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Jan 19, 2012

Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year in a runaway

By: By Don Agriss, Horse Racing Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - After all the discussions about who should be voted 2011 Horse of the Year, it turned out the decision was not a hard one.

Fox Hill Farms' Havre de Grace was named Horse of the Year in a runaway among the 248 electors. The Larry Jones trainee received 166 first-place votes, outdistancing Acclamation by 140 votes and total points 1,897 to 552. Coming in third was Cape Blanco with nine top votes and 315 points. Game on Dude picked up 10 first-place votes but was fourth in points with 292.

"Havre de Grace is an amazing filly. She had a fantastic year and she deserves the award," said Michael Vild, Senior Vice-President and General Counsel at Delaware Park. "I congratulate Rick Porter, Larry Jones and the rest of team Havre de Grace in achieving this honor. Her victory in the Obeah Stakes was spectacular and the Delaware Handicap was one of the most memorable in the history of the race."

Havre de Grace is primarily stabled at Delaware Park, near the Wilmington home of her owner Rick Porter. She is currently at Fair Grounds Racecourse with Jones.

"Her performance in the Delaware Handicap will be one I will never forget," said John Mooney, Executive Director of Racing at Delaware Park. "Havre de Grace and Blind Luck were the two best horses in racing and they showed why in the Delaware Handicap. I applaud her connections for her campaign and Horse of the Year honors. Obviously, all of racing is very much looking forward to seeing her this year."

Along with being Horse of the Year, Havre de Grace was a near unanimous selection as champion older female. She received 245 first-place votes, easily outdistancing arch rival Blind Luck who got two votes and Awesome Maria's one vote.

Havre de Grace became the third straight female thoroughbred to be named Horse of the Year, following Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. The victory over males in the Woodward at Saratoga was the clinching win for Rick Porter's horse along with a dominating performance in the Beldame over champion filly Royal Delta.

Receiving some support from the voters was Rapid Redux the consecutive wins record holder. The gelding, who posted 21 straight victories through 2011, garnered four top votes and 52 points to finish 11th. He extended his unbeaten streak to 22 with a win earlier this month and was honored with the Special Eclipse Award.

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