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Sovereign Awards presented to 2018 winners

April 19, 2019

TORONTO, April 19, 2019 The Jockey Club of Canada hosted the 44th Annual Sovereign Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Vaughan’s elegant Chateau Le Jardin.

The top three finalists in each category are determined by the online ballots of the Jockey Club of Canada’s knowledgeable voters.  The media category award finalists were determined by the Professors of Humber School of Media Studies and Information Technology, in Toronto, Ont.

The Jockey Club of Canada is pleased to announce the 2018 Sovereign Award winners in the order in which they were presented:

(Media) Outstanding Photograph

Santino Di Paola – Into the Turn

(Media) Outstanding Writing

Hayley Morrison – Hail to the War Horses
Published, Canadian Thoroughbred Magazine, February 2018

(Media) Outstanding Digital Audio/Visual & Broadcast

Horse Racing Radio Network – 159th Queen’s Plate

The Jockey Club of Canada Scholarship Award: Bobby Mihalik

Bobby Mihalik earned the inaugural award at the School of Media Studies and Information Technology, Humber Institute of Advanced Technology and Advanced Learning.

Mihalik’s lifelong passion for writing is driven by the enjoyment of learning about editing for both print and online. He shared that his time as editor-in-chief of his class’s summer newsroom “was also enjoyable for me as it helped develop both my editing and proofreading skills, as well as how to effectively manage others.”

 Outstanding Groom Award: Amanda Erwin

Amanda Erwin has been working on the racetrack since she was 10 years old on the backstretch with her father, trainer Dennis Erwin, walking hots and learning about grooming. She was a teenager when she moved to the stable of successful trainer Mike Keogh, whom she continues to work for today.

During her career, Erwin groomed Canadian stars such as the 2003 Horse of the Year Wando, who became the seventh Canadian Triple Crown winner since the series was inaugurated in 1959.  She also cared for the 1999 Queen’s Plate winner and Champion three-year-old Woodcarver. “There is something so special about seeing a racehorse from a young age and watching them develop,” said Erwin. “I strive to keep the horses happy, calm and enjoy their job.”

Outstanding Handicapper: Nick Noce

Nick Noce has always been fond of Woodbine. On July 21, 2018 he finished first of 106 entries in Woodbine’s Mid-Summer Horseplayers Tournament. “I just love Woodbine. I don’t usually miss one of their tournaments,” said Noce, who first began playing contests at Penn National in the 1990s.

Noce has always been a racing fan, and the Rochester, New York resident has also worked in the industry for 25 years. He started out at Western Regional Off-Track Betting selling pari-mutuel tickets to Western New York State horseplayers, and eventually worked his way up to Chief Financial Officer.

No longer working in the industry Noce, a self-professed “weekend warrior,” still looks for any opportunity to spend a day playing the races.

E.P. Taylor Award of Merit: Gustav Schickedanz

Arriving in Canada at the age of 21, Gustav (Gus) Schickedanz built a successful career in land development as a bricklayer and stonemason.

Schickedanz first purchased Canadian-bred yearlings at auction in the 1970s and prepared them to race at his Schonberg Farm in Nobleton, Ont. In a matter of years, he achieved his first stakes win with Victorious Answer, who also became his foundation broodmare.

Schickedanz’s successful homebred Langfuhr was a multiple graded stakes winner and the 1996 Champion Male Sprinter. As a sire, Langfuhr produced six champions including Wando, the seventh winner of the Canadian Triple Crown and 2003 Horse of the Year and Woodcarver, Champion Three-Year-Old Male and winner of the 1999 Queen’s Plate.

Schickedanz has bred multiple graded stakes winners including Gal In A Ruckus the only Canadian-bred to win the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks Stakes and Jambalaya, the only Canadian-bred to win the Grade 1 Arlington Million Handicap. Schickedanz has also won multiple Sovereign Awards as an owner and breeder and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2009.

Outstanding Broodmare: In Return

Horse Chestnut (Saf) – Bartered Bride, by Shadeed

Progeny Earnings: $1,953,593
Owner: Ivan Dalos
Breeder: Tall Oaks Farm

The late In Return was a winner on the track and a true gem in her breeding career. Her sons Channel Maker and Johnny Bear are both champions and Grade 1 winners. Channel Maker, 2017 Champion Three-Year-Old, won the 2018 Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park and the Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga. Johnny Bear won the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes in 2018 for the second consecutive year and is the 2017 Champion Turf Male.

In Return (101), Loving Vindication (86), Avie’s Empire (28)

Outstanding Apprentice Jockey: Kazushi Kimura

Starts (663); Wins (104); Seconds (84); Thirds (84)

Earnings $2,451,326; Stakes win 1

It has been more than a decade since Canadian racing has had an apprentice jockey as dominant as Kazushi Kimura was in 2018. He learned to ride when he was just six years old at his parents’ training centre in Japan and polished his riding skills before arriving at Woodbine in 2018, winning his first race in June of that year. Other career highlights came with his first stakes victory in the Muskoka Stakes as well as, winning five races in one day on October 12th.

Kazushi Kimura (157), Daisuke Fukumoto (75), Lenny A. Seecharan (28)

Champion Older Male: Mr Havercamp

DK. B. or B. g. 4 / Sire: Court Vision / Dam: Tennessee Lamb (Medaglia d’Oro)
Trainer: Catherine Day Phillips
Owner: Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry
Breeder: Sean Fitzhenry
2018: 6 Starts – 3 wins – 1 seconds – 0 third – $513,500
Winner: Autumn S. (G2), Play the King S. (G2), Steady Growth S.

Mr Havercamp (123), Pink Lloyd (49), Tiz a Slam (38)

Champion Older Female: Escape Clause

B. f. 4 / Sire: Going Commando / Dam: Danger Pay (Circulating)
Trainer: Don Schnell
Owner: Don Schnell, Barry Arnason and True North
Breeder: Cam Ziprick & Arnason Farms
2018: 13 Starts – 9 wins – 1 second – 2 thirds – $265,419
Winner: Kathryn Crosby S., CTHS Sales S., Lynn Chouinard Founders Distaff H., Manitoba Matron S., City of Edmonton Distaff H., Distaff S., Winnipeg Sun S., Allowance Optional Claiming, La Verendrye S.

Escape Clause (102), Gamble’s Ghost (81), Starship Jubilee (45)

Outstanding Trainer: Mark Casse

Starts (Can) 517; Wins (106); Seconds (81); Thirds (74)

Earnings $5,812,969; Stakes wins 22

A 10-time winner of this award, Mark Casse had another blockbuster season in 2018 with 106 Canadian winners and an incredible 22 stakes wins. Wonder Gadot stood at the top of her game winning the first two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown. Casse completed the series with Neepawa’s win the Breeder’s Stakes. Also, among Casse’s stakes winners is Lookin to Strike and Shamrock Rose, the winner of the La Lorgnette Stakes who went on to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Mark Casse (134), Norman McKnight (70), Kevin Attard (29)

Champion Male Turf Horse: Mr Havercamp

DK. B. or B. g. 4 / Sire: Court Vision / Dam: Tennessee Lamb (Medaglia d’Oro)
Trainer: Catherine Day Phillips
Owner: Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry
Breeder: Sean Fitzhenry
2018: 6 Starts – 3 wins – 1 seconds – 0 third – $513,500
Winner: Autumn S. (G2), Play the King S. (G2), Steady Growth S.

 Mr Havercamp (126), Johnny Bear (75), Tiz a Slam (61)

Champion Female Turf Horse: Starship Jubilee

B. f. 4 / Sire: Indy Wind / Dam: Perfectly Wild (Forest Wildcat)
Trainer: Kevin Attard
Owner: Blue Heaven Farm
Breeder: William P. Sorren
2018: 8 Starts3 wins – 1 second – 0 third – $319,400
Winner: Canadian S. (G2), Starter Optional Claiming, Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf S.

Starship Jubilee (143), Niigon’s Eclipse (37), Dixie Moon (32)

Outstanding Breeder: Tall Oaks Farm

Starters 48; Winners 27

Earnings $2,957,008

Starts (280); Wins (49); Seconds (32); Thirds (31)

A three-time finalist in this category, Tall Oaks Farm, owned by Ivan Dalos had another stellar season with nine stakes horses and five are 2018 Sovereign Award finalists. Dalos, bred two Grade 1 winners, Channel Maker winner of the 2018 Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Invitational and Johnny Bear, the winner of the 2017 and 2018 Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes. Tall Oaks Farm campaigned homebreds Avie’s Flatter, Avie’s Mineshaft and Gamble’s Ghost in 2018.

Tall Oaks Farm (85), Adena Springs (64), Chiefswood Stables Limited (60)

Champion Two-Year-Old Male: Avie’s Flatter

B. c. 2 / Sire: Flatter / Dam: Avie’s Empire (Empire Maker)
Trainer: Josie Carroll
Owner: Ivan Dalos
Breeder: Tall Oaks Farm
2018: 4 Starts – 3 wins – 0 second – 0 third – $328,800
Winner: Coronation Futurity S., Cup and Saucer S., MSW

Avie’s Flatter (143), Solidify (59), War of Will (50)

Champion Two-Year-Old Female: Bold Script

GR/RO. f. 2 / Sire: Speightstown / Dam: Original Script (Malibu Moon)
Trainer: Stuart Simon
Owner: Chiefswood Stables
Breeder: Chiefswood Stables Limited
2018: 5 Starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 2 thirds – $267,000
Winner: Princess Elizabeth S., MSW

Bold Script (93), My Gal Betty (86), Tiz Breathtaking (69)

Outstanding Jockey: Eurico Rosa Da Silva

Starts (Can) (856); Wins (237); Seconds (173); Thirds (119)

Earnings $8,345,386; Stakes wins 29

With a record-breaking season in 2018, he won his fourth consecutive Woodbine riding title and reached a career milestone winning his 2,000th race in September. Da Silva finished the season with 237 wins beating the previous record of 221 wins set in 1991. Among Da Silva’s racing stars is Sovereign Award finalists Avie’s Flatter, Pink Lloyd and Dixie Moon, winner of the 2018 Woodbine Oaks.

Eurico Rosa Da Silva (160), Rafael Hernandez (50), Luis Contreras (30)

Jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva celebrates winning his sixth Sovereign Awards as Outstanding Jockey at the annual awards banquet on April 18. (Michael Burns Photo)

Champion Male Sprinter: Pink Lloyd

Ch. g. 6 / Sire: Old Forester / Dam: Gladiator Queen (Great Gladiator)
Trainer: Robert P. Tiller
Owner: Entourage Stable
Breeder: John Carey
2018: 8 Starts – 5 wins – 0 seconds – 1 third – $385,750
Winner: Kenora S., Vigil S. (G3), Achievement S., New Providence S., Jacques Cartier S.

Pink Lloyd (123), Yorkton (57), Ikerrin Road (49)

Champion Female Sprinter: Moonlit Promise

B. m. 5, by Malibu Moon – Smart Surprise (Smart Strike)
Trainer: Josie Carroll
Owner: Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. (J. G. Sikura) and Windsor Boys Racing
Breeder: Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc.
2018: 9 Starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 2 thirds – $226,563
Winner: Bessarabian S. (G2), Sweet Briar Too S.

Moonlit Promise (112), Code Warrior (54), Escape Clause (43)

Outstanding Owner: Chiefswood Stables Limited

Starts (146); Wins (31); Seconds (23); Thirds (25)

Earnings $2,586,506; Stakes wins 6

Winner of this award in 2017, Robert and Mark Krembil and their Chiefswood Stables had their most successful season to date in 2018. Surpassing their 2017 purse earnings by over $300,000, with six stakes wins, they finished on top of the owner’s standings at Woodbine by earnings. Chiefswood Stables and their five stakes winners were all up for 2018 Sovereign Awards including Bold Script, 2018 Champion Two-Year-Old Female, Neepawa, Niigon’s Eclipse, Yorkton and multiple graded stakes winner Tiz a Slam.

Chiefswood Stables (100), Ivan Dalos (56), Gary Barber (53)

E. P. Taylor Award of Merit: William D. Graham

William ‘Bill’ Graham became hooked on horse racing after his honeymoon trip to Gulfstream Park with his late wife Valerie. Destined for success, Graham set out to purchase top class fillies. His early acquisitions were yearlings that went on to become talented racehorses and successful broodmares. For close to 50 years in the industry, Graham built Windhaven Farms in Caledon, Ont., and Lexington, Kentucky, into one of the most respected and successful breeding operations in North America.

Winning his first Sovereign Award in 1989, Graham continued his success with the 2012 Sovereign Award for Outstanding Breeder. Over the years, Graham owned and bred multiple champions including Conquest Harlanate and Uncaptured.

Graham was involved in many industry organizations over the years and was the founder of the Canadian company, Graham Brothers Construction, the builders of Woodbine’s E. P. Taylor Turf Course. He was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014.

Bill Graham passed away on January 15, 2019 at the age of 81 and is dearly missed by his family, friends and the North American Thoroughbred community.

Champion Three-Year-Old Male: Sky Promise

B. c. 3 / Sire: Sky Mesa / Dam: Maddie’s Promise (Dehere)
Trainer: Robertino Diodoro
Owner: Rick Wiest, Clayton Wiest, R 6 Stable and Norman Tremblay
Breeder: Normandy Farm LLC
2018: 11 Starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 0 third – $280,714

Winner: British Columbia Derby (G3), Canadian Derby (G3), Manitoba Derby

Sky Promise (111), Lookin to Strike (55), Neepawa (33)

Champion Three-Year-Old Filly: Wonder Gadot

DK. B or B. f. 3 / Sire: Medaglia d’Oro / Dam: Loving Vindication (Vindication)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Owner: Gary Barber
Breeder: Anderson Farms Ont. Inc.
2018: 11 Starts – 2 wins – 4 seconds – 3 thirds – $1,403,200
Winner: Prince of Wales S., Queen’s Plate S.

Wonder Gadot (160), Dixie Moon (75), Here’s Hannah (19)

Horse of The Year: Wonder Gadot

DK. B or B. f. 3 / Sire: Medaglia d’Oro / Dam: Loving Vindication (Vindication)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Owner: Gary Barber
Breeder: Anderson Farms Ont. Inc.
2018: 11 Starts – 2 wins – 4 seconds – 3 thirds – $1,403,200
Winner: Prince of Wales S., Queen’s Plate S.

Wonder Gadot (136), Pink Lloyd (30), Mr Havercamp (30), Escape Clause (24)

Wonder Gadot and jockey John Velazquez winning the 2018 Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack. (Michael Burns Photo)

The Jockey Club of Canada was founded in 1973 by E.P. Taylor to serve as the international representative of the Canadian Thoroughbred industry. The mission of The Jockey Club of Canada is to promote and maintain a high standard for Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada at a level which is recognized internationally for the benefit of all those interested in the sport including the general public by operations and services such as, but not limited to: evaluating all Graded, Listed and Black-type races in Canada annually; conducting the annual Sovereign Awards for outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada; maintaining a field office in Canada for the Jockey Club of the United States and the Jockey Club Registry Service; and by representing Canada as a Member of the IFHA.

(With files from The Jockey Club of Canada)

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