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Havre de Grace Rode New York Path to Title

Led by 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, a number of horse racing’s newest champions turned in outstanding performances on The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit en route to being honored with Eclipse Awards Monday night in Beverly Hills, Calif.

 

At Saratoga Race Course, Havre de Grace, who became the third straight female to win Horse of the Year honors, joined 2009’s Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra as the only fillies to ever beat males in the Grade 1 Woodward. Trained by Larry Jones for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, Havre de Grace followed her historic win with a dominating performance in the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational at Belmont Park.

 

The 4-year-old Havre de Grace also won the Eclipse as the champion Older Female. Her rider, three-time NYRA champion Ramon Dominguez, won the Eclipse for the second straight year as the nation’s champion Jockey, defeating fellow New York regulars John Velazquez and Javier Castellano.

 

Earlier Monday, Havre de Grace’s victory in the Woodward was voted by fans as NYRA’s “Race of the Year.”

 

Saratoga was the setting for a memorable performance as well from Three-Year-Old Filly champion Royal Delta, whose dramatic 5 ½-length victory in the Grade 1 TVG Alabama ended It’s Tricky’s quest to sweep the TVG Triple Tiara. Subsequently second to Havre de Grace in the Beldame, Royal Delta went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic for Hall of Famer Bill Mott.

 

The New York-based Mott, who also saddled 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, won the Eclipse as the nation’s top trainer.

 

The undefeated My Miss Aurelia, voted the nation’s champion Two-Year-Old Filly, launched her juvenile campaign at the Spa, winning her debut on July 22 and returning to post a hard-fought victory in the Grade 2 Adirondack. Owned by Stonestreet Stable and George Bolton, she next swept to a 5 ½-length victory in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont prior to her win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

 

Champion Male Turf Horse Cape Blanco criss-crossed the Atlantic to take two of Belmont Park’s most prestigious grass races, the Grade 1 Man o’ War in July and the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational in October, while champion Female Turf champion Stacelita, making her third start in the United States for owner Martin Schwartz and trainer Chad Brown, won Belmont’s prestigious Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont for her second American Grade 1 victory.

 

 

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