BODEMEISTER (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The Virginia Thoroughbred Association’s Awards Committee recently named the Virginia-bred champions for 2012 with Audley Farm leading the way.

Audley was named Virginia Breeder of the Year after knocking the late Edward P. Evans off the top of the Virginia-bred progeny earnings list.  In 2012, Audley-breds earned $2,358,873 in racing purses while posting 42 winners. Included in those winners was Bodemeister who earned $1,304,800 while winning the Arkansas Derby Gr.1 and finishing second in both the Kentucky Derby Gr.1 and Preakness Gr.1 before an injury forced him into retirement.

Based on his stunning win in the Arkansas Derby and his two narrow losses I’ll Have Another in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, Bodemeister was named 2012 Virginia-bred Three-Year-Old Colt for his Berryville, Virginia breeder.

Bodemeister’s dam, Untouched Talent will receive the Virginia Broodmare of the Year Award based on her son’s accomplishments on the racetrack and her Smart Strike yearling filly selling at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $1.3 million.  Untouched Talent (by Storm Cat) is also a graded stakes winner in her own right.

Virginia breeder Larry Johnson produced to 2012 champions as his homebreds A Lover’s Question is the 2012 Virginia-bred Two-Year-Old Filly and Heaven Knows What is the 2012 Virginia-bred Three-Year-Old Filly.  A Lover’s Question (Spring At Last) broke her maiden in her first start at Colonial and then went on to win the $50,000 Jamestown Stakes.  Heaven Knows What (Holy Bull) won $80,650 last year including the $50,000 Oakley Stakes at Colonial Downs.

Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor’s Morgan’s Ford Farm also bred two champions in 2012 Older Male Redeemed and 2012 Virginia-bred Older Mare Co-Champion North Freeway.

EMBARR (Coady Photography)

Redeemed, by Include, out of Early Mass by Virginia-bred Pleasant Tap, followed up a brilliant 2011 winning $348,000 last year. His season included two graded stakes wins in the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap Gr.2 at Belmont Park and the $200,000 Greenwood Cup Stakes Gr.3 at Parx.

North Freeway, by Jump Start, out of Shawnee Country by Chief’s Crown, won $150,590 in her four-year-old campaign including the $50,000 Winter Melody Stakes at Delaware Park back in May.

In 2012, the four-year-old Embarr won four races from eight starts including the $50,000 Brookmeade Stakes at Colonial Downs for the second straight year earning her a share of the 2012 Virginia-bred Older Mare championship.  By Royal Academy, out of In Too Deep, Embarr followed up that win with a close second in the $150,000 Athenia Handicap Gr.3 on the grass at Belmont Park.  Embarr earned $134,670 for the year for her owner, breeder and trainer Susan Cooney. 

The late Edward P. Evans continues to be a major part of the Virginia scene as horses he bred before his death continue to run at a high level.  Evans’ bred the 2012 Turf Champion Dominus who won $206,388 last year. The then four-year-old son of Smart Strike topped the $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap Gr.2 at Saratoga.

Virginia-bred Camp Victory only won one race in 2012, but he made it the right one as he captured the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap Gr.1 at Hollywood Park.  That victory and $210,000 in earnings was enough to secure the 2012 Virginia-bred Turf Champion honors for the Forest Camp gelding.  Camp Victory was bred by Atkins Homes Inc.