Due to the closure of non-essential businesses in Ontario, effective Tuesday, March 23, 2020, The Jockey Club of Canada office has temporarily close to public access and JCC members until further notice. Our staff will be working remotely with continued response to voicemail email. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with our staff please email jockeyclubcanada@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 416-675-7756.

45th Annual Sovereign Awards Postponed Until Further Notice.

In response to the growing concerns about the coronavirus, COVID-19, The Jockey Club of Canada’s 45th Annual Sovereign Awards, scheduled for April 16, 2020, will be postponed until further notice. 

The health and safety of our finalists, our guests and their families are of the utmost importance and we feel this is a necessary precaution in the current situation. We would like to assure all our stakeholders that we will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and will provide regular updates throughout. 

Once an alternate date has been confirmed the Sovereign Awards ceremony will take place in its entirety and the winners of each Sovereign Awards category will be announced during the ceremony.

45th Annual Sovereign Awards Finalists Announced

2019 Finalists

Listed in alphabetical order, the finalists are:

Champion Two-Year-Old Female:

Curlin’s Voyage
Infinite Patience

Champion Two-Year-Old Male:

Dotted Line
Mr. Hustle
Muskoka Gold

Champion Three-Year-Old Female: 

Amalfi Coast
Desert Ride
Hidden Grace

Champion Three-Year-Old Male:

Global Access
Tone Broke

Champion Older Main Track Female:

Here’s Hannah 
Lift Up
She’s the Berries

Champion Older Main Track Male:

Mr Ritz
Pink Lloyd
Special Forces

Champion Female Turf Horse:

Amalfi Coast
Holy Helena
Starship Jubilee

Champion Male Turf Horse:

El Tormenta
Global Access
Tiz a Slam

Champion Female Sprinter:

Amalfi Coast
Here’s Hannah
Sister Peacock
Summer Sunday

Champion Male Sprinter:

Pink Lloyd
Silent Poet

Outstanding Broodmare:

Avie’s Empire 
Loving Vindication

Outstanding Breeder:

Chiefswood Stables Limited 
Sam-Son Farm
Tall Oaks Farm

Outstanding Owner:

Chiefswood Stables Limited 
Sam-Son Farm
Stronach Stables 

Outstanding Trainer:

Kevin Attard 
Mark E. Casse

Outstanding Apprentice Jockey:

Shavon Belle
Daisuke Fukumoto
Kazushi Kimura  

Outstanding Jockey:

Eurico Rosa Da Silva
Rafael Manuel Hernandez 
Patrick Husbands

Horse of the Year:

Finalists to be announced during the 45th Annual Sovereign Awards Ceremony

2019 Media Finalists

Listed in alphabetical order, the finalists are:

Writing Category:

  • Dave Briggs – Royal Victory for the Quintessential “small guy”
  • Chris Lomon – Thoroughbred Racing’s Beautiful Bond
  • Hayley Morrison – Walcott Worry-Free After Surviving Brain Tumour

Digital Audio/visual and Broadcast Category:

  • Horse Racing Alberta – Canadian Derby Invader
  • Horse Racing Radio Network – 160th Queen’s Plate
  • Woodbine Entertainment Group – The Queen’s Plate

Photograph Category:

  • Michael Bye – Cyclone Dan Winner of the 3rd Race J. Gomez up
  • Rebecca Brown – Lenny Seecharan, Hastings 2019
  • Alex Urosovic – Ricoh Woodbine Mile

The judging for the 2019 Media Awards was performed by Professors of the Journalism Program at the School of Media Studies & Information Technology, Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Charles E. Fipke to be honored with the E.P. Taylor Award of Merit and Harvey Warner to be honoured with the Special Sovereign Award

The Jockey Club of Canada is pleased to announce that Charles E. Fipke will be presented with the E. P. Taylor Award of Merit and Harvey Warner will be presented with the Special Sovereign Award in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the Thoroughbred Industry in Canada. 

Selected by the Jockey Club of Canada’s Stewards, the E.P. Taylor Award of Merit honours those who have accomplished outstanding individual achievements and have made a significant contribution to the thoroughbred industry in Canada. Charles E. Fipke has been involved in the Canadian Thoroughbred Industry for close to forty years. Among his accomplishments he has bred and owned three Sovereign Award-winners including 2008 Champion Three-Year-Old Male and winner of the 2008 Queen’s Plate, Not Bourbon; 2010 Champion Older Female, Impossible Time; and 2003 Champion Male Turf Horse, Perfect Soul who went on to become a successful sire. Also, Mr. Fipke bred and owned a number of other successful racehorses including the winner of the 2011 Breeder’s Cup Filly and Mare Turf GI, Perfect Shirl. 

Selected by the Jockey Club of Canada’s Stewards, the Special Sovereign Award recognizes significant contribution to the Canadian Thoroughbred Industry. Harvey Warner has been actively involved in the thoroughbred industry in Canadasince 1971. Throughout this time he has served as the President of the Winnipeg Horseman’s Club, spent time as a member of the Manitoba Horse Council Board and sat on the Board of the HBPA of Manitoba. In 1994 Mr. Warner was a driving force behind the formation of the Manitoba Jockey Club which assumed ownership and operations of Assiniboia Downs. Currently, Mr. Warner is the President of the Manitoba Jockey Club and a Steward for The Jockey Club of Canada.

45th Annual Sovereign Awards Sponsors






Tickets to the 45th Annual Sovereign Awards Ceremony are $250 each, with tables of ten discounted to $2000. Early-Bird tickets are also available for a discounted price of $225 until March 15, 2020. Tickets can be purchased through the website or by contacting the Jockey Club of Canada office at 416-675-7756 or jockeyclubcanada@gmail.com

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.



2018 Sovereign Award Winners


To watch a replay of the Awards Ceremony CLICK HERE


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

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 has been working on the racetrack since she was 10-years-old on the backstretch with her father the https://good-name.org, 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.

Gus’ successful homebred Langfuhr, was a multiple graded stakes winner and the 1996 Champion Male Sprinter.As asire, 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 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 2,000thrace 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)


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)


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)


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 andmultiple graded stakes winner Tiz a Slam.

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


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.

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)


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), Mr Havercamp (30), Pink Lloyd (30)


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.


For more information on The Jockey Club of Canada’s 44thAnnual Sovereign Awards Ceremony contact Candice Dixon at 416-675-7756 or jockeyclubcanada@gmail.com.



The Jockey Club today announced that beginning with the 2018 breeding season, it will charge $35 for each mare reported bred by a stallion on the annual Report of Mares Bred form. The fee will supplement the industry support already provided by The Jockey Club for Thoroughbred aftercare initiatives, including the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), and Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.).

“The Jockey Club has examined its rate structure, and a fee for mares reported bred is consistent with fees required by other Thoroughbred breed registries worldwide,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club. “We are pleased to announce that proceeds of this fee will be used to support a host of aftercare initiatives.”

“These funds will augment the great work already being done by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, which now accredits and grants funds to dozens of aftercare organizations each year,” said John Phillips, owner of Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Ky., president of TAA, and a member of the board of stewards of The Jockey Club.

“Thoroughbred Charities of America strives to help Thoroughbreds throughout their lives by providing grants to aftercare facilities, employee programs, therapy programs, and equine research,” said Mike McMahon, president of TCA. “Thoroughbreds are my livelihood, and it is my duty and ours as an industry, to ensure they are cared for at every point of their careers, whether they are in training, in the breeding shed, or enjoying a second career or retirement.”

“The Thoroughbred Incentive Program has done a tremendous job in furthering the careers of Thoroughbreds by giving owners and riders a goal to strive toward,” said Dell Hancock, Thoroughbred owner and breeder and initiator of T.I.P. “We should all be proud to support initiatives such as T.I.P., TAA, TCA, and any program that betters the lives of Thoroughbreds.”

In coordination with The Jockey Club of Canada, funds raised from Canadian customers of The Jockey Club will be directed to Canadian Thoroughbred aftercare organizations to supplement their efforts, and likewise, funds from Puerto Rico will be dedicated to support Thoroughbreds at recognized programs in that commonwealth.

This past Friday evening, the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing was showcased as part of the 95th Annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto

Under the lights and glamour of the Royal Horse Show, an exhibition celebrating the racing industry’s milestone anniversary included a combination of video, current and retired racehorses, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame members and a special presentation to the president of the RAWF.

Three thoroughbreds and four Standardbreds completed an eight-lap commemorative mile while iconic race caller Dan Loiselle provided biographies about each horse’s race and post-race career, highlighting the versatility of the breeds and the importance of re-purposing once race careers conclude.

Post-race activities ranged from show horse careers, including the 2017 Royal, for thoroughbreds, Highland Bay, Man Cave and Maple Tints competing in Thoroughbred confirmation and under saddle classes; and current road horse competitor Standardbred Rachel Lauren; pacer Spago Hall currently engaged with OHHA’s Hands On Horses/Wanna Drive program, providing opportunities for race track patrons to experience what it is like to ride behind a race horse; Calamar and Debi O’Brien-Moran, both familiar faces at tracks leading post parades; and trotter Lets Leavem who is still an active racing participant in both RUS and in harness for owner Sarah Town, including a win and new season mark at Flamboro the night following his trip to the Royal.

Riders and drivers presenting the horses included Sheena Ryan, 2014 Sovereign Award winner as Apprentice Jockey, and Ron Waples, member of both the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the US Harness Racing Hall of Fame. 

The performance concluded with introductions of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame members highlighting all aspects of the racing industry:  harness driver Bill O’Donnell, jockey Sandy Hawley, builder Lou Cauz, communicators Bill Galvin and Jim Bannon, Mrs. Lenore Armstrong, wife of the late H. Charles Armstrong, representing Armstrong Brothers and Mark Samuel, representing Sam-Son Farms. CHRHF president John Stapleton, presented a certificate acknowledging the Royal’s participation in the 250th celebrations along with a special limited edition copy of the history paper on pre-confederation horse racing in Canada, commissioned as a 250th anniversary initiative by the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, to Royal Agricultural Winter Fair president Andrew McKee.

Spearheaded by the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, funding for the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada initiatives has been provided by:  Standardbred Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, HBPA Ontario, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Ontario Racing, OLG, Alberta Standardbred Horse Association, Harness Racing BC, The Jockey Club as well as individual donations.

The Ontario Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new initiative developed to promote the growth of horse racing in this province. The HBPA Board of Directors has decided to produce an online series aimed at attracting new owners to the Thoroughbred industry and new fans to the track. The series, Talkin’ Horses, will pick up from the HBPA’s award-winning television show of the same name which ran for three years on CTV Television.

With the continued growth of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, and the popularity of watching programming online and on-demand, the decision to offer the series digitally was made strategically to reach a millennial demographic. The show, which will have 10 episodes through the summer and fall, will be an energetic, fast-moving look at how to get into affordable racehorse ownership, handicapping a horse race and picking a winner – plus features on the people and horses in the sport and detailed previews of all the big races.

The HBPA has contracted television and radio host Jason Portuondo and racing writer Jennifer Morrison, each from the television iteration of Talkin’ Horses, to produce the 2017 online series. It will be directed by the award-winning Alex Narvaez of Narvaez Productions, producer and editor of The Strombo Sessions with George Stroumboulopoulos and creator of short films, television series and promotional movies for the Toronto International Film Festival.

For updates stay tuned on twitter and the HBPA (www.hbpa.on.ca) or Talkin Horses (www.talkinhorses.com) websites.

Artist’s rendering of the proposed Century Mile Racetrack in Alberta

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) has given its approval for a new racetrack to be built south of the city of Edmonton.

CTV News-Edmonton reports that the new $50 million facility, being planned by Horse Racing Alberta and Century Casinos, will be built near the Edmonton International Airport. It will be called the Century Mile.

“It was the news we were certainly hoping for, and it is a really good news day for the horse racing industry in the province,” Shirley McLellan, CEO of Horse Racing Alberta, said.

The Century Mile will replace Northlands Park, which is scheduled to close June 30, 2018.

Construction is expected to start this spring.

Read more at CTV News-Edmonton



 EDMONTON, AB (November 3, 2016) – Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) and Northlands have reached an agreement that will see horse racing continue at Northlands Park Racetrack, while assisting Alberta’s horse racing industry during the 2017-2018 transition period.

In this agreement, Northlands Park will continue racing through 2017 and into June 2018. Century Mile is scheduled to open in July 2018.

“We are very grateful to Northlands Park for allowing racing to continue into 2018. The agreement allows the industry a seamless transition into Century Mile while addressing the unique needs of all breeds. We are very pleased at the spirit of cooperation that is indicated by this licence extension,” said Shirley McClellan, CEO of HRA.

“This is a win/win/win,” noted Tim Reid, President and CEO of Northlands. “It is a win for the HRA in that this deal provides stability and a go forward plan for the horse racing community. It is a win for the City of Edmonton in that it allows administration time to evaluate future Area Redevelopment Plans in accordance with the Council motion and timelines and it is a win for Northlands in that it affords us the time to continue to work on our future development plans.”


The third Thoroughbred Owner Conference, co-hosted by OwnerView and BloodHorse and sponsored by Breeders’ Cup Ltd., Keeneland Association, and The Stronach Group, concluded Wednesday with presentations on ownership, veterinary issues, equine retirement programs, and a keynote address delivered by Thoroughbred owner and NBC racing analyst Eddie Olczyk.
Approximately 250 people attended the three-day event, including both longtime horse owners and new or prospective owners. Future editions of the conference are planned for the week leading up to the Breeders’ Cup Championships and the 2017 Breeders’ Cup will be held at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif.
Like its predecessors, this edition of the owner conference featured panel discussions with prominent owners, trainers, jockeys, and other personalities from the racing industry who shared insights and experiences about their involvement with the sport.
In the keynote address Wednesday afternoon, Olczyk described his passion for Thoroughbred racing.
“I love horse racing and I love being an owner,” he said. “If you’re a new owner, you’re getting into a great game.”
Olczyk emphasized that his interest in the sport revolves around the people on the backstretch. “The hotwalkers, trainers, grooms, vets, exercise riders, and jockeys are the people that make this sport go,” he said.
Former NYRA announcer Tom Durkin once again served as the master of ceremonies, and television journalist Nick Clooney hosted a “Hollywood Goes to the Races” segment on Tuesday afternoon featuring author Laura Hillenbrand, the author of “Seabiscuit: An American Legend.”
“Keeneland has maintained a commitment to Thoroughbred owner development in a variety of ways over a long period of time, and we believe that these conferences provide potential owners with a unique opportunity to learn about the sport from people who have been deeply involved in it,” said Bill Thomason, president and chief executive officer of Keeneland Association. “This week’s conference was extremely educational and informative not only for newcomers but for anyone attending it, and Keeneland was proud to be a presenting sponsor once again.”
“The Stronach Group is always looking for innovative ways to bring new people to our sport and our sponsorship of this conference is just another example of that,” said Mike Rogers, president of The Stronach Group’s Racing and Gaming Division. “It has been especially exciting to welcome owners and prospective owners to our beautiful facility here at Santa Anita Park in the day’s leading up to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.”
Peter R. Bradley III, a longtime Lexington, Ky.-based Thoroughbred owner, adviser and syndicate manager, said the Thoroughbred owner conference “is the best vehicle to educate new owners that we’ve ever had. The panelists don’t sugarcoat anything: they talk about the cost, the excitement you feel as an owner and all the highs and the lows. The conference gives people with an interest in the sport a good underpinning of what they are getting into.”
Paul Piergross, a self-described “newbie” owner from Delran, N.J., who participates in the West Point Thoroughbreds partnerships, attended the Thoroughbred Owner Conference for the first time and said it was educational.
“I found it to be very informative and I was impressed by how honest many of the panelists were about the investment opportunities,” he said. “None of them made this out to be a get-rich-quick scheme. I thought the variety of panelists and perspectives were interesting, and it’s hard to beat a location like Santa Anita.”
A video replay of all panels at the conference will be available at ownerview.com within the next week.
OwnerView is a joint effort spearheaded by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association to encourage ownership of Thoroughbreds and provide accurate information on aspects of ownership such as trainers, public racing syndicates, the process of purchasing and owning a Thoroughbred, racehorse retirement, and owner licensing.
The need for a central resource to encourage Thoroughbred ownership was identified in the comprehensive economic study of the sport that was commissioned by The Jockey Club and conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2011. The OwnerView site was launched in May 2012.

The new Jockey Club Logo 2016The Jockey Club today released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for the 2016 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through October 15, 2016, The Jockey Club reports that 1,423 stallions covered 33,746 mares in North America during 2016.

Based upon historical reporting trends, The Jockey Club estimates an additional 2,000 to 3,000 mares will be reported as bred during the 2016 breeding season.

The number of stallions declined 1.8% from the 1,449 reported at this time in 2015, and the number of mares bred decreased 2.5% from the 34,627 reported last year.

The number of stallions covering 100 or more mares decreased from 105 in 2015 to 100 in 2016. These stallions accounted for 40.6% of the total mares reported bred this year versus 41.8% of all mares bred in 2015. RMB statistics for all reported stallions in 2016 are available through the Fact Book section of The Jockey Club’s website at jockeyclub.com.

Further book size analysis shows a 5.4% decrease in the number of mares bred to stallions with a book size of 100 or more in 2016 when compared to 2015 as reported at this time last year; a 15.5% increase in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 75 and 99; a 2.6% decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 50 and 74; a 4.4% increase in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 25 and 49; and a 7.8% decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size fewer than 25.

The stallion Uncle Mo led all stallions with 253 mares bred in 2016. Rounding out the top five by number of RMBs were Into Mischief, 218; American Pharoah, 208; Kitten’s Joy, 201; and, tied for fifth, Goldencents, Verrazano, and Wicked Strong, 190.

Kentucky traditionally leads North America in Thoroughbred breeding activity. During 2016, Kentucky’s 227 reported stallions covered 17,750 mares, or 52.6% of all of the mares reported bred in North America. The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions increased 1.73% percent compared with the 17,448 reported at this time last year.

Of the top 10 states and provinces by number of mares reported bred in 2016, Kentucky and Maryland stallions covered more mares in 2016 than in 2015, as reported at this time last year. The following table shows the top 10 states and provinces ranked by number of mares reported bred in 2016:

State/Province 2015 Stallions 2016 Stallions Pct. Change 2015 Mares Bred 2016 Mares Bred Pct. Change
Kentucky 208 227 9.13% 17,448 17,750 1.73%
Florida 112 107 -4.46% 2,890 2,757 -4.60%
California 150 156 4.00% 2,568 2,543 -0.97%
New York 55 55 0.00% 1,554 1,510 -2.83%
Louisiana 104 102 -1.92% 1,494 1,332 -10.84%
Maryland 36 32 -11.11% 788 913 15.86%
Ontario 39 38 -2.56% 797 761 -4.52%
Oklahoma 66 59 -10.61% 756 702 -7.14%
New Mexico 76 72 -5.26% 789 692 -12.29%
Pennsylvania 42 41 -2.38% 627 489 -22.01%

Note: Each incident in which a mare was bred to more than one stallion and appeared on multiple RMBs is counted separately. As such, mares bred totals listed in the table above may differ slightly from counts of distinct mares bred.

In addition, Report of Mares Bred information on stallions that bred mares in North America is available through report 36P or a subscription service at equineline.com/ReportOfMaresBred.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It is a founding member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, and the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity and the architect and sole funding source for America’s Best Racing, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing. You can follow America’s Best Racing at americasbestracing.net as well as on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram.


High winds and steady rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of thoroughbred racing fans during the final weekend of the 2016 season at Hastings Racecourse.
With all-sources wagering surpassing $733,000 on Sunday’s 10-race card, the overall handle resulted in over $1.2 million during the closing two-days, leaving management and horsemen in good spirits at the conclusion of the 53-day meet.
“All-sources wagering was up for a second consecutive season and our horse population stabilized considerably,” said Darren MacDonald, General Manager of Hastings Racecourse and Director of B.C. Racing. “Our working relationship with the horsemen is stronger than ever and has most assuredly helped the wagering public with good value for their entertainment dollar.”
Jockeys Amadeo Perez and Denis Araujo capped outstanding seasons Sunday with wins in the last two stake races of the year but when the lights dimmed for a final time it was veteran Richard Hamel standing his ground as proud defending champion.
With one victory Sunday, Hamel completed his mission with 70 trips to the winner’s circle, marking the fourth time the 48-year-old native of Terrace, B.C., has dominated the Leading Jockey standings at Hastings.
Also for a second consecutive year Mike Anderson finished as Leading Trainer with 37 wins, while the Leading Owners title went to Swift Thoroughbreds Inc., with 16 victories. They will all be acknowledged at the annual Thoroughbred Awards Dinner at Newlands Golf and Country Club on Dec. 1.
Araujo, a newcomer to the Hastings jockey colony this year, scored a riding hat-trick Sunday to finish third in the overall standings with 46 wins on the year behind runner-up Antonio Reyes with 62.
Araujo’s ride on Crazy Prophet resulted in an imposing three-and-a-half length victory in the $50,000 BC Cup Classic for trainer John Snow and the Shamrock Racing Stable. Final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:51.14 with Crazy Prophet paying $4.30, $3.00, $2.30.
The favorite was also dominant in the $50,000 BC Cup Distaff, with Touching Promise outlasting Sailingforthesun in the stretch, paying $2.80, $2.30, $2.10. Owned by Russell and Lois Bennett and trained by Barb Heads, Touching Promise finished in a final time of 1:50.49 under Amadeo Perez over the 1 1/8 mile trip for fillies and mares.
The 2017 live racing schedule has been released and is available at www.hastingsracecourse.com. Opening day will be on Sunday, April 16 with the 53-day meet concluding on Sunday, October 22.