Sassy City, New England's champion older mare in 2011, was also named the 2011 James B. Moseley Horse of the Year by the New England Turf Writers Association at its 70th annual awards dinner held July 20 at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, Mass.
Owned and trained by John Botty, Sassy City previously earned champion 3-year-old filly honors in 2009. She returned with a vengeance in 2011 and established herself as one of the best horses on the grounds at Suffolk Downs with a stunning triumph June 13 over a star-studded field, including champions Technically Wicked and Snow Down. She hit the road for her next start and represented New England well with an impressive July 9 victory at Monmouth Park, then followed that up with a runner-up finish in the Endine Stakes in August at Delaware Park.
Tammi Piermarini won the Eli Chiat Memorial Award for outstanding jockey, and Marcus Vitali won the Gerry Sullivan Memorial Award for outstanding trainer.Tom Creel was awarded with the Lou Smith Memorial Award for yearly achievement, and Frank Bertolino received the Sam McCracken Memorial Award for lifetime achievement.
Other divisional winners honored at the awards dinner were 2-year-old filly Pennies Appeal; 2-year-old male Mighty One; Robert M. O'Malley Memorial Award winners Rodan (3-year-old); James R. Bishop Memorial Award winner Beijing House (older male); Joseph E. Carney Memorial Award winners National Hero (turf male), She's Got Bling (turf female), and Beijing House (sprinter); Cliff Sundberg Memorial Award winner Tally's Sundance (New England-bred); Special Achievement Award winners Eileen Robidoue, Jorge Vargas, and Snow Down.
The New England Turf Writers Association also inducted its Hall of Fame Class of 2012, which consists of trainer Maurice "Junie" Bresnahan, jockey Joe Hampshire Jr., owner Frank Bertolino of Monarch Stables, longtime Suffolk Downs executive Robert M. O'Malley, and accomplished sprinter Concorde Bound. A plaque bearing the names of all of the inductees is on permanent display at the Sports Museum located in the TD Banknorth Garden.