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2023 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Finalists and Runners-up Announced in North America

LEXINGTON, KY - The finalists and runners-up for the 2023 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards have been announced, including three finalists in six of the seven categories.

The winner and runner-up of the seventh category, the Dr. J. David “Doc” Richardson Community Award, have already been decided with Linda Doane of the The Healing Place in Louisville, Kentucky awarded the top prize, and Francisco Torres, with the Backstretch Employee Service Team, placing second.

This year’s awards ceremony will once again be hosted by Keeneland and will take place on Tuesday, October 17th, in Lexington, Kentucky. Finalists and their guest will be provided with travel and accommodations for out-of-town finalists, a tour of a local horse farm, and the ceremony dinner with an afternoon of racing the following day at Keeneland.

The shortlist judging panel, the first of two judging panels, met on Tuesday, August 1st, to determine the finalists and runners-up in each category as well as the Community Award winner and finalist. Their meeting was hosted by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. The second and final stage of judging will take place on Tuesday, October 17th, when finalists will meet with the judges for in-person interviews.

Panel Chair Tom Law commented, “It’s hard to put into words what it means to be involved with these awards. Everyone in our industry knows someone that works tirelessly, day-in and day-out, to take care of our magnificent two-legged and four-legged friends because they love what they do. The nominees, year-on-year, are a tremendous group, and while we wish we could reward them all, I do hope they feel honored that someone thought enough about them to submit a nomination.”

“I’d also like to thank the National HBPA, TOBA, The Jockey Club, Breeders’ Cup, and Godolphin, without whose underwriting and support these awards would not be possible to implement. Lastly, a heartfelt thanks to our media partners – The Thoroughbred Daily News, BloodHorse Publications, Daily Racing Form, FanDuel, Paulick Report, and America’s Day at the Races – for helping to spread the reach of the awards.”

TIEA was pleased to welcome back category sponsors Hallway Feeds, NTRA, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Keeneland, NYRA, and Churchill Downs, and welcomes first-time sponsor 1/ST Racing.

The winners of the Katherine McKee Administration, Dedication to Breeding, Dedication to Racing, Leadership and Support Services Awards will receive a prize of $7,500, with an additional $1,000 to their farm, stable or organization, with two finalists receiving $2,500 each and $1,000 to their farm, stable or organization as well. For the first time in 2023, separate from the winners and two finalists, two runners-up will receive $2,000 each.

The winner of the Newcomer Award will receive $5,000 with $1,000 going to their farm, stable, or organization. Two finalists will receive $2,500 each, and separate from the winners and two finalists, two runners-up receive $1,000 each.

As the winner of the Dr. J. David “Doc” Richardson Community Award, Linda Doane will receive a prize of $7,500 and an additional prize of $2,500 will be donated to the charity of her choice. Francisco Torres will receive $2,500 as the other finalist in this category, and separate from the winners and finalist, two runners-up receive $1,500 each.

The 2023 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards finalists are:

Katherine McKee Administration Award sponsored by Keeneland

Kelly Danner

Churchill Downs

Samantha McGreevy

Taylor Made Sales Agency

Jamie Bradley

Asmussen Racing


Gwenn Pierce

WB Payson Park LLC

Eleanor Poppe

NY Race Track Chaplaincy

Support Services Award sponsored by 1/ST Racing

Bill Vest

Churchill Downs

Tracy Attfield


Rita Cutler



Raul Gutierrez

Santa Anita Park

Julie Adair


Dedication to Breeding Award sponsored by Hallway Feeds

Jimmy Tate

Winstar Farm

Phillip Hampton


Rafael Zambrano

War Horse Place


Harmon Sullivan

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program

Abel Garibay

Four Pillars Holdings LLC

Dedication to Racing Award sponsored by National Thoroughbred Racing Association

Laura Tilbury

Todd Pletcher

Kathy Sanchez

Tom Amoss Racing Stable

Myra Hall

Herringswell Stables


Moises Morales

Gustavo Delgado

Carlos Davila

Craig Wheeler

Leadership Award sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

Lorretta Lusteg

John C. Kimmel

Gene Guy

Glencrest Farm

Manuel Hernandez

Walmac Farm, LLC


Juan Aguilar

Indian Creek

Christine Jones

Pleasant Acres Stallions

Newcomer Award sponsored by New York Racing Association

Deja Robinson

Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital

Sara Gordon

Thoroughbred Daily News

Dominick Merrit

Todd Pletcher


Adrianne Devaux

Cherie Devaux Racing Stable

Susan Kemper

Coolmore America, Ashford Stud

Dr. J. David "Doc" Richardson Community Award sponsored by Churchill Downs


Linda Doane, The Healing Place


Francisco Barrera, Backstretch Employee Service Team


Merlin Cano

Backside Learning Center

Diana Varon



For more information, please contact:

Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards
(859) 977-4655