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Saturday, December 15, 2007


SEALY HILL (photo by Cindy Pierson Dulay)

Good morning. The morning after the 33rd SOVEREIGN AWARDS, another lavish dinner and ceremony put on by the Jockey Club of Canada and the very nice Westin Harbour Castle hotel.

The evening started off with a lovely cocktail hour followed by sea bass for dinner and some cool video footage of the year’s highlights from British Columbia to Ontario.

By now, most of you will know the winners of the awards…this morning I have added some opinion – strictly my opinions – and some thoughts about the night.

Here goes..

(Winners of the 33rd Annual Sovereign Awards presented last night at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ontario by Jockey Club of Canada)



Romanet played a role, as the director of France Galop, in the Jockey Club of Canada and its establishing of the Canadian Graded Stakes Committee. The SEPCIAL SOVEREIGN is not given out much, Awesome Again a few years back and Romanet’s father before that.

No question the honour was deserved, but why not present it next year and give JAMBALAYA, the first Canadian-bred winner of the Arlington Million recognition in 2007? (Since that horse raced just twice in Canada and was not eligible for a Sovereign).


Sealy Hill

We saw a lot of the Sealy Hill team last night from Eugene and Laura Melnyk and Mark Casse, Pat Husbands, Iris and Bill Bristow and their daughter Cheryl.

Sealy Hill (Point Given) was also presented with the Triple Tiara trophy last night since her sweep was not official until the Ontario Racing Commission undid a stewards DQ of the champion in the Bison City Stakes.


Dancing Allstar 118-114 over Officer Cherrie

Head scratcher here – and only 4 voting points separated her from OFFICER CHERRIE, the more logical winner. The B.C. bred won 5 of 7, just one modest stake at Woodbine. The Cherrie won 3 of 4 including 2 stakes, one graded (oh yes, and she BEAT Dancing Allstar the ONE time they met.



Logical winner 159-75. Benefitted from rule change that 2yo’s only need to race twice in Canada to be eligible.



Hard to figure this one but he beat his stablemate LEONNATUS ANTEAS 109-102 only. Won the Prince of Wales, was 2nd in Plate. Not a bad winner.




The ole grey mare is retired now. She won 149-81 voting points for older mare (her 2nd such score) and won a dreadful Sprint category 109-63 over Stradivinsky.


True Metropolitan

Owner Bob Cheema was the best. He said ‘thanks’ in his acceptance speech.


Cloudy’s Knight

Funny stuff last night as excited owner Jerry Schwartz got his notes mixed up and his acceptance speech was all over the place.


Patrick Husbands

Another lengthy speech, his 5th Sovereign win for top jockey and the first time he attended in several years after boycotting.


Tyler Pizarro


Mark Casse, 166-45-44 over Terry Jordan, Reade Baker

A VERY, VERY lengthy speech that ended with a very emotional Casse thanking his father Norm, who came up to join him. Similar to his speech when he won last year.


Eugene Melnyk

Should have won owner and breeder and just barely own this category 119-111 over Bob Cheema.


Adena Springs

Made no sense – Adena won 127-118 over Melnyk. Former bred modest stakes horses in 2007 in Canada, latter bred Sealy Hill, Triple Tiara winner (Horse of the Year) and Marchfield and Arden Belle among others.

Voters looking only at total dollars it seems and not quality.


Lover’s Talk 71-46 over the late Victorious Answer

She’s retired from mommy-hood now and living in Kentucky. David Willmot, her owner, gave her a nice talk-up.

My TORONTO STAR write up today is here…

Other awards…

Michael Burns, Jr. 
By Dawn's Early Light
The Toronto Star
Horse Racing Alberta & WhiteIron Productions 
The Alberta Derby
CTV - Alberta
Allan Besson
Graduation Day Celebration 
The Winnipeg Free Press
Paul Wiecek
Holding Life by the Reins
The Winnipeg Free Press
Champion Two-Year-Old Filly
Dancing Allstar 118
Officer Cherrie 114
Authenicat 52
Champion Two-Year-Old Colt
Kodiak Kowboy 159
Bear Holiday 75
Stuck in Traffic 58
Champion Three-Year-Old Filly
Sealy Hill 174
Bear Now 109
Dance to My Tune 19
Champion Three-Year-Old Male
Alezzandro 109
Leonnatus Anteas 102
Mike Fox 46
Champion Older Female on the Main Track
Financingavailable 149
She's Indy Money 81
Monashee 65
Champion Older Male on the Main Track
True Metropolitan 193
Palladio 48
Stonetown 33
Champion Female Turf Horse
Sealy Hill 181
Essential Edge 60
Financingavailable 36
Champion Male Turf Horse
Cloudy's Knight 188
Sky Conqueror 87
Eccentric 35
Champion Sprinter
Financingavailable 109
Stradivinsky 63
She's Indy Money 27
Bear Now 27
Horse of the Year
Sealy Hill 113
Cloudy's Knight 90
True Metropolitan 62
Outstanding Broodmare
Lover's Talk 71
Victorious Answer 46
Fascigrant 42
Outstanding Apprentice Jockey
Tyler Pizarro 193
Matt Moore 58
Dean Deverell 39
Outstanding Jockey
Patrick Husbands 173
Emma-Jayne Wilson 62
Mario Gutierrez 21
Emile Ramsammy 21
Outstanding Trainer
Mark Casse 166
Terry Jordan 45 
Reade Baker 44
Outstanding Owner in Canada
Melnyk Racing Stables 119
Bahadur Cheema 111
Bear Stables 33
Outstanding Breeder
Adena Springs 127
Eugene Melnyk 118
Gustav Schickedanz 31
Dancing Allstar, Champion Two-Year-Old Filly
2007 stats: 7-5-2-0 $299,428
Best Beyer (Daily Racing Form speed rating): 88 (sprint)
Dancing Allstar was excellent both at Woodbine and Hastings in 2007,
winning stakes races out east and west. The Millennium Allstar chestnut
won the My Dear Stakes at Woodbine on July 2 and was second, beaten a
head-bob, to Bear Holiday, a two-year-old colt Sovereign Award
in the Colin. Bob Cheema's B.C.-bred was three-for-three in Hastings
stakes, taking the CTHS Sales Stakes, the Jack Diamond Futurity and the
Kodiak Kowboy, Champion Two-Year-Old Colt
2007 stats: 7-4-1-1 $549,991
Best Beyer (Daily Racing Form speed rating): 99 (sprint)
Kodiak Kowboy is a U.S.-based colt which ran at Woodbine twice, winning
the Victoria Stakes, but is best known for his third-place finish in
Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The Posse bay also won the Grade 3 Bashford
Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Saratoga Special at
Saratoga. The Kentucky-bred also finished second in the Grade 2
for trainer Steve Asmussen, and owners Vinery Stables and Fox Hill
Sealy Hill, Champion Three-Year-Old Filly
2007 stats: 8-4-3-0 $958,389
Best Beyer (Daily Racing Form speed rating): 99 (turf)
Sealy Hill won four stakes races in 2007 including all three legs of
Canadian Filly Triple Tiara, the Labatt Woodbine Oaks at Woodbine, the
Labatt Bison City Stakes at Fort Erie (on DQ reversal) and the Wonder
Where Stakes at Woodbine; the first filly to do so. The Ontario-bred,
trained by Mark Casse for Melnyk Racing Stables Inc., also finished
second in the Grade 2 Canadian and the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor on turf. The
Point Given dark bay also won the Grade 3 Bourbonette Breeders' Cup at
Turfway Park.
Alezzandro, Champion Three-Year-Old Male
2007 stats: 6-2-2-1 $551,550
Best Beyer (Daily Racing Form speed rating): 90 (route)
Alezzandro competed in all three legs of the Canadian Triple Crown,
finishing second in the Queen's Plate, but denying Mike Fox a chance at
the Triple Crown with a win in the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie. The
High Yield dark bay colt, trained by Kevin Attard for the Knob Hill
Stable and the Estate of Steve Stavro, also finished second in the
Plate Trial and the Ontario Derby.
True Metropolitan, Champion Older Male on the Main Track
2007 stats: 10-7-1-1
Best Beyer: 102
True Metropolitan is a Trans-Canada superstar. The son of Proud and
 True won multiple stakes at three different Canadian racetracks, Woodbine,
Hastings and Northlands, where he won the Speed to Spare by 10 lengths
at odds of 1-5. The Bob Cheema-owned gelding is about as prohibitive a
favorite to retain his championship title in the category.
Cloudy's Knight, Champion Male Turf Horse
2007 stats: 9-3-3-1
Best Beyer: 105
S J Stables homebred Cloudy's Knight captured three graded stakes in
2007, two in Canada and one in the United States. The seven-year-old
gelding was a hard-luck second to Last Answer in his first journey
northward. The son of Lord Avie followed up with a one-length victory
in the Grade 2 Sky Classic and a narrow score in the Grade 1 Pattison
Canadian International.
Financingavailable, Champion Older Female on the Main Track
2007 stats: 7-5-2-0
Best Beyer: 101
Arguably, K.K. Sangara's most important acquisition ever,
Financingavailable returned to her stakes-winning form, garnering four
added-money titles, including three on Woodbine's Polytrack. The
daughter of Kiridashi retired to the breeding shed shortly after her
Ontario Fashion victory with a record of 15 wins and seven seconds from
28 starts.
Sealy Hill, Champion Female Turf Horse
2007 stats: 8-4-3-0
Best Beyer: 99
After strong performances in the opening two-thirds of the Triple Tiara
(Series for Canadian-bred three-year-old fillies) Mark Casse trainee
Sealy Hill made an effective transition to turf racing in July. The
Point Given filly was a powerful winner of the Wonder Where, closing
from more than a dozen lengths off the pace to win by daylight. The
Melnyk Racing Stables homebred also ran second in the two premiere
late-season turf events for older fillies and mares, the Canadian and
the $1 million E.P. Taylor.
Financingavailable, Champion Sprinter
2007 stats: 7-5-2-0
Best Beyer: 101
The Lorne Richard's trainee had such a well-rounded season in 2007 that
she made the finals in three different categories (Turf Mare, Older
Mare and Sprinter). Five of the six-year-old's seven starts came at
sprint distances. All three of her sprint wins came traveling six
furlongs (two on Polytrack and one on turf), including the Ballade and
her career finale, the Ontario Fashion.
Lover's Talk, Outstanding Broodmare
If any dam is more due to be named Champion Broodmare, it is Lover's
Talk, a 23-year-old daughter of Vice Regent that was bred by none other
than E.P. Taylor. The bay has produced four stakes winners, including
5-for-7 Love Grows, 11-time winner Barley Talk, speedy Wild Whiskey and
triple stakes-winner Torrid Affair. Lover's Talk qualified this year
when Thunder Gulch filly Lyrically finished third to Bear Now in the
Patrick Husbands, Outstanding Jockey
Canadian victories: 149
Canadian stakes: 21 
Graded Canadian stakes wins: 4
Patrick Husbands won races in bunches in 2007, leading all Canadian
riders in total wins (149), total stakes (21) and total purse earnings
($8.8 million). Husbands won at a 20 per cent rate, an impressive
figure considering he rode in over 700 races. Highlights of the season include
a Triple Tiara sweep with Sealy Hill, a Coronation Futurity upset
 aboard Kesagami and an added-money double with rising star Officer Cherrie.
Tyler Pizarro, Outstanding Apprentice Jockey
Canadian victories: 141
Canadian stakes: 0
Tyler Pizarro dominated the Woodbine win column among apprentices.
Scoring at a 13.9 per cent rate, Pizarro won 124 races at the Toronto
oval, good enough for a share of third-place in the standings. His
mounts earned over $5.2 million. He never connected in a stakes event,
though he did guide Executive Flight to runner-up finishes in the
Ballade, Victoriana and Classy n'Smart.
Mark Casse, Outstanding Trainer
Canadian victories: 84
Canadian stakes: 13
Canadian graded stakes wins: 2
Mark Casse enjoyed a career year at Woodbine in 2007. His 84 tallies at
the Toronto oval is 15 more than his previous high for a meet (69 in
2002). He finished with 24 tallies more than his nearest pursuer. He
just as dominant with his stakes runners, winning 13, including the
Labatt Woodbine Oaks with Sealy Hill. This winter, he is racing at the
Fair Grounds. The Indianapolis native is just 45 wins away from 1,000
during his career.
Melnyk Racing Stables, Outstanding Owner in Canada
Canadian victories: 15
Canadian stakes: 6
Canadian graded stakes wins: 1
Even though their Woodbine win total dipped from 22 to 15 in 2007,
Melnyk Racing Stables led all owners at Woodbine with earnings of
$2,030,805, a sharp increase of 31.9 per cent over 2006, when they were
third. The key difference was a stellar season from Point Given filly
Sealy Hill, who earned the lion's share of her $958,389 in Canada,
Where she captured the Labatt Woodbine Oaks, swept the Triple Tiara and was a
runner-up in the $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes. Gouldings Green,
Sterwins and Breeders' Stakes hero Marchfield added Toronto stakes for
Team Melnyk.
Adena Springs, Outstanding Breeder
A regular finalist in the Outstanding Breeder category, Frank
Stronach's Adena Springs produced nine different stakes winners in
 2007 at its Aurora (Adena North) operation. From 148 starters, 82 Adena-breds
successfully made it to the winner's circle on a total of 132
 occasions. At Woodbine, Awesome Action won the Ontario Jockey Club and Labeeb
Stakes, Executive Choice captured the Steady Growth, Just Rushing
scored in the Vigil and The Niagara Queen won the Flaming Page.


  • At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have 2 words for you Jen: sour grapes!

  • At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Would like to see the stats on the adena owned horses. Seems to me that many of their Awesome Again, El Prado and Touch Gold horses were winning at Ft Erie for tags. I thought they did a diservice to their own stallions by running their offspring so cheap at a B level track. For as many horses as they own and keep in training I would have thought they would be doing better.

  • At 3:17 AM, Blogger the_drake said…

    The Sov's were for the most part formful with only a few hiccups. The 3yo boys category was pretty much throw a dart at them, the whole lot don't deserve to be a Champion (see also Sprinter HOY), but in a situation like this I would give it to the Plate winner, since that is the biggest race for 3yo's in Canada. 2yo fillies, hmmm there you go Wolski stop crying for another 10 years. HOY don't know, both seemed like Champions, I was leaning towards Cloudy winning a G1 and G2 in Canada as opposed to Seally beating up on Can breds and falling short in Can G1 and G2, both had US G3 wins. But Seally is Can bred and owned, sorry Charlie, I mean Cloudy, Turf HOY is still a nice consolation given his competition.
    The biggest oddity of the night was seeing who finished 3rd in HOY voting though, do the West coast voters really have no credibility and vote for the best West coast horse regardless of what it has done. Last I checked Sky Conqueror won a Grade 1 at Churchill ON DERBY DAY, plus kicked some butt in the spring/summer in graded races, and would laugh at Tru Met if they ever looked each other in the eye. Bear Now won a G2 in the States over a G1 winning filly who ran 3rd in the BC Distaff and 2nd in the Ky Oaks and another filly who cruised in a G3 at Monmouth in her previous race, she too could whip True Metropolitan.
    I'm not saying either of the last 2 horses should have won the HOY but they were 100 times better than True Metropolitan this year, and before Tommy Wolski starts crying again maybe he can back up his reasons for doing so with facts. Instead of playing the tired old Onterrible card once again. Because it's obvious the west coast bias got that plodder on the card again.

  • At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What gives?? You allow people to voice negative opinions of Matt Moore and Terry Jordan but you won't post negative (but true) opinions of Reade Baker. People need to know what he is really like. Why do you keep shielding him from negative comments?

  • At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It was nice to see Terry Jordan receive more votes than Reade Baker in the Outstanding Trainer category. If there were four trainers nominated, Reade Baker would have been an "also ran"!!

  • At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To the anonymous "sour grapes" poster: If you have something to say, why don't you just say it? Jen has the courage to post her point of view. Apparently, you don't. Do you disagree with something the wrote? Why don't you just say so and let the rest of us in on your wisdom. If you don't have the courage to do that, why don't you just shut up?

  • At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You can view the Sovereign Awards program here:

    No comments on the results of the media awards? :-)

  • At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anon 12:56

    Why do you care?

    obviously Jen doesn't because she published the comment. I think Jen can defend herself if she so chooses. Your post was just as much a waste of time as the original "sour Grapes" post.

    You horsey people are a touchy bunch.

    for the record, However, i will say I am not sure how anything she wrote could be construed as sour grapes. besides only 3 people even cover this sport anymore in this country, meaning she might of lost this year but....she should pretty much be a shoe in every third year.

    Personally I find media "awards" in all sports useless and extremely self serving. Media people are paid to write good stories. they should not be awarded for it. and really none of the stories nominated were really that mind blowing. Just the same Racetrack pap that gets written every year and does nothing to sell the sport to anyone except the 500 hardcore fans that are retirement age and still sticking to this sport by a thread.


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