03/14/2017 9:09AM

Three Rules tops Florida-bred champions

Barbara D. Livingston
Three Rules was named Florida Horse of the Year by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.

Several Florida-breds who have acquitted themselves well against open company, led by the promising colt Three Rules, were among the honorees as the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association recognized its Florida-bred champions for 2016 at its annual awards banquet and gala Monday night in Ocala.

Three Rules took home honors as Florida's Horse of the Year, as well as champion 2-year-old male. A son of leading juvenile sire Gone Astray, Three Rules swept the open divisions of the Florida Sire Stakes, taking the $200,000 Dr. Fager, the $300,000 Affirmed, and the $500,000 In Reality divisions of the series. He then finished sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, suffering his first loss. Three Rules has bounced back this year, finishing second in the Grade 2 Swale Stakes and third in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth.  

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Three Rules is owned and was bred by Bert and Martha Pilcher’s Shade Tree Thoroughbreds, Geoff Roy, and Tom Fitzgerald. He is trained by Jose Pinchin.

Joining Three Rules as dual honorees on the evening were Grade 1 winners Sheer Drama (champion older female, female sprinter) and World Approval (older male, turf male), along with graded stakes winner Awesome Banner (3-year-old male, male sprinter).

Several of their connections also earned honors on the night. David Fawkes, who trained Sheer Drama as well as Cajun Delta Dawn (2-year-old filly) was recognized as the leading Florida trainer of Florida-breds by earnings. Stanley Gold, who trained Awesome Banner for the first part of his campaign before the colt was transferred to Mark Casse, was recognized as the leading trainer of Florida-bred black-type stakes winners. In addition to taking over Awesome Banner’s care, Casse conditioned World Approval and Josdesanimaux (turf female).

World Approval's owner, Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation, was named the Florida Owner of the Year, while his dam, multiple Grade 1 producer Win Approval, was named the Florida Broodmare of the Year. Florida’s leading sires in various earnings categories of 2016 were also honored on the evening, with Ocala Stud’s High Cotton (leading general sire), Northwest Stud’s Gone Astray, and Woodford Thoroughbreds’ Biondetti (leading freshman sire) all recognized.

Gilbert G. Campbell recognized as Florida's Breeder of the Year, while the Needles Award for the state's small breeder of the year was presented to the University of Florida Foundation.

The 2016 Joe O’Farrell Memorial Award, presented annually by Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company to the consignor of the year’s best Florida-bred racehorse offered at OBS, went to Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield, which consigned Grade 1 winner Noted and Quoted.