Sunny Ridge earns top NJ-bred honors
Sunny Ridge before the 2016 Haskell Invitational. Photo by The Racing Biz.
Dennis A. Drazin’s homebred Sunny Ridge has been named 2018 New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year and champion older male by the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey.
Sunny Ridge, a gray or roan 6-year-old, finished third in the Salvatore Mile (Grade 3) at Monmouth Park before a breakthrough performance in the $100,000 State Dinner Stakes at Belmont Park that he won by 3 and ¼ lengths. The son of Holy Bull of the Songandaprayer mare Lignum Vitae finished the year with on the board finishes in two prestigious races, the Kelso Handicap (Grade 2) and the Cigar Mile (Grade 1), losing both races by a combined 2 and ¾ lengths.
Trained by Jason Servis, Sunny Ridge finished 2018 with $241,500 in earnings. He has won six of 22 career starts good for earnings of $1,199,902 and is the fifth highest-earning New Jersey-bred runner in history.
Golden Brown, a winner of three races including the Kent Stakes (Grade 3) at Delaware Park is the New Jersey-bred champion 3-year-old and champion turf runner. Bred by Esther de Jong, Golden Brown showed his versatility for owners ABL Stable, Dominic Bossone, and Peter Donnelly after breaking his maiden in February on the dirt and winning a first level allowance race at Monmouth Park. The son of Offlee Wild out of Suzee Sunrise, by Chester House finished a game second to multiple stakes winner Irish Strait in the Dan Horn Handicap on the turf before his Kent Stakes victory. Golden Brown finished his championship campaign with $268,000 in earnings under the care of trainer Patrick McBurney.
Mooji Moo, Jr, is the champion 2-year-old after winning his first race in the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park on August 4, 2018. The son of Posse out of the multiple stakes winning Jeblar mare, Mooji Moo, is a homebred for Robert Deckert, Jr. The Patrick McBurney trained champion earned $44,700 in 2018.
Liz’s Cable Girl is the champion older female after winning four of her seven starts in 2018 for Lizabeth Dodd, John Cocce, Peter Donnelly, and Gerard Melley. Bred by Colonial Farms, Liz’s Cable Girl had another successful campaign after being named the New Jersey-bred champion
3-year-old filly of 2017. By Cable Boy out of Forbidden Isle, by Belong to Me, Liz’s Cable Girl won the Eleven North Handicap at Monmouth Park and the Roamin Rachael Stakes at Parx during her championship campaign and finished the year with $165,000 in earnings. Liz’s Cable Girl is the third New Jersey-bred champion trained by Patrick McBurney.
Kasey K Racing Stable and Michael Day’s Brother Chub is the champion sprinter of 2018 after winning four of his 12 starts with earnings of $168,095. Brother Chub is by Hey Chub out of Sassy Broad, by Arch and is the full brother to the multiple stakes winning New Jersey-bred, Chublicious. Brother Chub finished on the board in 11 of 12 starts and his biggest win came in the John J. Reilly Handicap at Monmouth Park, his fourth consecutive win. Brother Chub ended his championship campaign losing by a neck in the Claiming Crown Express Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Bred by Joe-Dan Farm, Brother Chub is trained by Michael Moore.
Irish Sovereign was honored as Broodmare of the Year for the third consecutive year in 2018. Isabelle de Tomaso owns the 19 year-old mare by Polish Numbers out of the Beau Genius mare, Irish Genius. Irish Sovereign has produced six winners from the six foals who have started including the 2017 New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year Irish War Cry and his older half brother Irish Strait who was honored as New Jersey-bred champion turf runner the same year.
Hey Chub is the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey’s Stallion of the Year for the third time in his career. The 19-year-old son of Carson City out of Donna Doo by Spend A Buck was a multiple stakes winning New Jersey-bred who hit the board in 30 of his 36 starts and earned $441,755.
Hey Chub has sired stakes winners Chublicious ($653,393), winner of the 2017 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes, 2018 New Jersey-bred champion sprinter Brother Chub ($379,496) along with stakes placed Chubbiana ($119,872). Hey Chub is owned by Daniel J. Lopez’s Joe-Dan Farm and his progeny have lifetime earnings over $3.4 million with average earnings per starter of $95,600. Hey Chub is standing the 2019 breeding season at Joe-Dan Farm in Medford.
Voting for the 2018 New Jersey-bred champions was conducted by columnist Bill Finley, Daily Racing Form handicapper Kenny Peck, The Racing Biz founder and publisher Frank Vespe and Associate Editor of Thoroughbred Daily News, Ben Massam.