Fans have voted the 2011 Woodward Stakes (gr. I), in which Havre de Grace became the second female to win the race in its 58-year history, as the New York Racing Association’s Race of the Year.
Havre de Grace’s Woodward received 37% of the vote, with the Foxwoods King’s Bishop (gr. I), won narrowly by Caleb's Posse over Uncle Mo , finishing second with 23%. Winter Memories’ Garden City (gr. IT) victory was third with 20%, followed by Tizway’s Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) triumph with 12%, and Royal Delta’s TVG Alabama (gr. I) romp with 8%.
In the Woodward at Saratoga, Fox Hill Farms' Havre de Grace stalked the pace, claimed the lead from pacesetter Rule in upper stretch, and turned back eventual Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Flat Out to score by a comfortable 1 ¼ lengths under Ramon Dominguez.
“She ran awesome that day, as always,” Dominguez said. “We had to settle behind the speed, in the clear, wide. One thing [trainer] Larry [Jones] emphasized in previous races, but especially in that race, is that ‘she will not get tired and do not be afraid to make the first move.’ I felt a little guilty moving at the three-eighths pole, but she kept on finding (energy). Inside the sixteenth pole she started easing back, but when she felt Flat Out, she came on again.”
The only other female to have won the Woodward is Rachel Alexandra, who was named Horse of the Year for 2009 after holding on to take that year’s Woodward by a head as a 3-year-old filly.