Toronto Ont.April 11, 2014.Woodbine Racetrack.Jockey Club of Canada Sovereign Awards.Horse of the Year.Sam Son Farms Up With the Birds. presenter WEG Chairman of the Board Jil Lawson.michael burns photo

Photo from left: Dave Whitford, Broodmare/Stallion Manager and Rick Balaz, President and General Manager of Sam-Son Farms accept the 2013 Horse of the Year Sovereign Award trophy for Up With the Birds, from James Lawson, Chief Steward of The Jockey Club of Canada, along with other members of the Sam-Son Farm team.

April 11, 2014, Toronto, Ontario –The Jockey Club of Canada held its 39th Annual Sovereign Awards Party this evening on the elegantly transformed third floor of Woodbine Race Track in Toronto, Ontario Canada.

More than 300 guests attended the event to celebrate with the finalists and newly crowned champions of Thoroughbred racing in Canada for 2013.

The Sovereign Awards are Canada’s premier awards for Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding with both the owner and breeder of each Champion horse being recognized with a Sovereign Award Trophy for first time winners or a Gold Sovereign Coin for those who have won a trophy previously.

In an effort to promote equal opportunity in determining the winners for 2013 in the 17 race award and 3 media award categories, the voting began January 2, 2014, allowing for statistics for the entire year to be considered.  This year the Jockey Club of Canada announced the top four finalists in each category as determined by the online ballots of 41 knowledgeable voters.  The media category awards were determined by the Professors of Humber School of Media Studies and Information Technology, in Toronto, Ontario.  Three finalists were announced in the three media categories.

The Jockey Club of Canada is pleased to announce the 2013 Sovereign Award winners in the order in which they were presented.

(Media) Outstanding Photograph – Patti Tubbs
Photo of Frank Fuentes published in Horse Racing BC in print and on-line.

(Media) Outstanding Writing – Alex Campbell
Saved For Now, article published in Bloodhorse magazine

(Media) Outstanding Audio/visual and Broadcast – Woodbine Entertainment Group Broadcast Department
The Ricoh Woodbine Mile, aired on SportsNet 360 Television Network.

The Jockey Club of Canada Award – the inaugural award was presented to Janie Ginsberg at the School of Media Studies and Information Technology, Humber Institute of Advanced Technology and Advanced Learning in Toronto in January 2014.  This monetary award is presented to a student entering their final year of study, who has exemplified outstanding leadership inside and out of the classroom; who has showcased exceptional knowledge of sport and sport issues with special consideration given to those who have reported on issues relating to Canadian thoroughbred coverage.  Tonight Janie was presented with a plaque in recognition of receiving the award.

Outstanding Broodmare – Captivating
(2002) by Arch – Andrea Ruckus (Bold Ruckus)
Breeder: Fred Seitz (ON)  Owner: William Graham

A finalist in this category in 2012, Captivating has proven to be a keeper for Sovereign Award winning breeder Bill Graham. The 12-year-old Ontario-bred is the dam of 2012 Canadian Horse of the Year and Champion two-year-old colt Uncaptured. A son of Lion Heart, Uncaptured continued his superb career in 2013 by winning the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie and placing in five other stakes races, three of them graded. Uncaptured, raced by John Oxley, has earned over $1 million. Captivating’s first foal to race is stakes winner Dancing Raven, a filly by Tomahawk who won two stakes races at Woodbine and over $396,000. Captivating has a 2011 filly by Majestic Warrior and a 2013 filly by Uncle Mo.

Points Results: Captivating (84) Shebandowana (66) Star Guest (50) Galadriel (19)

Outstanding Apprentice Jockey – Skye Chernetz
2013 -580 starts – 54 wins – 57 seconds – 60 thirds – $2,152,103 in earnings

A nominee in this category in 2012, Skye Chernetz had an even better second season as an apprentice. Chernetz, who grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba is the daughter of one of Canada’s first women riders, Bonnie Eshelman.  Chernetz knew she wanted to ride racehorses at the age of 8 and learned her skills at her hometown’s Assiniboia Downs. She set up shop for her first season as a jockey at Woodbine racetrack in 2012 under the wing of veteran trainer Dave Cotey. She won her first race in May of 2012. Chernetz won her first stakes race when she guided the 2-year-old filly On Rainbow Bridge to victory in the Shady Well Stakes at Woodbine for Triple K Stable and trainer Cotey followed by a second stakes win, the Nandi, on the same filly in August.

Points Results: Skye Chernetz (111) Amie Pooli (108) Tommy Wong (18) Sheena Ryan (13)

Champion Older Male – Alpha Bettor
Ch. H 5 by Alphabet Soup – Scatter Buy (Relaunch)
Breeder: Adena Springs (KY)
Owner: Bulldog Racing
Trainer: Daniel Vella
2013: 6 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 1 third – $346,700
Winner: G2 Eclipse, G3 Seagram Cup, G2 Autumn

Points Results: Alpha Bettor (126) Herbie D (58) Ultimate Destiny (34) Delegation (31)

Champion Older Female – Sisterly Love
B. M 5 by Bellamy Road – Odylic (Dixieland Band)
Breeder: Kinsman Farm (KY)
Owner: Gary Barber
Trainer: Mark Casse
2013: 8 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 1 third – $262,712
Winner: Trillium, G3 Ontario Matron

Points Results: Sisterly Love (123) Part the Seas (71) Moonlit Beauty (42) Madeira Park (21)

Outstanding Trainer – Mark Casse
2013 – 414 starts – 86 wins – 55 seconds – 52 thirds – $5,576,183 in earnings

A five-time winner in this category including the past two seasons in succession,  Mark Casse and his team continued its successful run as Woodbine’s leading stable in 2013. Casse won 85 races at the meeting (and one at Fort Erie: Uncaptured scored in the Prince of Wales Stakes, the second jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown) to lead all conditioners at the Toronto track. Casse won 19 stakes races in Canada, three of them graded events, won by Madly Truly, Laugh Track, My Conquestadory, Delegation, Sisterly Love and Delightful Mary. Laugh Track went on to finish a fast-closing second in the Grade 1 Breeders’Cup Sprint at Santa Anita in November and My Conquestadory won the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland.  Sisterly Love, was named Champion Older female in Canada tonight and Delegation, was a 2013 Sovereign finalist for Older Male.

Points Results: Marck Casse (144) Reade Baker (54) Malcolm Pierce (25) Nicholas Gonzalez (11)

Champion Turf Male – Forte Dei Marmi (GB)
B G. 7 by Selkirk – Frangy (GB) (Sadler’s Wells)
Breeder: Fittocks Stud (GB)
Owner: Stella Perdomo
Trainer: Roger Attfield
2013: 7 starts – 3 wins – 0 second – 0 third – $400,558
Winner: G3 Singspiel, G2 Sky Classic, G1 Northern Dancer

Points Results: Forte Dei Marmi (123 Up With the Birds (105) River Seven (28) Phil’s Dream (20)

Champion Turf Female – Solid Appeal
Dk.B or B F 4 by Successful Appeal – Star of the Woods (Woodman)
Breeder: Select Bloodstock LLC (KY)
Owner: Jim and Susan Hill
Trainer: Reade Baker
2013: 6 starts – 3 wins – 0 second – 1 third – $305,466Winner: Alw$61K, G2 Nassau, G2 Dance Smartly

Points Results: Solid Appeal (126) Leigh Court (76) Overheard (60) Part the Seas (13)

 Outstanding Breeder – Sam-Son Farm
2013 – 60 Starters – 40 Winners $3,911,792 in earnings

One of Canada’s longtime leading breeders of top-class thoroughbreds, Sam-Son Farms is a perennial finalist in this category. Now operated by Mark and Kim Samuel and Rick Balaz and family.  Sam-Son was a finalist in this category in 2012 and it has won the Outstanding Breeder award 7 times in its history. The stars of 2013 included nine stakes horses led by Grade 1 winner Up With the Birds, named  champion three-year-old male and 2013 horse of the year tonight.  Up With the Birds won the G1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park as well as the Breeders’Stakes, the third jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown, the Marine and Black Gold Stakes. He was also a close second to Midnight Aria in the Queen’s Plate. Sam-Son also bred graded stakes winners His Race to Win (G3 Ontario Derby), Part the Seas (G2 Bessarabian Stakes) plus Dance Again, Smartyfly and graded stakes placed Irish Mission.

Points Results: Sam-Son Farm (119) William D Graham (79) Adena Springs (43) Chiefswood Stables Ltd. (10)

Champion Three-Year-Old Male – Up With the Birds
Bay C. 3 by Stormy Atlantic – Song of the Lark (Seeking the Gold)
Breeder / Owner: Sam-Son Farm (s) (ON)
Trainer: Malcolm Pierce
2013: 6 starts – 4 wins – 2 second – 0 third – $973,000
Winner: Black Gold, Marine, Breeders, G1 Jamaica H

Points Results: Up With the Birds (153) River Seven (60) Five Iron (35) Midnight Aria (32)

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly – Leigh Court
Dk B or B F 3 by Grand Slam – Padmore (French Deputy)
Breeder: Eugene Melnyk (KY)
Owner: Melnyk Racing Stables Inc.
Trainer: Josie Carroll
2013: 9 starts – 5 wins – 2 second – 0 third – $344,660
Winner: MSW$39K, Alw$59K, Duchess,G3 Ontario Colleen, La Lorgnette

Points Results: Leigh Court (135) Overheard (55) Nipissing (33) Coffee Clique (17)

Outstanding Jockey – Eurico Da Silva
2013 –  660 starts – 143 wins – 121 seconds – 88 thirds – $8,235,610 in earnings

Nearing his 10th year riding at Woodbine, Eurico da Silva had his second best season ever as a jockey in 2013 by purse earnings. Born in Brazil, Da Silva is a popular member of the Woodbine jockey colony and he rode to the top of the charts in 2010 as he led all riders by wins and purses and was named the Sovereign Award winning Outstanding Jockey. He was second in wins in 2013 to Luis Contreras but led the colony by purse earnings and his 27 stakes wins was easily the best of any rider in Canada in 2013. Da Silva rode for big stables such as Sam-Son Farms and trainer Mark Casse and won on stars such as Up With the Birds, My Conquestadory, Forte dei Marmi, His Race to Win and Overheard.

Points Results: Eurico Da Silva (126) Luis Contreras (83) Rico Walcott (39) Justin Stein (13)

Champion Male Sprinter – Phil’s Dream
Dk.B. B. G 5 by Philanthropist – Dream A Dream (GB) (Emperor Jones)
Breeder: Paul Buttigieg (ON)
Owner: Buttigieg Training Centre
Trainer: Paul Buttigieg
2013: 10 starts – 7 wins – 1 second – 1 third – $537,910

Winner: Alw $54K, Alw$57K, Alw$67K, OC $62K, Overskate, G1 Nearctic, Ontario Jockey Club

Points Results: Phil’s Dream (144) Essence Hit Man (49) Herbie D (36) Bear No Joke (22)

Champion Female Sprinter – Youcan’tcatchme
Dk B or B F 4 by The Daddy – Poppy’s Baby Girl (GB) (Yankee Victor)
Breeder: Strouds Lane Farm (FL)
Owner: Murray Stroud
Trainer: Sam Di Pasquale
2013: 5 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 0 third – $260,400
Winner: Etobicoke H, G3 Seaway, G3 Ontario Fashion

Points Results: Youcan’tcatchme (88) Goldstryke Glory (65) Leigh Court (58) Part the Seas (46)

Outstanding Owner – John C. Oxley
2013 – 127 starts – 27 wins – 17 seconds – 23 thirds – $2,535,533 in earnings

This is the second consecutive Outstanding Owner win for Oklahoma oilman John Oxley, the leading owner at Woodbine by purse earnings the past two seasons. In 2013, the Oxley runners, which are trained by Mark Casse won 27 races which included nine stakes races. The stakes wins were by nine different horses, illustrating the strength of the Oxley bench. A couple of fillies, the 4-year-old Delightful Mary and the 2-year-old Madly Truly, won graded races: the former scored in the G3 Hendrie Stakes and the latter won the G3 Mazarine Stakes.  The other Canadian stakes winners were Canadian-breds Uncaptured, winner of the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, Dynamic Sky, who won the Plate Trial Stakes, Spring in the Air, Matador, Northern Passion, Sky Commander and Sky High Lady.

Points Results: John C. Oxley (127) Sam-Son Farms (62) Bear Stables Ltd. (36) Tucci Stables (15)

Champion Two-Year-Old Male – Go Greeley
Dk.B or B C 2 by Horse Greeley – Orchids Halo (Smoke Glacken)
Breeder: Shannon Farms (ON)
Owner: J.R. Racing Stable Inc.
Trainer: John Ross
2013: 6 starts – 4 wins – 1 second – 1 third – $390,060
Winner: MSW$63K, Colin, Vandal, Simcoe

Points Results: Go Greeley (82) Jose Sea View (81) Asserting Bear (45) Ami’s Holiday (42)

Champion Two-Year-Old Filly – Ria Antonia
B F 2 by Rockport Harbor – Beer Baroness (Mr. Greeley)
Breeder: Lynn B. Schiff (KY)
Owner: Christopher T. Dunn and Loooch Racing
Trainer: Jeremiah Englehart
2013: 5 starts – 2 wins – 0 second – 0 third – $1,157,790
Winner: MSW$56K, G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies

Points Results: Ria Antonia (105) Paladin Bay (97) Lexie Lou (36) On Rainbow Bridge (16)

Horse of the Year Finalists:
Forte Dei Marmi (GB)
Herbie D
Phil’s Dream
Up With the Birds

2013 Horse of the Year – Up with the Birds
Bay C. 3 by Stormy Atlantic – Song of the Lark (Seeking the Gold)
Breeder / Owner: Sam-Son Farm (s) (ON)
Trainer: Malcolm Pierce
2013: 6 starts – 4 wins – 2 second – 0 third – $973,000
Winner: Black Gold, Marine, Breeders, G1 Jamaica H

2013 Horse of the Year Points Results:
Up With the Birds (113) Forte Dei Marmi (52) Phil’s Dream (40) Herbie D (14)

You don’t have to be a finalist to join the party so mark your calendars for April 2015 when the Jockey Club of Canada will be celebrating our 40th Annual Sovereign Awards.

Make the Sovereign Awards Party your social event of the year.