For the fifth year in a row, Michael and Penny Lauer have been named the Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development Program’s Breeder of the Year, an award based solely on Indiana Breeder’s Awards payments. The couple bred 16 horses in the Indiana program that raced in 2019, earning them a total of $183,243 in Breeder’s Awards alone. The two most notable 2019 starters include Drinkatthecreek (Itsmyluckyday – Mizzen My Momma) and Twobirdsonestone (Birdstone – Dreamin Big).
Working as a team, the Lauers have been breeding and training horses for more than 40 years, and have participated in the Indiana program since its inception. Michael has more than 1,100 training wins and more than $9.1 million in earnings throughout his career, with his main stable based at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Churchill Downs. He is Indiana Grand’s all-time learning stakes-winning trainer with more than 35 stakes wins.
A retired teacher, Penny manages the bookkeeping and daily operations of the breeding and racing side of Michael Lauer Stables. Penny is among Indiana Grand’s all-time top five leading owners in wins and leads with more than $5 million in earnings, the most of any other owner in Indiana Grand history. The couple’s three daughters, Elizabeth, Sara and Abby, pitch in around the farm.
While their farm is based in Finchville, Kentucky, the Lauers work closely with breeding farms in Indiana such as Springcliff Farm, Ledgerwood Farm, Nicks Farm and Swifty Farm.
“We’ve always thought the Indiana program was a good one,” says Penny. “We breed a lot, but we’re not the top of the heap. We try to keep some decent mares, breed to decent stallions and go from there.”
“I’d love for some of our Indiana breds to win some big races outside of the state, because I want to show that Indiana breds can win anywhere,” she continues. “I don’t feel we get a lot of respect outside of the state and I hope we can help with that with our horses.”
The Lauers recently started standing the stallion Ready’s Image in Indiana, who will stand at Swifty Farm for his third year in the program for 2021. “We started standing Ready’s Image in Indiana the last few years because we like him and we’re trying to help the program in Indiana more with his quality bloodlines,” says Penny. “He’s done pretty well these last couple of years and we look forward to seeing his Indiana babies on the track soon.”
Over the past seven years, the Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development Program has distributed more than $23 million to Indiana breeders. Horses produced out of the Indiana bred program have gone on to win multiple graded stakes races and even competed internationally in the Breeders’ Cup and at the Royal Ascot meet. Currently, breeders are awarded up to 20 percent of the purse in awards for winners.
The 2019 Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development and Indiana Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association award winners were recognized during the first ever Indiana Breeders Day held at Indiana Grand on Wednesday, October 28.
ABOUT THE INDIANA THOROUGHBRED BREED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The Thoroughbred Breed Development program was established to promote the Indiana Thoroughbred industry. In 2007, legislation was passed which approved slot machines at Indiana’s pari-mutuel racetracks. The Indiana Thoroughbred Breed Development Fund receives 45% of the revenue generated from slot machines and table games that is allocated for Thoroughbred Racing.
For more information, see the Indiana Horse Racing Commission’s website: www.in.gov/hrc
Indiana Horse Racing Commission
Photos available upon request.