Caravel, winner of the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-G1, added to her laurels when named 2022 PA-Bred Horse of the Year, Older Female, Female Sprinter and Turf Female at the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association’s 44th annual Iroquois Awards.

Racing in 2022 for Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel and Madaket Stables LLC and trained by Brad Cox, Caravel won five of eight starts during her 5-year-old season while racing exclusively in stakes. The striking gray Mizzen Mast mare started the year at Turfway with a win in, fittingly, the Queen Stakes, added Belmont’s Intercontinental Stakes-G3 and Saratoga’s Smart N Fancy, and concluded her campaign with back-to-back scores at Keeneland in the Grade 3 Franklin and Breeders’ Cup. She was Pennsylvania’s richest state-bred of the year, with $930,983, which pushed her over the million-dollar mark for her career.

Unraced at 2, Caravel raced for her breeder and trainer Elizabeth M. Merryman during an undefeated 3-year-old season which resulted in her first Horse of the Year and divisional titles. At 4, she was named state-bred Turf Female after racing exclusively in turf stakes and becoming a graded winner. Merryman sold a part interest midway through the season to Bobby Flay — after a Breeders’ Cup attempt, Caravel was offered at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale and purchased by ELiTE Sales for $500,000.

The Iroquois Awards were held Friday, May 12 at The Inn At Mendenhall in Chadds Ford. The evening’s guest speaker was Barry Pearl, president of Jockeys and Jeans, PDJF. Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award was former PHBA Executive Secretary Mark McDermott, who served in the position for 35 years, from the start of the association.

Other divisional champions were:

Two-year-old female—Flor de Sombra (Social Inclusion – On a Star, by Talent Search); bred by Joseph Imbesi.

Two-year-old male—Gordian Knot (Social Inclusion – Mia, by Put It Back); bred by Mr. and Mrs. Joe Imbesi.

Three-year-old female—Morning Matcha (Central Banker – Home Ice, by Iam the Iceman); bred by Crane Thoroughbred Services LLC.

Three-year-old male—Nimitz Class (Munnings – Five Diamonds, by Flatter); bred by Arrowwood Farm.

Older male and male sprinter—Fortheluvofbourbon (Bourbon Courage – Nosubstituteforluv, by Not For Love); bred by Hidden Acres 4-D Farm.

Turf male—Buy Land and See (Cairo Prince – Twiggles, by Maria’s Mon); bred by Joseph Imbesi.

The PHBA recognized State Representatives Mary Jo Daley (Montgomery County) and Mary Isaacson (Philadelphia County) with Legislator Awards. CANTER PA, a non-profit organization dedicated to rehoming retired racehorses and former breeding stock, was presented the PHBA Award of Merit.

Additional PHBA awards were presented to Pennsylvania-preferred female Flor de Sombra and Pennsylvania-preferred male Gordian Knot, both sired by Social Inclusion, as top Pennsylvania-bred and sired runners; Thoroughbred Makeover Top Pennsylvania-bred Sapphire Surprize; and Broodmare of the Year Zeezee Zoomzoom, dam of Caravel and Iroquois Award 3-year-old male finalist Witty.


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Cover Photo Credit to Casey Laughter

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