Ramblinglily Named Saint John HOY

Published: May 10, 2014 09:52 pm EDT

The Saint John Harness Horseman's Association honoured its top horsemen and equine performers on Saturday night with the coveted Horse of the Year award handed out among all other categories for 2013.

Starting with the equine categories, two-year-old filly of the year was Absolootly Hot, owned by the Dooley Boys Racing stable and trainer Scott Hubbard. She is a daughter of Coastocoast Yankee and earned over $17,000 on the season and took a record of 1:59.4.

The two-year-old colt and gelding winner was Settlement Request, owned by Alfred Barrieau and Mike Clinton. Gilles Barrieau trained and drove the gelding to over $34,000 in earnings and a record of 1:58. He too is by Coastocoast Yankee.

In the three-year-old colt and gelding category, it was the sensational Untouchable One, owned by Dooley Boys Racing stable. He captured both the Maritime Breeders final and the Atlantic Sires Stakes Championship. He took a record in the Maritimes of 1:55.2 and has since eclipsed that record in the U.S. with a sparkling 1:50.4 win.

Three-year-old filly of the year was no surprise as Ramblinglily took top honours for the connections of Norm Leger and Allan Jones. She captured the prestigious Maritimer in Saint John and scored numerous stakes wins. She won 10 of 15 in 2013 and just shy of $60,000 in earnings. Her fastest win of the year was a 1:56.1 mile in P.E.I.

Dance Hanover captured the aged horse of the year trophy for the Ultimate Stables. He had a very consistent 2013 with 23 top three efforts in 29 starts. His best winning time was 1:57.3. The son of Astreos should surpass $100,000 in earnings in 2014 as he is less than five-thousand short.

Ultimate Stables ended up sweeping the aged category as the mare Ultimate Spirit was named top distaff pacer. She took a life's mark in Saint John of 1:57.2 and recorded nine wins. In 2009, she was a $1,000 yearling purchase and has banked over $51,000 lifetime. Sifroi Melanson is the owner and trainer of the Ultimate Stables, who continue to develop solid horses year after year.

Most improved horse on the grounds this season was OK Elegant. Owned by Dr. Mitchell Downey, the five-year-old Dragon Again mare took a new speed badge over Saint John of 2:00.2 and scored 28 top three finishes on the year. Mike Downey drives and trains the mare.

Claimer of the year was awarded to Dusty Lane Oscar after a tremendous 2013 for young horsemen and new father Chris Davies and the rest of Team Davies. At nine years old, he took a new mark of 1:57 in 2013 and registered 10 wins. He also went past the 50-win plateau lifetime and earned just shy of $8.500.

Dusty Lane Oscar also captured a special award as he was recognized as the fan favourite in 2013. The winner's circle was a packed place to be and he had a stretch last year where he won seven of eight starts.

The Oldtime Robbi award was presented to the consistent Magical Alex for owner and trainer Bob MacNeil. He showed his toughness starting 38 times in 2013. He won 10 of those starts and now has over $36,000 in earnings. Magical Alex was an $1,100 yearling purchase in 2010 and has proven to be a solid campaigner as he enters his seven-year-old season.

Overall Horse of the Year seemed like a battle of the three-year-old winners and it was Ramblinglily who came out on top as the top horse after her noted sensational season.

In the horsemen categories, Gilles Barrieau was named top driver while Andrew Ward captured top training honours.

Mike Downey was named horseperson of the year while his son Mitch was named owner of the year. Both awards were voted on by their peers.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

(With files from the Saint John Harness Horseman's Association)

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