Dr. Alfred C. Griffin Jr., the co-chair of the Virginia Gold Cup who played a key role in keeping pari-mutuel racing alive in his home state during Colonial Downs’ closure, was elected president of the National Steeplechase Association at Friday’s NSA Board of Directors meeting.
The Warrenton, Va., orthodontist succeeds Guy J. Torsilieri, who was elected as the NSA’s chairman. Torsilieri, who served as the NSA’s president for 11 years before declining to seek another term, was elected as the NSA’s chairman. He succeeds Beverly R. Steinman, who retired from the board at the conclusion of her term last year.
Also elected were Virginia Lazenby as vice president, Robert Bonnie as secretary, and Mason Hardaway Lampton as treasurer.
The champions of 2019 were honored Thursday evening at the annual Steeplechase Awards Dinner and Dance, sponsored by the National Steeplechase Association and the Steeplechase Owners and Trainers Association.
Racing commentator Michael Finney served as the master of ceremonies for the sold-out awards program, held at the Maryland Club in Baltimore. Music was provided by Release, and NSA official artist Sam Robinson displayed several of his works. His painting of Scorpiancer and Moscato graced the front of the awards-dinner program.
Honored at the dinner were:
Lonesome Glory Award, presented by McCauley’s: Michael Buckley’s Brain Power was the year’s leading earner in competition over fences. His one start, a victory in Far Hills’ $450,000 Grand National (Gr. 1), earned him $270,000.
With the start of the racing season little more than two months away, the National Steeplechase Association opens 2020 with meetings and the annual Awards Dinner and Dance, all at the Maryland Club in Baltimore.
The activities begin this Thursday, Jan. 16, with the Race Chairmen’s meeting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hosted by Chairman Peter Fenwick, the day will be filled with discussions pertinent to race directors and other representatives from each of the 28 meets on the NSA circuit.
The annual Award Dinner and Dance, hosted by the Steeplechase Owners and Trainers Association and the NSA, will be held starting at 6:30 that evening. Racing commentator Michael Finney will be the master of ceremonies for a program that honors the champions of 2019.
On Friday, Jan. 17, the NSA’s Board of Directors will convene for its first meeting of the year. Officers will be elected for 2020, and a nominating committee comprising Mike Hankin, Robert Bonnie, and Dwight Hall will present its report.
Jack Fisher, a record-setting trainer and a prominent member of the steeplechase community, has been elected president of the Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation. Based in Monkton, Md., Fisher succeeds Charles C. Fenwick Jr., who had completed his maximum term as a foundation trustee. Also elected by the foundation’s Board of Trustees were Emily Day, a
Dawalan and Mr. Hot Stuff, who competed in the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover competition in September, are spending the winter together on Rosie Allen’s Maryland farm. She captured the gray Dawalan and Mr. Hot Stuff playing in their paddock. Both won the Grand National (Gr. 1) and Dawalan was the 2015 Eclipse Award winner.
Two-time Grade 1 winner Winston C, Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) winner Scorpiancer, and Grand National (Gr. 1) winner Brain Power are the finalists for 2019’s Eclipse Award as champion steeplechase horse. Eclipse Award finalists in all categories were announced Saturday. The Eclipse Awards will be presented on Thursday, Jan. 23, at Gulfstream Park in