Saint John Harness Horsemen Association honoured its top harness racing horsemen and equine performers on Saturday night with the coveted Horse of the Year award handed out among all other categories for 2013.
Starting with the aged categories two-year-old filly was Absolootly Hot, owned by the Dooley Boys Racing stable and Scott Hubbard taking top prize. She is a daughter of Coastocoast Yankee and she earned over $17,000 on the season and took a record of 1:59.4.
Two-year-old colt and gelding winner was Settlement Request, owned by Alfred Barrieau of Dieppe, N.B and Mike Clinton of Saint John.trained and drove the gelding to over $34,000 in earnings and a record of 1:58. He too is by Coastocoast Yankee.
In the three-year-old colt and gelding category it was the sensational Untouchable One, owned by Dooley Boys Racing stable. He captured both the Maritime Breeders final and the Atlantic Sires Championship. He took a record in the Maritimes of 1:55.2 and has since eclipsed that record in the U.S with a sparking 1:50.4 win.
Three-year-old filly of the year was no surprise as Ramblinglily took top honours for the connections of Norm Leger and Allan Jones. She captured the prestigious Maritimer in Saint John and scored numerous stakes wins. She won ten of fifteen in 2013 and just shy of $ 60,000 in earnings. Her fastest win of the year was a 1:56.1 win in P.E.I.
Dance Hanover captured the Aged Horse of the Year trophy for the Ultimate Stables of Greater Lakeburn, N.B. He had a very consistent 2013 with twenty-three top three efforts in twenty-nine starts. His best winning time was 1:57.3 for the son of. He should surpass $ 100,000 in earnings in 2014 as he is less than five-thousand short.
Ultimate Stables ended up sweeping the aged category as the mare Ultimate Spirit was named top distaff pacer. She took a life's mark in Saint John of 1:57.2 and recorded nine wins. In 2009, she was a $1000 yearling purchase and has banked over $ 51,000 lifetime. Sifroi Melanson is the owner/ trainer of the Ultimate Stables who continue to develop solid horses year after year.
Most improved horse on the grounds this season was O K Elegant. Owned by Dr. Mitchell Downey, the five-year-oldmare took a new speed badge over Saint John of 2:00.2 and scored twenty-eight top three finishes on the year. Mike Downey drives and trains the mare.
Claimer of the year was awarded to Dusty Lane Oscar after a tremendous 2013 for young horsemenand the rest of Team Davies. At nine years old, he took a new mark of 1:57 in 2013 and registered ten wins. He also went past the fifty-win plateau lifetime and earned just shy of $ 8500.
"Oscar" also captured a special award as he was recognized as the fan favorite in 2013. Visits to victory lane was also a packed place to be and had a stretch last year where he won seven of eight starts. Chris also reached a huge milestone recently as he become a father for the first time.
Oldtime Robbi award was presented to the consistent Magical Alex for owner/ trainer Bob MacNeil of Saint John, N.B. He showed his toughness starting thirty-eight times in 2013, He won ten of those starts and now has over $ 36,000 in earnings. He was an $ 1100 yearling purchase in 2010 and has proven to be a solid campaigner as he enters his seven-year-old campaign.
Overall Horse of the Year seemed like a battle of the three year old winners and it was Ramblinglily who came out on top as the top horse after her noted sensational season.
In the horsemen categories,was named top driver while captured top training honours.
Mike Downey was named Horseperson of the year while his son Mitch was named Owner of the Year. Both awards were voted on by their peers.
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees from the Saint John Harness Horsemen.