Dennis A. Drazin's homebred Sunny Ridge has been named the 2016 New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male by the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association of New Jersey.
The son of Holy Bull out of the Songandaprayer mare Lignum Vitae was the leading New Jersey-bred money earner of 2016, with $308,250 from six starts including a victory in the Withers Stakes (G3) and a third-place finish in the betfair.com Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1). Trained by Jason Servis, Sunny Ridge has $833,002 in career earnings.
David Gruskos's Chublicious was honored as champion older male and champion sprinter based on his three stake victories in six starts during his 2016 campaign. The Joe-Dan Farm-bred son of Hey Chub out of Sassy Broad, by Arch, won the John J. Reilly Handicap, Mr. Prospector Stakes, and New Jersey Breeders Handicap. Trained by Jorge Navarro in 2016, Chublicious earned $149,414 last year.
Isabelle de Tomaso's homebred Irish War Cry was named champion 2-year-old after winning both of his starts in 2016. The son of Curlin out of Irish Sovereign, by Polish Numbers, won his initial outing Nov. 11 by 4 1/2 lengths and followed up with a victory in the Marylander Stakes Dec. 31. The Graham Motion trainee finished the year with earnings of $82,800.
Diamond Play is the champion 3-year-old filly after winning three of her nine starts in 2016 for Thoroughbred Investments Fund. The daughter of E Dubai out of Forbidden Isle, by Belong to Me, won her three races in consecutive starts between July 30 and Oct. 3 by a combined 18 1/4 lengths. Diamond Play was bred by Colonial Farms and is trained by Anthony Margotta Jr. She earned $142,104 during 2016.
Joseph and Gayle Ioia's Bustin Out was named champion older female after winning three of her five starts in 2016. Dianne Boyken bred the daughter of Bustin Stones out of the Disco Rico mare Disco Shaker. She won the Eleven North Handicap and finished second in the Open Mind Handicap and Regret Stakes during her championship campaign. Bustin Out, trained by Chuck Spina, earned $131,838 in 2016.
New Farm homebred Rainbow Heir was named champion turf runner after winning the Gin Rummy Champ Stakes at Gulfstream Park West and running to a third place finish in the Troy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The 2014 New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year made a successful transition to the turf after winning four stakes on the dirt including the Jersey Shore Stakes (G3). The son of Wildcat Heir out of Rainbow Pride, by Prospectors Gamble, earned $113,985 in 2016 under the direction of Servis.
Irish Sovereign was honored as 2016 broodmare of the year. Isabelle de Tomaso owns the 17-year-old mare by Polish Numbers out of the Beau Genius mare, Irish Genius. Irish Sovereign has produced six winners from six foals to race, all New Jersey-breds, including the 2016 champion 2-year-old Irish War Cry and the graded stakes-placed Irish Strait, who has career earnings of $171,638.
Hey Chub was the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association of New Jersey's 2016 stallion of the year. The 17-year-old son of Carson City out of Donna Doo, by Spend A Buck, was a multiple stakes-winning New Jersey-bred who hit the board in 30 of his 36 starts and earned $441,755. Hey Chub is the sire of 36 foals of racing age with 19 of his 23 starters having reached the winner's circle. Hey Chub has sired stakes winners Chublicious ($318,194) and Chubble Maker ($209,066) along with stakes-placed Chubbianna ($119,872). Hey Chub is owned by Daniel J. Lopez's Joe-Dan Farm and his progeny have lifetime earnings over $1.7 million.