Trenton, NJ --- Smilin Eli has been selected as the New Jersey Sire Stakes Premier Division Horse of the Year for 2013.
The son of Muscles Yankee won all three of his NJSS starts at the Meadowlands, including the $150,000 championship final in a career best and stakes record matching 1:51.2.
The award for NJSS Green Acres Division Horse of the Year went to the 2-year-old pacing filly Ideal Helen, winner of all three of her major NJ-sired stakes races at Freehold Raceway, the $61,900 Lou Babic Memorial Filly final, $52,650 New Jersey Futurity and $25,000 NJSS Green Acres final.
These awards, which are voted on by the Sire Stakes Board of Trustees, are based only on performances in races for New Jersey-sired horses, including NJSS races and other NJ-sired major stakes and futurities.
Owned and bred by Nicholas Cimino of Pompano Beach, Fla., Smilin Eli is out of Cimino’s homebred mare Gerri’s Joy. Unraced at two, he won both his preliminary NJSS Premier Division legs in the first two races of his career.
Smiin Eli compiled an overall 2013 record of four wins and 11 in-the-money finishes in 14 starts, with four seconds and three thirds. His purses earnings for the year totaled $638,629.
In open competition, he was second in the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the $500,000 Colonial at Pocono and third in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final at Pocono.
Ideal Helen, a daughter of Western Ideal out of the mare Armbro Nectarine, won six of her nine starts in NJ-sired competition and was in the money in 11 of 14 starts overall, earning $125,736 for owner D. R. Van Witzenburg of Crest Hill, Ill.
The awards will be presented Jan. 26 at the 57th annual New Jersey Breeders awards luncheon at Charley’s Other Brother in Easthampton. Tickets are $35. For reservations, call 609.984.4389.