown race. Stuart Morris and Ruben M. Sanchez' Really and Truly Thoroughbreds were awarded the 2023 Joseph M. O'Farrell Memorial Award, presented by Ocala Breeders' Sales Company to the consignors of Speed Boat Beach, the top Florida-bred of the year who graduated from an OBS auction. Saffie Joseph Jr. was recognized as the leading Florida trainer by state-bred earnings and tied with Kathleen O'Connell and Jose D'Angelo as leading trainer by state-bred wins. Joseph and D'Angelo tied for leading trainer by black-type wins.

Other Florida-bred champions on the night were:

  • 2-Year-Old Fillies: Honey Dijon (Girvin) and R Harper Rose (Khozan), who tied for the award
  • 2-Year-Old Colt: Bentornato (Valiant Minister)
  • 3-Year-Old Filly: Dorth Vader (Girvin)
  • Older Female and Female Sprinter: Maryquitecontrary (First Dude)
  • Older Horse: Isolate (Mark Valeksi)
  • Male Turf Horse: Me and Mr. C (Khozan)
  • Female Turf Horse: Sweet Dani Girl.(Jess's Dream)

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