(Edited press release)
Bodgiteer, winner of all three of his starts at Suffolk Downs last year, was named the recipient of the 2006 James B. Moseley Horse of the Year award and was additionally named top older male by the New England Turf Writers Association at its 65th Annual Awards Dinner at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, Mass., July 16.
Owned by Lawrence Higgins and trained by Paul Thornton, Bodgiteer was a formidable and versatile racehorse in 2006, scoring on both the main track and the turf.
After being claimed at Laurel Park, Bodgiteer gamely prevailed by three-quarters of a length on the East Boston lawn over a talented allowance field Sept. 12. When his next race was taken off the turf, he demonstrated an affinity for the main track as well, winning impressively over 2005 champion older male Itsawonderfulife.
The son of Captain Bodgit made it three in a row with another gritty win over top allowance company Oct. 23. Bodgiteer had previously been named top older male, while Thornton was awarded the Gerry Sullivan Memorial Award for outstanding trainer.
Other divisional winners honored at the awards dinner were:
2-year-old filly - Bedazzler
2-year-old male - Disco Fox
3-year-old filly - Return Trick
Robert M. O'Malley Memorial Award, 3-year-old male - Tropadaro
Older female - By Grace Alone
Joseph E. Carney Memorial Award, outstanding turf horse - British Event
Sprinter - Campaign
Cliff Sundberg Memorial Award, New England-bred - Ask Queenie
Special achievement - Tammi Piermarini, Flirt for Fame, and J B of the Sea
Eli Chiat Memorial Award, outstanding jockey - Dyn Panell
Gerry Sullivan Memorial Award, outstanding trainer - Paul Thornton
Lou Smith Memorial Award, yearly achievement - Larry Collmus
Sam McCracken Memorial Award, lifetime achievement - Bill Perry
The New England Turf Writers Association also inducted its Hall of Fame Class of 2007, which consists of Perry, champion Massachusetts-bred Rise Jim, jockey Tony DeSpirito, and track announcer Ralph "Babe" Rubenstein. The Hall of Fame was founded in 2005. A plaque bearing the names of all of the inductees is on permanent display at the Sports Museum located in the TD Banknorth Garden.