For the past two-weeks, a different Virginia Breeders Awards winner has been announced through this website and via the VTA’s facebook page. To access the other award winning announcements, scroll back thru the “News” archive. The award recipients were to be recognized during a reception Friday June 19 at Great Meadow. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the awards’ reception has been postponed. A new date will be announced as soon as we have the okay to reschedule.
The final award winner is 2019 Horse of the Year – Mr. Buff.
The 6-year-old Virginia-Sired gelding, who won five black-type stakes last year on the NYRA circuit, is a New York-bred by Friend or Foe who stands at Robin Mellen’s Smallwood Farm in Crozet.
Owned and bred by Chester and Mary Broman — who have been among New York’s leading breeders for more than 20 years — Mr. Buff won the Jazil, Saginaw, Evan Shipman and Alex Robb Stakes along with the Empire Classic Handicap. He also competed in a pair of Grade I’s — the Clark Stakes at Churchill and the Woodward at Saratoga — and bankrolled $455,750 for the year.
The John Kimmel trainee is already 2-for-2 in 2020 and with a February 22 win in the Haynesfield Stakes, saw his earnings soar to $1,051,536. Mr. Buff is out of the graded stakes placed Speightstown mare Speightful Affair, an $80,000 purchase at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February Mixed Sale.
Although Friend Or Foe never won in graded company, he did earn a title as champion New York-bred 3-year-old colt and ran four triple digit Beyer Speed Figures with a top of 109. The Bromans have continued to send Friend or Foe a few mares every year. So far, from four crops of racing age he has sired 21 foals, 11 of which have started and seven have won, Mr. Buff being the standout.