04/20/2010 11:00PM

Sweet Life honored as top broodmare


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sweet Life, dam of 2009 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic winner Life Is Sweet and 2004 champion juvenile filly Sweet Catomine, is the 2009 Broodmare of the Year.

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders awarded the honor to Sweet Life, a homebred Kris S. mare owned by Marty and Pam Wygod, at its annual luncheon Wednesday honoring Kentucky-bred divisional champions.

The Wygods bred Sweet Life from the stakes-placed Flying Paster mare Symbolically, and they raced both of Sweet Life's Grade 1-winning daughters. Both Sweet Catomine and Life Is Sweet are by Storm Cat, who was pensioned in 2008. Sweet Life's last Storm Cat foal is a 2-year-old this year. Named Sweet and Savory, she is unraced.

Sweet Life also has an unraced 3-year-old Storm Cat filly, Ain't She Sweet, and a 4-year-old Storm Cat colt, the winner Calimonco, in training now.

Sweet Life produced an Unbridled's Song colt this year on Feb. 22.

"She's a nice, big mare," Russell Drake, manager of the Wygods' River Edge Farm in Buellton, Calif., said of Sweet Life. "She kind of fits Storm Cat pretty good."

But Drake noted that despite being full sisters, Sweet Catomine and Life Is Sweet are otherwise physical opposites.

"Sweet Catomine is kind of a big, raw-boned mare, powerful," he said. "Then here comes little Life Is Sweet. She's probably a hand shorter, more compact, and neater. They're two entirely different types of filly.

"She won't have any more Storm Cats, but maybe she'll have another foal that good," he added of Sweet Life.

Sweet Life, a dark bay or brown mare, won the 1999 Providencia Stakes and finished third in that year's Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap. She was second in the Grade 1 Beverly Hills Handicap the following season.

In addition to honoring the Broodmare of the Year, the two organizations also named statebred divisional champions. They were Lookin At Lucky, juvenile; She Be Wild, juvenile filly; Summer Bird, 3-year-old male; Rachel Alexandra, 3-year-old filly; Gio Ponti, older male and turf male; Zenyatta, older female; Informed Decision, sprinter; Ventura, turf female; and Red Letter Day, steeplechaser. Best Kentucky-bred racing overseas was Ghanaati.

Juddmonte Farms received the P.A.B. Widener Award as breeder of the year, and the organizations awarded Fred Mitchell of Clarkland Farm the Hardboot Breeder Award.

Dr. T. Pearse Lyons received the W. T. Young Humanitarian Award, and Thoroughbred Times editor Mark Simon received the Charles W. Englehard Award for media.