2018 Sovereign Award Winners

The Jockey Club of Canada hosted the 44th Annual Sovereign Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at the Chateau Le Jardin in Vaughan where the winners of outstanding achievement for 2018 were announced.

Here are the winners in the order in which they were presented:

(Media) Outstanding Photograph:
Santino Di Paola – Into the Turn 
Published, ontarioracing.com  

(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
Published, horseracingradio.net

The Jockey Club of Canada Scholarship Award: Bobby Mihalik, student at the School of Media Studies and Information Technology, Humber Institute of Advanced Technology and Advanced Learning.

Outstanding Groom Award: Amanda Erwin
Amanda 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, Amanda 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 3-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. 

Nick 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 Nick, 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.

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

E.P. Taylor Award of Merit recipient Gustav Schickedanz accepts the award with long-time farm manager Lauri Kenny and long-time trainer Mike Keogh

Gus’ 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. 

Gus 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. Gus 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 FarmIn Return (101), Loving Vindication (86), Avie’s Empire (28)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.

Outstanding Apprentice Jockey: Kazushi Kimura
Starts (663); Wins (104); Seconds (84); Thirds (84) Earnings $2,451,326; Stakes win 1Kazushi Kimura (157), Daisuke Fukumoto (75), Lenny A. Seecharan (28)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, 2018 Sovereign Award winner for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey

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)

Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry accept the first of two Sovereign Awards for their homebred, Mr. Havercamp named Champion Older Male and Champion Turf Male for 2018

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)

Manitoba Jockey Club Chair Harvey Warner presents Trainer/Owner Don Schnell, co-breeder Barry Arnason and True North Racing with the Sovereign Award for Escape Clause who was named Champion Older Female for 2018

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)

Trainer Mark Casse won his eighth consecutive Sovereign Award for Outstanding Trainer in 2018. This was Mark’s 11th Sovereign Award for Outstanding Trainer in his career.

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)

2018 Champion Turf Female Starship Jubilee

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)

Ivan Dalos’s Tall Oaks Farm was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Breeder Award

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

Avie’s Flatter, 2018 Champion Two-Year-Old Male

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)

2018 Champion Two-Year-Old Female, Bold Script

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)

HBPA of Ontario Director Veronica Attard and JBAC Director and Hall of Fame Jockey Larry Attard present Jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva with the Sovereign Award for Outstanding Jockey of 2018. This is the fourth consecutive Sovereign Award and sixth Sovereign Award this decade for Outstanding Achievement for Eurico

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 Starts5 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) 

2018 Champion Male Sprinter, Pink Lloyd

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 Starts2 wins – 1 second – 2 thirds – $226,563
Winner: Bessarabian S. (G2), Sweet Briar Too S.Moonlit Promise (112), Code Warrior (54), Escape Clause (43)

2018 Champion Female Sprinter, Moonlit Promise

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)

Cheifswoods Stables Limited won the Sovereign Award for Outstanding Owner in 2018 for the second consecutive year

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

Bill became hooked on horse racing after his honeymoon trip to Gulfstream Park with his late wife Valerie. Destined for success, Bill 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, Bill built Windhaven Farms in Caledon, ON and Lexington, KY, into one of the most respected and successful breeding operations in North America.

Jockey Club of Canada Steward, David Anderson, presents Jackie Graham, a daughter of the late Bill Graham, with her father’s E.P. Taylor Award of Merit

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

Bill 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)

Trainer Robertino Diodoro with Rick Wiest, Clayton Wiest, R6 Stable and Norman Tremblay, owners of 2018 Sovereign Award Champion Three-Year-Old Male, Sky Promise.
Sky Promise won the 2018 BC Derby, Canadian Derby and Manitoba Derby achieving this within 33 days in three different Provinces in three different time zones.

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)

2018 Champion Three-Year-Old Female Wonder Gadot before winning the 2018 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Race Track

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)

2018 Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales winning filly, Wonder Gadot, was named 2018 Horse of the Year

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, Ontario. 

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.

jockeyclubcanada.com

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