Champions - Danny Dion, Reade Baker and Fatal Bullet (photo by Amber Chalfin)
34TH SOVEREIGN AWARDS
FATAL BULLET NAMED CANADIAN HORSE OF THE YEAR
The ‘Bear’ is named owner
By Jennifer Morrison
It was only six years ago that Danny Dion purchased his first racehorse, a claiming runner that eventually got him hooked on the thoroughbred game.
On Dec. 12 at a lavish ceremony in downtown
Dion’s Fatal Bullet was named
"It's the Bear invasion of Toronto," said Dion, who admittedly was stunned by the owner of the year and Horse of the Year awards.
"It is amazing, I really was not expecting owner and Horse of the Year (for Fatal Bullet)."
Bear Stables runners won stakes races in
Dion, who now resides in
Three-year-old Fatal Bullet, purchased for just $27,000 (
It was the bay gelding’s brave second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) to champion Midnight Lute on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park that was one of the most impressive efforts by a Canadian-based horse during the year.
Fatal Bullet ( Red Bullet-Sararegal, by Regal Classic is trained by Reade Baker and is currently in California prepping for the Malibu Stakes (GI) at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.
Baker also trained Bear Now, a finalist for champion 3-year-old filly in 2007, who won the Grade III Kentucky Cup Distaff at
A Tiznow-Controlled, In Excess 4-year-old, Bear Now also won the
Bear Now is expected to race in 2009 for Town & Country Farm.
Fatal Bullet collected 177 voting points (from 62 voters based on a
Rahy’s Attorney won the Grade I Woodbine Mile over stars such as
Rahy’s Attorney was trained by Ian Black.
Not Bourbon, the Ontario-sired winner of the Queen’s Plate, was named the champion 3-year-old male for owner and breeder Charles Fipke. The Not Impossible – Bourbon Belle, by Storm Boot) chestnut colt, trained by Roger Attfield, won four of eight races including the restricted Queen, Plate Trial and Overskate Stakes for earnings of $890,000.
Ginger Brew, owned and bred by Stronach Stables and trained by Brian Lynch, was almost unanimous as the champion 3-year-old filly at the Sovereign Awards.
Mine That Bird was bought for just $9,500 (
Cotey and co. watched Mine That Bird win three stakes races including the Grey Breeders’ Cup Stakes (GIII).
Mine That Bird was sold privately to Double Eagle Farm before the Birdstone-Mining My Own, Mining) gelding finished 12th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Richard Day’s homebred 2-year-old filly Van Lear Rose (Stroll-Devaluation by Conquistador Cielo) won the Mazarine Stakes (Can-III) and was named champion juvenile filly. She was trained by Day’s sister Catherine Day Phillips.
Irish-bred Callwood Dancer, owned by Harlequin Ranches and trained by Attfield, was named champion turf female based on a victory in the Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) and second-place finishes in the Grade I-T E.P. Taylor Stakes and Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT). The 4-year-old is by Danehill Dancer – Ahdaab, by Rahy).
Marchfield, owned and bred by Eugene Melynk on
The 4-year-old is by A.P. Indy out of Pico Teneriffe by Red Ransom.
Mark Casse, who trains Marchfield, won his third consecutive Sovereign award for outstanding trainer, edging out Attfield.
Jockey Patrick Husbands was a narrow winner for outstanding jockey over Jim McAleney - his sixth such award.
Adena Springs won its fourth consecutive breeder title and Kathie’s Colleen, owned and bred by Gus Schickedanz, was named outstanding broodmare, a lifetime achievement award.
Kathie’s Colleen, by Woodman, produced 2003 Horse of the Year Wando and 2008 stakes placed mare Half Sister.
34TH SOVEREIGN AWARDS
Honouring the best in Canadian horse racing 2008
HORSE OF THE YEAR
CHAMPION TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY
Van Lear Rose
CHAMPION TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE
Mine That Bird
CHAMPION THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE
CHAMPION THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY
CHAMPION OLDER FEMALE on the main track
CHAMPION OLDER MALE HORSE
CHAMPION MALE TURF HORSE
CHAMPION FEMALE TURF HORSE
Callwood Dancer (Ire)
OUTSTANDING APPRENTICE JOCKEY
Bear Stables, Ltd.
HORSE RACING ALBERTA & WHITEIRON
OUTSTANDING NEWSPAPER STORY
OUTSTANDING FEATURE STORY