Havre de Grace Captures Horse of the Year

by | 01.16.2012 | 6:55am

Fox Hill Farm's 4-year-old Filly Havre de Grace was named Horse of the Year Monday evening at the 41st Eclipse Awards, Presented by The Stronach Entertainment Group, Daily Racing Form and the Breeders' Cup. Havre de Grace became the third consecutive female to win the Horse of the Year title, following Rachel Alexandra in 2009 and Zenyatta in 2010.   The Eclipse Awards are voted on by representatives of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form (DRF) and National Turf Writers And Broadcasters (NTWAB).

Havre de Grace finished first with 166 votes, followed by Peter and Mary Hilvers and Bud and Judy Johnston's 5-year-old Acclamation, who finished second with 26 votes. Diamond Pride LLC and the Lanni Family Trust's 4-year-old Game on Dude finished third with 10 votes, followed by Cape Blanco with 9 votes.

Havre de Grace, trained by Larry Jones, won five races in seven starts in 2011, beginning with the grade 3 Azeri Stakes last April, followed by the grade 1 Apple Blossom, the grade 3 Obeah Stakes, the Woodward against male horses in September and the Beldame  Invitational at Belmont Park. Ramon Dominquez, who was also voted Champion Jockey of 2011, rode Havre de Grace in six of her seven starts. Gabriel Saez rode her in the Obeah.

Click here to view final voting results in all categories.  The results of all divisions:

Two-year-old male: Hansen

Two-year-old female: My Miss Aurelia

Turf male: Cape Blanco

Turf female:  Stacelita

Trainer: Bill Mott

Steeplechase: Black Jack Blues

Female Sprinter: Musical Romance

Male Sprinter: Amazombie

Older Male: Acclamation

Older Female: Havre de Grace

Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey

Breeder: Adena Springs
Three-year-old male: Animal Kingdom

Three-year-old female: Royal Delta

Apprentice Jockey: Kyle Frey
Jockey: Ramon Dominguez

Horse of the Year: Havre de Grace

  • ShuveeIL

    I love the Eclipse “live blog” but it may not be as raucous nor as fun as in previous years because this year’s show has a talented, professional host(ess) in Jeannine Edwards. She’ll be terrific. Good luck, Jeannine!

  • Barry Irwin

    Barry Irwin will not be in attendance tonight at the Eclipse Awards, because a) he heard there is a limit on the number of Jews at the ceremony, b) he is recovering from pneumonia, c) he is afraid to fly, d) there was a sale on smoked salmon at Whole Foods in Lexington and he wanted to stock up?


  • horse expert

    Acclamation for Older Horse of the Year?? are you serious? the horse never ran on the dirt, stayed on the west coast then whole year, and his best effort was only a 106 beyer! what are the awards thinking??

  • Cynthia McGinnes

    I think Game On Dude was robbed! He ran well on both coasts…his effort in the BC Classic should have beaten Acclamation on that effort alone

  • giacomoin05

    All this has done is make me realize AGAIN how awful US racing was this year. THere were a couple pretty soft winners tonight. I think Game On Dude was robbed 2 times tonight. Heres hoping TVG starts showing more international racing and THANK GOD for FRANKEL!!

  • Watcher

    Too many pompous blowhards for my taste.  Someone should have used the hook to pull Rick Porter and a few other megalomaniacs from the stage tonight.  These guys make last night’s Grammy Awards winners look like humble servants.

  • Watcher

    e) fulfilling a long-held desire to emulate Marlon Brando and George C. Scott

  • wallyhorse

    Sorry you could not be there Barry!

    Anyway, Havre de Grace did get Horse of the Year, which is no surprise because she did do a lot for the sport as a whole.That said, in my opinion, Cape Blanco is the real Horse of the Year for the fact his three US Grade 1 wins were all at 1 1/4 Miles or longer and on turf courses ranging from firm to a complete bog. Lets see Havre de Grace have to take on Cape Blanco over the boggy turf the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic was contested over going 1 1/2 Miles this past October 1 and see if she beats him on that.

    As for Animal Kingdom, he did deserve the three year old title more by default given the year we had in the sport, but it likely will be whoever proves best of this crop as four year olds in 2012 that determines the real three year old champion of 2011.

  • tfly

    The Eclipse awards show is a great example of where our industry is unfortunately headed.  An awards show with dirty plates still on the tables?
    Self congratulations all around, with the public excluded.  ‘Reminds me of the Amer. car industry years ago.  All the execs in Detroit didn’t think the Japanese car makers were a real threat –  during their every day commute almost everyone was driving American made cars.

  • Rachel

    No, the 4 year-olds will prove who matured into the best 4 year-old, a whole world of difference.
    Congratulations and Get Well Soon, Barry!

  • Rachel

    5 Graded stakes wins up to mile and half, 3 Grade 1’s and 2 different surfaces…

  • Rachel

    Racing was GREAT this year! A lot of fun, especially betting, because it there were such evenly matched horses, no fawning favorites, just GREAT RACING! The Turf writers had to look at all the horses, not just report ad nauseum on one or two dominant horses…best year in a while!

  • Terri Zeitz

    Although I didn’t see the awards, I felt badly for the connections of Blind Luck. She couldn’t win when Zenyatta was racing and now she no longer has any opportunity to win. But, she most certainly won on the track.
    And I thought that Sassy Image deserved the award for female sprinter of the year. Unfortunately, her injury at Saratoga precluded her from racing in the Breeders Cup.
    I hope Barry Irwin feels better soon and I’m happy for his win with Animal Kingdom. I’m looking forward to seeing AK race at Gulfstream in February before he goes to Dubai.

  • Ida

    Havre De Grace was Horse of the Year??? Who knew??? Oh wait a minute…everybody knew.  Why?? because she was the best the racing world had to offer this year.  Her beauty and talent cannot be matched in 2011.  And for you guys that just don’t see a Filly winning HOTY for the 3rd straight year. Live with it!!!  For me, there is nothing more exciting in sport than seeing a Super Filly do her thing on the track.  Rachel, Zenyatta and Havre have brought the Sport of Kings to the general public in a way few have done in the past. I think it’s time for the Sport of Kings to become the Sport of Kings and Queens.

  • Alan Laythorpe

    Is’nt HAVRE a mare, not a filly?

  • swaps55

    If there was a ten start minimum for nomination to award categories it would be morning in American racing again.  I agree with those who said Game on Dude was robbed… evaluating all the various few start wonders…

  • jorge

    It would have been very hard for Barry to give a speech. He has knocked riders, trainers, racetracks, vets, and apple pie. it would have been tough for him to knock the voters that made his horse the deserving champion that he is.

  • Ida

    Does it matter? Filly or Mare, she still kicked major butt in 2011.  Oh and off the topic, didn’t Chantal Sutherland look great last night.  Wow, Mike, I would have kept that one and I’m a girl…

  • Matthew Martini

    Congratulations, Mr. Irwin, on the Eclipse for Animal Kingdom. It was close, as expected, but I’m glad that he won by a nose. He deserved it. So does Team Valor.

    My wife and I look forward to big years not only from AK, but from Meistersinger, Badleroibrown, and Thursby, just to name a few. (I’m a big fan of Thursby–he will figure it out.)  We appreciate that Team Valor races their horses when they are ready, in good, strategic opportunities. Best wishes in 2012 and kind regards.

  • Jon Baymouth

    Game on Dude was beaten by Acclamation – how was he robbed”

  • Jonbaymouth

    He won on 4 different surfaces, beat the majority of the best horses– you call yourself a horse expert?

  • Jonbaymouth

    Why, because Acclamation beat him convincingly?

  • Another horse that hasn’t and cannot win a classic distance race. Man oh man, how bad are these horses.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram