Valedictorian tabbed as NJ-bred Horse of the Year

by | Feb 28, 2020 | Breaking, Business, New Jersey, NJ Business

Valedictorian won the Grade 3 Eatontown. Photo by Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO.

Epic Racing’s Valedictorian has been named 2019 New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year, champion older female and champion turf runner by the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey.

Valedictorian, a dark bay/brown mare, won three stakes races that began with a win in the Suwannee River Stakes (Grade 3) at Gulfstream Park over some of the top filly and mare turf runners in the country. The daughter of Temple City out of the Smart Strike mare, Smart N Classy also won the Sand Spring Stakes at Gulfstream Park and finished second in the Honey Fox Stakes (Grade 3) and third in the Marshua’s River Stakes over the same course.

Valedictorian headed north to Monmouth Park after a successful winter and added the Eatontown Stakes (Grade 3), the same race her dam won in 2005, to her resume.

Trained by Kelly J. Breen, Valedictorian finished 2019 with $339,330 in earnings. She has won 12 of 30 career starts for earnings of $708,765. Valedictorian was bred in New Jersey by John Bowers, Jr.

Horlogist is the champion three-year-old filly after winning four of her eight starts in 2019. Horologist won her four races in consecutive starts including wins in the Monmouth Oaks (Grade 3) and the Smart N Classy Handicap at Monmouth Park. The daughter of Gemologist out of the Stephen Got Even mare, Cinderella Time also finished third in the Cotillion Stakes (Grade 1) before an interest in her was sold by There’s a Chance Stable to a group that includes Parkland Thoroughbreds, Medallion Racing and Abbondanza Racing, LLC. Horologist was owned during her winning streak by There’s A Chance Stable and was trained by John Mazza. Horologist was bred in New Jersey by Holly Crest Farm and has career earnings of $374,105.

Chick Ridge LLC’s Pnutbutter Special, a winner of three races including the New Jersey Breeders Handicap at Monmouth Park is the New Jersey-bred champion 3-year-old colt or gelding and champion sprinter. Bred by Emma V. Krohn, Pnutbutter Special won three of four starts between June and August including his stakes win by 5 and ¾ lengths. The son of Jump Start showed his versatility by finished second in the Joey P. Handicap at 5 furlongs on the turf. Pnutbutter Special finished his championship campaign with $138,310 in earnings under the care of trainer Carlos J. Milian.

Irish Mias is the champion 2-year-old after breaking his maiden in the $200,000 Laurel Futurity at Laurel Park on September 21, 2019. The son of Sky Mesa out of Irish Score, by Even the Score also finished second in the Pulpit Stakes at Gulfstream Park to end his championship campaign with earnings of $176,100. Irish Mias is a homebred for Isabelle de Tomaso and is trained by Graham Motion.

Dennis A. Drazin’s homebred Sunny Ridge is the champion older male after another successful campaign that saw him win the Salvator Mile (Grade 3) at Monmouth Park and Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park. Sunny Ridge finished second in the Jazil Stakes at Aqueduct and third in the Westchester Stakes (Grade 3) and Charles J. Hesse III Handicap. The 7-year-old son of Holy Bull out of the Songandaprayer mare, Lignum Vitae currently ranks second on the list of highest earning New Jersey-breds with earnings of $1,432,577.

Irish Score was honored as Broodmare of the Year in 2019 Isabelle de Tomaso owns the 9-year-old year-old mare by Even the Score out Irish Sovereign. Irish Sovereign was honored as Broodmare of the Year in New Jersey from 2016-2018. Irish Score’s first two foals, Regally Irish and Irish Mias, are both stakes winners who race for Isabelle de Tomaso. Regally Irish won the Bridgetown Stakes at Aqueduct in April of 2019 and finished second in the Irish War Cry Handicap at Monmouth Park. Irish Mias is the New Jersey-bred champion 2-year-old after his victory in the $200,000 Laurel Futurity.

Hey Chub is the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey’s Stallion of the Year for the fourth time in his career. The 20-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 ($542,336) along with stakes placed Chubbiana ($119,872).

Voting for the 2019 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 Monmouth Park handicapper, Brad Thomas.


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