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“Sagamore Pendry hotel hosts inaugural Renaissance Awards”

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Maryland Jockey Club recognized excellence in Thoroughbred racing at the inaugural Renaissance Awards Feb. 12 at the Sagamore Pendry hotel in Fells Point.

More than 200 guests attended the event and a portion of the proceeds from the evening will benefit local charities Beyond the Wire, the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation and Maryland horse industry scholarships.

The Renaissance Awards were created to celebrate the resurgence of the racing and breeding industries in Maryland. The Maryland Jockey Club reported a total handle of more than $600 million in 2017, a 12 percent increase from 2016. Several of the state’s most prominent race days reported record crowds and wagers including the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes which set all-time records with a crowd of more than 140,000 fans wagering more than $97.1 million. In the past eight years, the number of mares bred to Maryland sires and the number of Maryland-bred foals has increased more than 40 percent.

From left, Craig Gregorek, a co-founding member of CPA consulting firm Gregorek & Company, PA; Gerry Brewster, a board member with the Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society; Becky Brashear, assistant general manager of the Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society; and Donna Myers president of the board of directors of the Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society, take time for a photo during the inaugural Renaissance Awards. (Photo by Jerry Dzierwinkski, Maryland Horse Breeders Association)