Augusta, ME --- On Saturday (Feb. 16), the Maine Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association held their annual winter meeting and banquet at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland, Maine.
Prior to the awards festivities, the Board of Directors of the MSBOA held their winter meeting. Francis Hanley, Diann Perkins and Timothy Arnold were re-elected to fill three-year positions on the board. Cyndee Bowie was elected to the board as an alternate. The board voted to keep the same slate of officers for 2013: President-James Kelley; Vice-President-Francis Hanley; Secretary-Diann Perkins; and Treasurer-Lisa Watson.
|Michael Newman photo|
|MSBOA President Jim Kelley presented an award to Valerie Grondin for her 2-year-old pacing filly champion Pembroke Violet.|
The guest speaker for the evening festivities was Dr. Paul Spears, Vice President of Hanover Shoe Farm and Secretary of the Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania. Dr. Spears presented his findings on a two-year study of more than 5,000 yearlings sold at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg. He gave an excellent overview of horses that were outcrossed, line-bred and inbred. In summary, he concluded that those horses that were inbred didn’t perform as well at the racetrack and had average earnings of almost half of those that were outcrossed.
The 2-year-old season champions in 2012 were awarded to: Obrigado, 2-year-old colt trotter by Boy Band owned by Michael Andrew; Song of Virtue, 2-year-old filly trotter by Boy Band owned by Michael Andrew; Pembroke Violet, 2-year-old filly pacer by Baron Biltmore owned by Valerie Grondin and William Varney; and Neutral Data, 2-year-old colt pacer by Neutralize owned by Harold and Nancy Dresser.
The 3-year-old season champions in 2012 were: Current Crisis, 3-year-old colt trotter by Current Cast owned by Thomas Dillon and Walter Hight; Pembroke Picture, 3-year-old filly trotter by CR Power Glide owned by William Varney; Royal Knockout, 3-year-old filly pacer by Ashlee’s Big Guy owned by Michael Graffam, William Arnold and Percy Shaw; Pembroke Dewey, 3-year-old colt pacer by Baron Biltmore owned by William Varney.
The leading sire of 2-year-old trotters in 2012 went to Boy Band. Some Boy Band’s top performers last year included Obrigado, Song Of Virtue, Littleton’s Dream and Bad Boy Bernie. Boy Band is owned by Michael Andrew and stands stud at the Dupuis Farm. The leading sire of 3-year-old trotters in 2012 was awarded to Musclini. Musclini’s top performers at the track in 2012 included A Vicious Woman, Yankee Muscles, Speedy Sandpiper and Cc’s Dream. Musclini is owned by Jim and Betsey Kelly and stands stud in Millinocket, Maine.
The leading sire of 2-year-old pacers in 2012 went to Neutralize. Neutralize is owned by Richard Hartley and stands stud at North Star Standardbreds. Some of his top performers include Neutral Data, Dream Shark, Ablissarize and Emma Marie. The leading sire of 3-year-old pacers went to Western Cyclone. Western Cyclone is owned by Alfred Ross and stands stud at KDM Farm. Some of his top performers include Fuzzylegsandall, Call Me The Breeze, Western Luke and Nampeyo.
The 2012 Owner of the Year and Breeder of the Year for trotters was given to Michael Andrew of Three Crow Farm in Gorham, Maine, with earnings of more than $150,000. The 2012 Owner of the Year for pacers was awarded to William Varney of Bangor, Maine, with earnings of more than $200,000. The 2012 Breeder of the Year for pacers was awarded to Richard Hartley of NorthStar Standardbreds.
The MSBOA Trainer of the Year was presented to Eric Bickmore of Augusta, Maine, while the Driver of the Year was presented to Heath Campbell and the top trainer award by points was given to Valerie Grondin.
Three awards of appreciation were presented during the awards gala on Saturday evening. Two Special Commitment Awards were presented to Michael Andrew and Dr. Douglass Hutchins. A special service award was given to Catherine Damren in recognition of her many years of exemplary service, support and promotion of Maine harness racing.