Cohen among inaugural Employee Award winners

Posted: Oct. 10, 2016

Melissa Cohen, assistant to trainer Rick Violette Jr., president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, is one of five winners of the inaugural Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards sponsored by Godolphin.

Cohen was selected by a panel of judges for the Leadership Award–Racing. Runners-up were Jimmy Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert, and Laz Guerra, assistant to trainer Mike Maker.

Other winners are:

James Sebastian, handler of mares and foals at Claiborne Farm, Dedication to Breeding Award. Runners-up were Everett “Powell County” Charles, a groom at Stone Farm, and Leon Hamilton, foreman at Ashview Farm.

Jose “Vinny” Castaneda, groom for the Marty Jones Racing Stable, Dedication to Racing Award. Runners-up were Danny Ramsey, exercise rider for Ken McPeek Racing, and Raul Rodriguez, a groom for Sherman Racing Stable.

Victor Espinoza, farm manager at Brookdale Farm, Leadership Award–Farm. Runners-up were John Hall, yearling manager at Taylor Made Farm, and Matt Koch, owner and manager of Shawhan Place.

The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, with total prize money of $115,000, were managed and administered by the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

(Photo provided by NYTHA)