The Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders has named Havre de Grace the 2011 Horse of the Year and leading older female. The organization also named Oatsee, dam of last year’s Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Shackleford , as Broodmare of the Year.
Havre de Grace, the 2011 Eclipse Award-winning Horse of the Year and champion older female, became the third distaffer in a row to be voted Horse of the Year. The mare, trained by Larry Jones for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, defeated champion Blind Luck in the Azeri Stakes (gr. III) in her 2011 debut as a 4-year-old and then won the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), both at Oaklawn Park.
After a break of nearly two months, Havre de Grace emerged once again at Delaware Park, where she extended her win streak to three in the Obeah Stakes (gr. III), setting the stage for a rematch with Blind Luck in the Delaware Handicap (gr. II). Those two battled gamely before Blind Luck prevailed by a nose.
Havre de Grace was shipped to Saratoga Race Course to take on males in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I). Like Rachel Alexandra in her Horse of the Year campaign of 2009, Havre de Grace won the Woodward before returning to face fillies and mares in the Beldame Invitational Stakes (gr. I). Contested over a muddy track, the Beldame turned into a rout for Havre de Grace, who drew off to win by 8 1/4 lengths. Havre de Grace ended the season with a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I).
Havre de Grace remained in training following her championship campaign. In her first start since the Breeders’ Cup, she captured the New Orleans Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in March.
Shackleford, one of three graded stakes winners out of Oatsee, defeated Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom in the Preakness for breeders/owners Mike Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge. Shackleford, by Forestry, finished second last year in four graded stakes--the Haskell Invitational, Florida Derby, and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, all grade I, and the grade II Indiana Derby .
Oatsee, who was bred by the late Bentley Smith, not only is the dam of Shackleford but also grade I winner Lady Joanne (by Orientate), multiple grade III winner Baghdaria (by Royal Academy), and two stakes-placed runners. Lady Joanne won the Alabama Stakes (gr. I), the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II), and the Dogwood Stakes (gr. III).
Oatsee was purchased by My Meadowview Farm for $1.55 million at the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale when Shackleford was a yearling. Oatsee produced an Indian Charlie filly this year for My Meadowview.
In other news, the P.A.B. Widener Award, which honors the breeder of the year, went to Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley.
Other Kentucky-bred champion of 2011 honored by the KTOB were:
2 year-old-colt, Hansen, bred by Dr. Kendall Hansen
2 year-old-filly, My Miss Aurelia, bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings
3 year-old male, Animal Kingdom, bred by Team Valor
3 year-old filly, Royal Delta, bred by Palides Investments N.V. Inc.
Older male, Drosselmeyer, bred by Aaron and Marie Jones
Turf male, Gio Ponti , bred by Kilboy Estate Inc.
Turf female, Never Retreat, bred by Gerry O’Meara and Stanley Inman
Sprinter, Caleb's Posse , bred by Don C. McNeill
Steeplechaser, Tax Ruling, bred by Phipps Stable
Horse racing abroad, Blue Bunting, bred by B.M. Kelley.
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund Award winners are:
Distorted Humor (as sire), owned by WinStar Farm
Big Albert (earner), owned by AFM Stables Ltd.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey (owner)
Mike Maker (trainer)
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider (breeder).
Steve Haskin of The Blood-Horse received the Charles W. Engelhard Award, which is given to a member of the media in recognition of outstanding coverage of the Thoroughbred industry in the fields of sportscasting and/or sports writing.
Alex G. Campbell Jr. received the William T. Young Humanitarian Award, which is given to a person “who recognizes and promotes the human endeavor.”
Catesby W. Clay received the Hardboot Breeders Award, which honors breeders who are well-established but not typically acknowledged through other awards.