Each year, members of the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (ITOBA) honor the state’s top performers with a Spring banquet. Due to restrictions associated with COVID-19, the banquet was canceled the past two seasons, but the state is still honoring the top performers of 2020 during the 2021 season at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Top performers in each division are highlighted daily on the simulcast production, and to honor two of the state’s top awards, a special presentation was made Tuesday for the ITOBA/Indiana Breed Development Breeder of the Year and the 2020 Champion Indiana Horse of the Year. Top breeding honors were awarded to Deann Baer and Greg Baer, DVM, breeders on the Champion Horse of 2020 Piedi Bianchi.
The Baers have bred many winners in recent years. Hailing from Columbus, Ind., the small breeding operation sends many yearlings to the sales in Kentucky where Piedi Bianchi was originally transported as a weanling. Her current connections of Jay Oringer, Jack Bick, Al Bianchi Racing LLC, Adam Bayroff and Mike Maturo purchased the filly at the Ocala Breeders Sale during her two-year-old season and have reaped rewards since that time.
Piedi Bianchi won two of three starts at Indiana Grand in 2020. Overall, she has won six races in 24 starts with earnings of more than $650,000. The Multiple Graded Stakes placed daughter of Overanalyze has had success outside of the borders of Indiana, winning at Aqueduct and Del Mar with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders Cup Juvenile at two at Del Mar. She most recently finished second in the Grade 3 Intercontinental Stakes at Belmont Park.
“We hope to get her back to where we started in November at Del Mar (Breeders Cup),” said Jay Oringer, who was present for the awards ceremony. “Her career is winding down, but we hope she has a few more good races in her. Once she is done racing, she will be a brood mare and we are thinking Tapit. The baby should come out nice and grey.”
Oringer and his partners work hard to ensure every horse they have ever owned gets a good home after racing. A portion of the earnings from Piedi Bianchi goes to racehorse aftercare.
“It’s important to us to give to aftercare,” added Oringer. “We make sure all of our horses are taken care of after they are done, even if we have to claim them back.”
Oringer was in town to watch another horse under his ownership in the Shelby County Stakes on the Wednesday at Indiana Grand.
Eric Halstrom, vice president and general manager of racing, and Leigh Ann Hopper and Terry Phillips of ITOBA, were on hand for the trophy presentations. Rachel McLaughlin, on-air racing commentator, conducted the special ceremony. Trainer Tim Glyshaw accepted the award on behalf of the Baers.
The 19th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is now in progress and continues through Monday, Nov. 8.
Live racing is conducted at 2:25 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, with first post on Thursday set at 3:25 p.m. A special Indiana Champions Day highlighting the state’s top Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, beginning at noon.