Awad, one of the decade's outstanding thoroughbreds, will parade before the crowd at Laurel Park tomorrow in his final public appearance.
Born in Maryland and soon to stand at stud here, the 8-year-old Awad was a consistent and powerful stretch-runner who earned more than $3 million, set track records at Saratoga and Arlington, and won 11 stakes, four of which were Grade I.
He will parade at Laurel before the inaugural running of the Awad Stakes, named in his honor, and then board a van for a ride to his new home, Northview Stallion Station in Cecil County. Richard Golden, president of Northview, reached an agreement with Awad's owners to stand the horse next year.
"He's a Maryland horse, and this is where he belongs," Golden said.
After finishing eighth in his only start this year, Awad was retired with earnings of $3,270,131 -- second only to Cigar's $9,999,815 among horses bred in Maryland. In 70 races, Awad recorded 14 wins, 10 seconds and 11 thirds. He set the 1 1/2 -mile turf record at Saratoga and the 1 1/4 -mile turf mark at Arlington.
Jim Ryan, whose Ryehill Farm bred and remains the managing partner of Awad, has been out of town and unavailable for comment. But Chris Everett, a Glenwood resident and one of the horse's seven Maryland owners, said they look forward to Awad's career as a stallion.
"He's been a gift from God to us, racing as long as he did," Everett said. "But now we think he's going to be a great stud. With Caveat gone, a good long-on-the-turf sire should be very attractive to Maryland breeders."
Golden said Awad's fee will be a modest $3,500.
"Any horse we stand we like to think they stand for a bargain," Golden said. "But Awad has the credentials to be any kind of sire."
Awad was named for a Palestinian peace activist, Mubarrak Awad, who had been deported from Israel and was living at Ryan's farm in Mount Airy when the foal was born. Ryan, a well-known philanthropist and outspoken advocate of better treatment for backstretch workers, builds houses for Palestinians the West Bank.
The birth of the foal -- a son of Caveat and the mare Dancer's Candy -- followed the death of another foal at Ryehill. Ryan's Palestinian friend said: "In my language, Awad means 'the one after -- that is better.' "
Awad lived up to his name.
Pub Date: 8/07/98