San Pail Unanimous Choice For O'Brien
Published: December 20, 2011 1:41 pm ET
Last Comment: December 23, 2011 8:03 am ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
The O’Brien ballots have been cast and there was no question in any of the voters’ minds who should be the recipient of the O’Brien Award as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse for 2011. That honour goes to San Pail, who was the unanimous winner, taking every one of the 61 ballots that were cast. This marks the third consecutive year that San Pail has won the O’Brien in this category for co-owner, breeder Glenn Van Camp of Port Perry, ON and trainer and co-owner Rod Hughes of Dunsford, ON.
The O’Brien voters are charged with the task of voting for the horse or person who has made the greatest contribution to Canadian harness racing in 2011. All horses must meet a requirement of having three starts in Canada by November 30.
San Pail is Canadian-bred, Canadian-owned, Canadian-trained, Candian-driven and the majority of his racing was on Canadian soil. The son of San Pellegrino out of the Balanced Image mare, Village Beauty, dominated Canadian harness racing this season, topping the charts for older trotting horses in North America with over $1.2 million in earnings and 14 wins in 16 races, highlighted by victories in every stakes event he competed in. He scored eleven of his wins and earned $934,920 in Canada, between Mohawk and Woodbine racetracks.
The year kicked off with a sweep of the elimination and final of the Glorys Comet Stake at Woodbine Racetrack in January, extending his win streak to nine. He then added victories in multiple Open Trot events and a third consecutive Maple Leaf Trot Championship to his credentials.
A trip to the US was next on his agenda to reinforce his billing as the best trotter in North America. With his regular driver Randy Waples at the helm, he scored victories in the Nat Ray Invitational at The Meadowlands, the Credit Winner Stake at Vernon Downs and a division of the Allerage Farm Trot at The Red Mile.
His final moment of glory for 2011 came in the $602,340 Breeders' Crown Open Trot at Woodbine on October 29. In this season ending Championship, he took on a world class field, which included two European trotting stars, and trotted to an exciting 1:51.4 neck victory.
The nominees for all other O’Brien Award categories will be announced on Wednesday, December 21. The nominees are the top two vote earners in each category. The winners in all categories, including Horse of the Year will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at the Delta Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga.