12/20/2013 11:57AM

Ritvo, Sheehan honored with New England Turf Writers Association awards

Barbara D. Livingston
Kathy Ritvo was voted the winner of the Lou Smith Memorial Award for Yearly Achievement by the New England Turf Writers Association.

EAST BOSTON, Mass. – Kathy Ritvo, who became the first woman to train a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner when Mucho Macho Man defeated a world-class field in November, and veterinarian Dr. Richard Sheehan Jr., who has served the racing community for more than 20 years, have received the highest annual honors from the New England Turf Writers Association.

Ritvo, now based in south Florida, was voted the winner of the Lou Smith Memorial Award for Yearly Achievement. As a member of the Petro and Ritvo families, she grew up in the New England racing community. Sheehan, winner of the Sam McCracken Award for Lifetime Achievement, also has deep regional roots and follows in the footsteps of his father, longtime equine veterinarian Dr. Richard Sheehan, who won the same prestigious award in 1997.

John Rigattieri, who finished atop the Suffolk Downs trainer standings for the 10th consecutive year, and Tammi Piermarini, the leading rider for the fourth straight season and racing’s all-time third-winningest female jockey, won top honors in their respective categories.

The divisional champions are: 2-year-old filly – Blessed Time; 2-year-old male – Duty Proper; 3-year-old filly – Secret Return; Robert M. O’Malley Memorial Award for 3-year-old male – How Convenient; older female – Wildcat Appeal; James R. Bishop Memorial Award for older male – Olympist; turf female – Lapantalones Fance; Joseph E. Carney Memorial Award for turf male – Perfect Joiski; Sprinter – How Convenient; Cliff Sundberg Memorial Award for New England-bred – Victor Laszlo. Special Achievement award winners are Chaotic Bull and Glowing Promise.

The winner of the James B. Moseley Award for horse of the year will be revealed at the awards dinner to be held at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, Mass., in July. The NETWA’s Hall of Fame class of 2014 will be elected in the spring and inducted that same evening.