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Portuondo Pumped For O'Briens


Published: January 29, 2009 2:33 pm ET

Last Comment: February 3, 2009 2:00 am ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Although his work is most associated with thoroughbreds and anchoring sports broadcasts for Rogers Sportsnet, Jason Portuondo will be in his element as he co-hosts Saturday's O'Brien Awards ceremony for the first time.

"I've hosted the thoroughbred equivalent of the O'Briens - the Sovereign Awards - for eight or nine years now," Portuondo told Trot Insider, "but I'm really looking forward to my first O'Briens."

What many people may not know about Portuondo is that his initial work with horses came on the standardbred side.

"People think of me as a thoroughbred guy, but I started with standardbreds years ago. I used to work for Harold Stead in the '80s back at Greenwood. My uncle had horses with Harold. Guys like Mike Saftic and Scott McEneny were there in that barn as well."

Portuondo later moved into the broadcast booth, hosting the simulcast show for TRN as well as the WEG network programming for Sportsnet.

"Hosting the network programming for Sportsnet was what got me in the door there," said Portuondo, who fondly remembers his former job.

"I miss the horse racing side, and I still watch racing on HPItv when I can."

This year's O'Brien co-hosts should not be lacking in chemistry as the returning Ken Middleton is very familiar with Portuondo's work.

"Jason is an exceptional broadcaster and a true fan of all sports," said the voice of Woodbine and Mohawk's standardbred racing. "We shared an office during his employment at WEG and I couldn't believe his passion and knowledge for both breeds - standardbred and thoroughbred.

"I guess we have that in common - that and the fact that we're both die hard fans of the Boston Bruins and actor Gary Coleman."

The 2008 O'Brien Awards are set for this Saturday, January 31 at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel & Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ont.

February 3, 2009 - 2:00 amWow, Michelle,

Anonymous (not verified) SAID...

Wow, Michelle, time flies seems like yesterday when we all hung out together, oh the good 'ol days. Hope all is well with you guys, take care and thanks for the shoutout


January 30, 2009 - 3:29 pmGlad to see you've done well

W.B. (not verified) SAID...

Glad to see you've done well for yourself Jason. You've come a long ways since the days of following your uncle to see Ipanema Girle racing!

January 29, 2009 - 8:31 pmThis just adds extra class

Dave Landry (not verified) SAID...

This just adds extra class an professionalism to an already superbly run annual event.

It will be good to see you my fellow Eagles fan - almost made it this year.


January 29, 2009 - 4:56 pmGreat to hear you're coming

Michelle McEneny (not verified) SAID...

Great to hear you're coming back to your roots! It's been a very long time since I met that boy hanging around the barn at Greenwood working for Harold Stead! Good luck with the O'Briens, I'm sure you'll dazzle them!

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