Loooch Racing Stables' Mo Dont No was crowned 2016 Ohio Horse of the Year sponsored by OwnerView during the annual Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners awards banquet, held at the Darby House at Darby Dan Farm in Galloway, Ohio. He was also awarded two divisional championships.
The son of Uncle Mo —Lilah, by Defrere, raced 11 times during his 3-year-old season, with a record of 8-2-0 for earnings of $401,530. Four of his eight wins came in stakes races. He proved his versatility by winning five sprint races, one at 1 1/8 miles, and two at 1 1/4 miles.
The Jeff Radosevich trainee was also voted champion 3-year-old and champion handicap horse.
Mo Dont No was bred by Beechwood Racing Stable. Owner Ron Paolucci, who graduated from claiming horses to a Breeders' Cup winner with Ria Antonia in 2013, heads up Loooch Racing Stables.
Broodmare of the Year went to Lilah, the dam of Mo Dont No. Owner of the Year was Paolucci, who in addition to owning Mo Dont No, campaigned in partnership grade 2 winner Conquest Enforcer, along with $400,000 Poseidon Handicap winner Imperative.
Ohio Breeder of the Year, sponsored by Mapleton Thoroughbred Farm, went to Tim Hamm's Blazing Meadows Farm. In addition to accumulating the most breeder awards, they bred and raised the two accredited-bred champions—Eightthehardway and Leona's Reward. Tim Hamm has won a divisional award every year since 2008.
Former Canadian champion Mobil (Langfuhr-Kinetigal by Naskra) captured stallion of the year honors. The 11-time stakes winner stands at Mapleton Thoroughbred Farm in Polk, Ohio.
Rivers Run Deep, was the only Ohio-bred to finish in front of Mo Dont No when he captured his third consecutive six-furlong Honey Jay Stakes victory at Jack Thistledown, and he was named champion sprinter. Earlier in the season, the 5-year-old son of Ready's Image set the track record at Belterra Park for six panels in 1:08.44.
Bred by Nancy Lavrich and Walmac Farm, the Chris Hartman trainee won six of his seven starts in 2016, while collecting $313,440. He has career earnings of $906,640 with a record of 16-8-3 from 31 starts and is back in training for the 2017 season for owners Ywachetta Driver and James Travis.
Someday Soon was voted champion 2-year-old filly. Owned and bred by Tommy Ligon, she compiled a record of 2-2-0 from six starts, earning $126,960.
The 3-year-old colt division went to Mobil Sky. Owned by Gerald Silver and bred by Mapleton Thoroughbred Farm the gelded son of Mobil earned $123,300 winning three of his six starts.
With her upset win in the $150,000 Best of Ohio Distaff, Ohio Gold garnered top 3-year-old filly. Owned by Charlie Williams and bred by Michael Evans II, Travis Evans, and Sheltowee Farm, she had seasonal earnings of $178,580 with a record of 4-4-3 from 10 starts.
The champion handicap mare crown went to the consistent Justalittlesmoke. Owned by Mast Thoroughbreds and trained by Robert Gorham, the 4-year-old had a 5-1-1 record from seven starts this season for earnings of $236,990. She came into the $150,000 Best of Ohio Sprint off of five consecutive wins and fell a nose short of sprint champion Rivers Run Deep. Bred by Belvedere Farm, she amassed $609,670 through three racing seasons.
Both champions were sired by Mr. Prospector's son Parents Reward, and bred by Blazing Meadows Farm. Leona's Reward is owned by Michael Friedman and Blazing Meadows Farm. She had a record of 4-2-1 from nine starts, including two stakes victories and won $146,270 in 2016. Paul Groves owns Eightthehardway, who made 14 starts during the season with a 4-3-2 record. The 4-year-old gelding finished the year with a win in the Ruff Kirchenburg Handicap to push his career earnings to $250,468.
The Thoroughbred Charities of America Award of Merit was presented to Anna Ford, who heads up the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. Last year New Vocations provided aftercare services to 66 Thoroughbreds that retired from Ohio tracks or farms.
Dr. Paul Gutheil is stepping down as president of the OTBO after decades of service to the organization as a board member and vice president. He has been an owner and breeder in the Ohio program for 40 years.