CHAMPS ELYSEES, the first horse since 1995 to be based in the U.S. but win the big award at the Sovereigns HORSE OF THE YEAR

Dave Landry photo












The 35th Sovereign Awards ceremony on Friday was a departure from other years – a more casual, night out in a club downtown allowed everyone who arrived for the night (including many from down south) to cozy up to the bar and get the latest on their friends and how the winter has been.

It seems like a good idea to make the night a bit less expensive, a bit less formal and a slightly bigger place with more seating and more food will hit the ceremony right between the eyes.

Surprises of the night mainly include the wide range of winners and how not one horse was unanimous.

HOLLINGER, the undefeated 2yo colt, was not picked on top by a number of the 51 voters – somehow that is curious.

EL BRUJO,a double graded stakes winning sprinter in the United States, figured to win sprinter – he did not. He didn’t win anything as the best 3yo of the year.

EUGENE MELNYK zipped in for the night and collected 4 awards and had some good speeches, some funny ones too.

ROGER ATTFIELD’S RECORD 7TH OUTSTANDING trainer Sovereign was neat and for the first time ever, there was tie for a win : the 2yo fillies BIOFUEL and NEGLIGEE, who crashed into each other at the end of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in the fall, dead heated with 135 points.

CANADIAN THOROUGHBRED MAGAZINE had a good night, upholding its position as the most respected racing magazine in the country. At 49 years of age, the publication won another award for feature story – A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS appeared in the Queen’s Plate Souvenir magazine and was written by Bruce Walker. The winning photo, ‘a reflection of talent’, appeared in Canadian Thoroughbred, featuring TASTY TEMPTATION walking beside a puddle.


ROGER THAT! That’s seven Sovereigns for Roger Attfield for top trainer in Canada.

Stanley Fishman presents


Cindy Pierson Dulay photo





READ THE REST AT–champs-elysees-dominates-voting-for-canada-s-horse-of-the-year

Champs Elysees dominates voting for Canada’s horse of the year

Turf ace won Canadian International; Melnyk collects four awards

HORSE OF YEAR – Champs Elysees

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY – Biofuel/Negligee (tie)

2-YEAR-OLD COLT – Hollinger

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY – Milwaukee Appeal

3-YEAR-OLD COLT – Eye of the Leopard

OLDER FEMALE – Serenading

OLDER MALE – Marchfield

TURF FEMALE – Points of Grace

TURF MALE – Champs Elysees


MALE SPRINTER – Field Commission

BROODMARE – Pico Teneriffe

TRAINER – Roger Attfield

OWNER – Melnyk Racing Stables Inc.

BREEDER – Eugene Melnyk

JOCKEY – Patrick Husbands



Champs Elysees won just a single race in 2009 but it was the richest event in Canada and was enough to secure horse of the year honours in this country at Friday night’s 35th annual Sovereign Award ceremony, held at the Ultra Club in downtown Toronto.

The now-retired 7-year-old horse, bred in Britain by his owner Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, won the $2 million Canadian International, a Grade I race, on Woodbine’s turf course last October, placed in four other graded stakes events at both Woodbine and Santa Anita in California and earned more than $1.5 million.

The horse, by world class sire Danehill, made the required three starts in Canada (he actually started four times) to be eligible for a Sovereign Award.–champs-elysees-dominates-voting-for-canada-s-horse-of-the-year


SCORES!  His OTTAWA SENATORS have won 9 straight and he won 4 Sovereign Awards on the night.

EUGENE MELNYK (far left) and BILL BRISTOW accepts one of his many awards from GLENN SIKURA , who also was a big winner ash is mare Serenading won top older female. photo





Send in the Troop, Barrie native scores!


With eye to the weather, Troop holds on in NHC

By Dave Tuley

LAS VEGAS – Brian Troop is an accountant by trade, but he is also a talented handicapper and weather forecaster, and he used all of his skills to win the 11th annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship Saturday night at the Red Rock Resort.

The 61-year-old single man from Barrie, Ontario, proved best in a field of 300 contestants who qualified over the past year to capture the $500,000 first-place prize and title of Handicapper of the Year. Contestants made 30 mythical $2 win-place wager over the two-day tournament but Troop practically locked up the contest Friday as he racked up an NHC Day 1 record $232.60 to hold nearly an $80 lead on the field.

In preparing for Saturday’s final day, he turned into a weatherman.

“After I picked up my overnight sheets last night, I went back to my room and turned on The Weather Channel,” Troop said. “From watching the forecasts, I figured that Oaklawn and Laurel would cancel and maybe even Aqueduct.”


Canadian champ PALLADIO misses Sunshine Millions win by a neck!

Bold move: 7-year-old wins Sunshine Millions

By Art Wilson, Staff Writer

Updated: 01/30/2010 10:56:45 PM PST

ARCADIA — Santa Anita staged its own Veterans Day on Saturday, starring Hall of Fame jockey Russell Baze, Northern California-based trainer William Morey Jr. and a 7-year-old race horse who doesn’t know the word quit.

Bold Chieftain, the only two-time winner of the California Cup Classic, scored the richest victory of his 34-race career, rallying from seventh and squeezing between horses in the stretch to win the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic by a neck over Palladio.

For Baze, career victory number 10,800 – tops on the all-time list of North American jockeys – was one of his biggest ever, and it gave the 69-year-old Morey his biggest score after a handful of $300,000 victories.

“The old boy, he made our day,” Morey said. “He got kind of an old-time jockey and an old-time trainer going again.”

It had been a while since Baze won a half-million dollar race.

“This ranks right up there with any race I’ve ever won, anywhere,” he said.

It almost didn’t happen.

Although Baze and Bold Chieftain, along with Palladio, were closing fastest in a field trimmed to nine with the defections of Bad Action and Compari, Bold Chieftain was trapped behind a wall of horses with nowhere to go.

Finally, in midstretch, Baze found a slender hole and burst between horses to outfinish Palladio and jockey Mike Smith in front of an on-track crowd of 21,487.


but investigation to be launched

Gill allowed to enter at Penn

By Marty McGee

Officials at Penn National Race Course have accepted the entries of horses owned by Michael Gill for next Wednesday night’s card, and asked the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission to investigate a number of recent breakdowns by Gill-owned horses.

The Grantville, Pa., track had not allowed Gill’s horses to compete since Jan. 23, when one of his horses broke down and the jockeys refused to ride until his remaining horse on the card was scratched.


Quarter horse champ wins 2010 debut after stumbling, just misses record

from Los Alamitos release last night

jan31fre1.jpgphoto courtesy Los Alamitos

For the first time since Armando Aguirre’s Freaky began his torrid winning streak some eight months ago, he encountered some trouble in a race. It did not matter. The World Champion still crushed to victory, as he posted the fastest qualifying time in Saturday’s trials to the $228,450 Los Alamitos Winter Championship.


Freaky, who has now won six straight races, did it by finishing the 400-yard race in the fastest 220-yard time that he has ever posted of :09.24. And while the final time was not a track record – he has spoiled us has he not? – his strong final time of :19.31 was 14/100ths of a second faster than that of next fastest qualifier Bloke

 It was not all fun and games for Freaky in this race. In fact, the horse had a rough start to his trial journey. The gelded son of TR Dasher stumbled leaving the gate from post three and when he was immediately bumped jockey Francisco Rubio nearly fell off. All Rubio could do was grab a hold of the reins to try to balance himself aboard Freaky. Coolly, Rubio waited for the champion to recover and pick up his stride. Once that happened, Freaky took no mercy on his rivals, accelerating quickly and leaving the field far behind en route to an impressive 1-1/2 length victory. There was no place of show wagering in this race. It was all about the win with the 1-9 favorite Freaky. He returned $2.10 for a $2 win wager.


The sorrel superstar will now headline the running of the Los Alamitos Winter Championship to take place on Saturday, February 20. The winner will earn a berth to the $750,000 Champion of Champions, a race that Freaky won last year. The complete list of qualifiers to the Winter Championship is as follows: Freaky (:19.315), Bloke (:19.455), Jess You And I (:19.582), Royal Proclamation (:19.563), Masters Call (:19.607), Hawking (:19.627), Morning Corona (:19.660), Blues Man Too (:19.664), Separate Bet (:19.673), and First Magical Dash (:19.688).


Freaky was making his season debut on Saturday after being AQHA World Champion in 2009. Last year, the Ed Allred-bred runner won the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity, Restricted Grade 1 Spencer Childers Memorial California Breeders Championship Handicap, Grade 1 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship, and the aforementioned Champion of Champions. He was named the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Horse of the Year and Cal-bred Horse of the Year earlier this week. Now, if the Adan Farias-trained runner can deliver another stellar effort in the Winter Championship, he will secure a berth to the first Champion of Champions of the new decade as he looks to become the first to win back-to-back runnings of this race since SLM Big Daddy in 1997-98.


“We were 100 percent confident coming into this race,” said Jose Valdez, the son in law of owner Armando Aguirre. “Freaky is perfectly sound. We checked him out right after the Champion of Champions. The only concern was the space between races. There was a little bumping in this race, but he still came through. I can only describe him as a phenomenal horse. He’s one of the best ever. I think he is comparable to the greatest of all time. I’m not saying that because he’s our horse. There are people coming up to us all the time telling us that he is one of the best ever.



Advisory for Canadian Veterinarians

This information is being distributed by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) for the benefit of all veterinarians in Canada.

In response to the European Commission (EC) requirements on the importation of equine meat products from Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with assistance from the Veterinary Drug Directorate (VDD) of Health Canada and equine industry partners has submitted an action plan outlining how Canada intends to meet these requirements. Implementing programs to meet the EC standards will result in a major change for the Canadian equine industry.

Effective July 31, 2010, it will be mandatory for all CFIA inspected facilities in Canada engaged in the slaughter of equines for edible purposes to have complete records for all animals (domestic and imported) presented for slaughter. These records will include unique identification for each animal, as well as a record of medical treatments administered to the animal for the six-month period preceding slaughter. This will mean that starting January 31, 2010 animal owners will need to begin tracking medical conditions and treatment history for their horses if the horse may be presented for slaughter after July 31, 2010.

The required records will take the form of an Equine Information Document (EID) that must be presented for each equine processed for edible purposes in a CFIA inspected processing facility from July 31, 2010 forward. Included in the EID, will be a standardized description of the animal, as well as a record of the medical conditions and treatment for at least the preceding six months. The various options for identification, including visual and written descriptions, will be listed in the document. The document is intended to accompany the equine, at the time of ownership transfer, to the buyer of the animal. The EID will require a signed declaration by the owner of the equine as to the accuracy of the information recorded in the EID.

The launch of this new Equine Information Document (EID) program is the first step in the development of a comprehensive food safety and traceability program for the Canadian equine industry- for both Canadian consumers and export market customers.

There are a number of medications and substances that are prohibited from being given (administered or fed) to equines intended to be slaughtered for human consumption. A list of these medications and substances along with a copy of the EID are available under the document entitled Meat Hygiene Directive 2009-49 that is available at

The requirement for all equines to have an owner-signed EID that includes a description of all medications known to have been administered in the six months preceding slaughter will have implications for Canadian equine veterinarians. Veterinary treatment records will need to be referenced by the equine owner to complete the EID, including information on drug withdrawals and EU prohibited drugs.

For the latest information about identifying and recording equine health information, please visit or call 1-800-442-2342.