Posted: Sept. 4, 2019
The late Rick Violette Jr., a fierce advocate for horsemen throughout the country, will be honored posthumously along with Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Tim Wilkin and Caton Bredar during the National Turf Writers And Broadcasters 60th annual Awards Dinner on Oct. 30.
The awards dinner, held during Breeders’ Cup week, will be at The Derby World Famous Restaurant in Arcadia, Calif.
Violette, the trainer of 2018 Whitney winner Diversify and dozens of other graded-stakes winners, will be honored with the Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service to racing.
The longtime head of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and President of the THA, Violette left a lasting legacy when he passed away last fall at age of 65. An accomplished show rider before taking out his Thoroughbred training license in the late 1970s, Violette also trained Grade I winners Dream Rush and Man From Wicklow and standouts Citadeed, Free Of Love, March Magic, Read The Footnotes, Samraat and Upstart.
Violette served on the board of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and helped found the New York THA’s TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program and TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program. Violette was also very active in promoting and protecting the Thoroughbred industry in the New York legislature.
Lukas, one of racing’s most recognized names and faces, will receive the Mr. Fitz Award for typifying the spirit of racing. Wilkin, the longtime racing voice of the Albany Times Union, will be honored with the Walter Haight Award for career excellence in Turf writing. Bredar, a decorated journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in print, radio and television, will receive the Jim McKay Award for career excellence in broadcasting.
The NTWAB Awards Dinner, traditionally held during Breeders’ Cup week, is the organization’s only fundraiser, and a portion of the proceeds from the event are used toward scholarships for prospective Thoroughbred racing journalists and to support Thoroughbred industry charities.