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2021 Sovereign Award Winners

April 18, 2022

The Jockey Club of Canada hosted the 47th Annual Sovereign Awards ceremony through a live presentation on the evening of Thursday, April 14, 2022.

The top three finalists in each category are determined by the online ballots of the Jockey Club of Canada’s knowledgeable voters.  The media category award finalists were determined by media professionals within the industry selected from across North America.

The Jockey Club of Canada is pleased to announce the 2021 Sovereign Award winners in the order in which they were presented.

Outstanding Photograph: WILL WONG

Welcome Back

Published July 1, 2021; Ontario Racing

Outstanding Writing: HAYLEY MORRISON

New Races, New Faces: How I Fell for The Fort

Published November 12, 2021 on       

Outstanding Audio Visual/Digital Broadcast: WOODBINE ENTERTAINMENT

The Queen’s Plate

Aired on CTV/TSN Sunday, August 22, 2021

Outstanding Groom: DENZIL FONSECA

The Jockey Club of Canada is proud to present Denzil Fonseca with the 2021 Outstanding Groom Award, sponsored by OLG. This year marks Denzil’s 40th year working on the Woodbine backstretch. For the past 14 years he has been a groom for trainer Mike Doyle.

Denzil has worked for many accomplished horsepeople in Ontario including trainers John Charalambous, Cliff Hopmans, Jr. and Deborah England. He groomed many top horses for England.

In recent years, Denzil has been the groom for many top horses from the Mike Doyle barn. Most notable of these was Holy Helena, a strong filly who came to Ontario for a stint in the summer of 2017 and won the Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate for Stronach Stables.

“I am so happy to be recognized by the Jockey Club,” said Denzil. “I love horses and my job and I have a great respect for Mr. Doyle and his team.”

E. P. Taylor Award of Merit: IVAN DALOS     

Ivan came to Canada from Hungary around the same time E.P. Taylor opened Woodbine racetrack in 1956 and put together a successful flooring and construction business. Once the horse racing bug took hold it did not take long for one of the first horses bred by Ivan to make news on an international stage.

Victory Gallop, a son of Cryptoclearance and the first foal of his mare Victorious Lil spoiled Real Quiet’s bid for a Triple Crown sweep when he beat him by a nose in the Belmont Stakes (G1).

Ivan immersed himself in pedigrees, seeking that perfect ‘nick’ and a broodmare band that numbered a handful is now more than three dozen, many of which are a part of several generations of Tall Oaks breeding.Tall Oaks won its first Sovereign for Outstanding Breeder in 2018 and doubled up in 2020.

A dedicated family man Ivan enjoys sharing the racing experiences with wife Irene and his three daughters, one of whom, Colleen, has moved into a lead role in the racing and breeding operation. “I started Tall Oaks for my family,” said Ivan. “I try to breed every horse to the best of my ability.”

Champion Two-Year-Old Female: MRS. BARBARA

Trainer: Mark E. Casse

Owner:  Spruce Stable

Breeder: Jim Dandy Stable

DK B. F. 2, by Bodemeister – Destroy (Housebuster)

2021: 6 Starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 1 third – $144,809

Winner: Mazarine S. (G3), MSW

Mrs. Barbara (112), Moira (59), Diabolic (49)

Champion Two-Year-Old Male: GOD OF LOVE

Trainer: Mark E. Casse

Owner:  Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Barber, Gary

Breeder: William D. Graham

CH. C. 2, by Cupid – No Wonder (Three Wonders)

2021: 4 Starts – 2 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds – $208,993

Winner: Grey S. (G3), Cup and Saucer S.

God of Love (113), Grafton Street (54), Ironstone (40)

Champion Three-Year-Old Female: MUNNYFOR RO          

Trainer: Kevin Attard

Owner:  Raroma Stable

Breeder: Daybar, LTD.

CH. F. 3, by Munnings – Repartee (Distorted Humor)

2021: 10 Starts – 4 wins – 2 seconds – 2 thirds – $548,561

Winner: Ontario Damsel S., Wonder Where S., Woodbine Oaks, MSW

Munnyfor Ro (118), Our Flash Drive (69), Lorena (27)

Champion Three-Year-Old Male: FROSTED OVER 

Trainer: Mark Casse

Owner: Gary Barber

Breeder: G. Watts Humphrey Jr.

B. C. 3, by Frosted- Candy Crush (Candy Ride *Arg)

2021: 5 Starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds – $168,786

Winner: Ontario Derby (G3), ALW, MSW

Frosted Over (123), Uncharacteristic (35), Artie’s Storm (35), Haddassah (18)

Outstanding Broodmare: AVIE’S EMPIRE     

DK. B. M. 2008 by  Empire Maker – Fly for Avie (Lord Avie)

3 Starters, 3 Winners, 1 Champion, 1 Graded Blacktype winner, 1 Blacktype winner, 1 Graded Blacktype placed

Progeny earnings $1,430,306

Avie’s Empire was bred by Sovereign Award-winning breeder Ivan Dalos under his stable name, Tall Oaks Farm. A daughter of Grade 1 winner Fly for Avie, who raced for Dalos. Avie’s Empire never made the races, but has been a gem in the breeding shed. Avie’s Empire’s son Avie’s Flatter (Flatter), the Champion 2-Year-Old of 2018, was a double graded winner in 2021 taking the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes and Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes. Avie’s Empire is also the dam of 2018 Wonder Where Stakes winner Avie’s Mineshaft (Mineshaft) and Avie’s Mesa (Sky Mesa), who was second in the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes. Avie’s Empire has a 2022 foal by Tapit.

Avie’s Empire (72), Include Katherine (71), Sunday Affair (28)

Outstanding Breeder: SAM-SON FARM

Starters 52; Winners 31

278 Starts; 45 Wins; 48 Seconds; 32 Thirds

Earnings $2,671,554

More than half a century since Sam-Son Farms was founded by the late Ernie Samuel, the iconic Canadian farm remains at the top of the charts of leading breeders. Horses foaled on the Milton, Ontario farm earned over $2.6 million in 2021 and there were 31 winners from 52 starters. Say the Word, the 2020 Champion Turf Male in Canada, won the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar and Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland for Sam-Son and co-owners Agave Racing. The son of More Than Ready was also second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile. The exciting Messier, a 2-year-old colt by Empire Maker, won the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes and Rideforthecause and Curlin’s Catch were other Stakes winners bred by Sam-Son.

Sam-Son Farm (123), Adena Springs (35), Tall Oaks Farm (31)

Champion Female Sprinter: AMALFI COAST

Trainer: Kevin Attard

Owner:  Tracy Farmer

Breeder: Terra Farms Ltd.

CH. M. 5, by Tapizar – Include Katherine (Include)

2021: 5 Starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 2 thirds – $246,763

Winner: Ontario Fashion S. (G3), Royal North S. (G2)

Amalfi Coast (116), Our Secret Agent (60), Lorena (22)

Champion Male Sprinter: PINK LLOYD          

Trainer: Robert P. Tiller

Owner:  Entourage Stable

Breeder: John Carey

CH. G. 9, by Old Forester – Gladiator Queen (Great Gladiator) 

2021: 5 Starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds – $289,742

Winner: Kennedy Road S. (G2), Ontario Jockey Club S., Bold Venture S. (G3)

Pink Lloyd (117), Avie’s Flatter (57), Souper Stonehenge (37)

Outstanding Apprentice Jockey: MAURICIO MALVAEZ

252 Starts; 28 Wins; 34 Seconds; 34 Thirds

Earnings $470,225

A winner of the 2020 Sovereign Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey, Mauricio Malvaez switched over to riding racehorses in 2019 after a promising boxing career. The son of jockey Marcos Malvaez had his first full season of riding in 2020 in Alberta and rode Real Grace to a big win in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby. Mauricio bettered his 2020 totals in 2021 riding 19 winners at Century Mile, including Canadian Juvenile Stakes winner Asyoubelieve. He then moved his tack to Woodbine Racetrack in mid-September. In 2021 he won 28 races, leading all apprentice riders in Canada.

Mauricio Malvaez (136), Michael David (59), Edgar Zenteno (43)

Outstanding Jockey: KAZUSHI KIMURA

722 Starts; 140 Wins; 98 Seconds; 99 Thirds

Earnings $5,152,154; Stakes wins 8

Following only his fourth season as a jockey in Canada, Kazushi Kimura has earned his first nomination as Outstanding Jockey. Already a two-time winner of the Outstanding Apprentice Sovereign Award and an Eclipse Award winner for top apprentice, the Japanese-born rider’s 140 victories easily topped all Canadian riders. His mounts earned over $5.1 million in purses. Kazushi’s eight stakes wins included a win in the Grade 3 Ontario Derby aboard Gary Barber’s Frosted Over. He also won the Grade 3 Hendrie on Barber’s Our Secret Agent. Kazushi maintained an impressive 19 percent win rate in 2021.

Kazushi Kimura (116), Rafael Manuel Hernandez (58), Patrick Husbands (25), Justin Stein (25)

Champion Female Turf Horse: JOLIE OLIMPICA     

Trainer: Josie Carroll

Owner: Shimokobe Farm                                                  

Breeder: Stud T N T

CH. M. 5, by Drosselmeyer – Jolie Celina *Brz (Trempolino)

2021: 5 Starts – 1 win – 1 second – 1 third – $118,987

Winner: Nassau S. (G2)

Jolie Olimpica (92), Amalfi Coast (56), Our Flash Drive (50)

Champion Male Turf Horse: TOWN CRUISE 

Trainer: Brandon Evan Greer

Owner: Brandon Greer

Breeder: Terrance Reg Greer & Brandon Evan Greer

CH. G. 6, by Town Prize – Candy Cruise (Candy Ride *Arg)

2021: 5 Starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds – $704,953

Winner: Woodbine Mile S. (G1), ALW/OC, ALW

Town Cruise (127), Avie’s Flatter (62), Silent Poet (24)

Outstanding Trainer: MARK E. CASSE

540 Starts; 110 Wins; 80 Seconds; 67 Thirds

Earnings $6,525,302; Stakes wins 27

Mark Casse sent out the winners of a staggering 27 stakes races, a personal record for his Woodbine stable, and his trainees won 110 races, also a new career top. His Canadian runners earned over $6.5 million. He is the trainer of the impressive 2-year-old Canadian-bred colt God of Love, who won the Grey Stakes (G3) and the Cup and Saucer Stakes for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber. The Casse stable, under the watchful eyes of assistants David Adams and Kathryn Sullivan, developed many horses into graded stakes winners. Stable stars included two-time graded stakes winner Our Flash Drive, Mazarine Stakes (G3) winner Mrs. Barbara, Skygaze winner of the Maple Leaf Stakes (G3), Souper Stonehenge winner of the Vigil (G3) and Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3) and Frosted Over, who took the Ontario Derby (G3).

Mark E. Casse (123), Kevin Attard (67), Josie Carroll (30)

Champion Older Main Track Female: SKYGAZE                 

Trainer: Mark E. Casse

Owner:  Tracy Farmer

Breeder: Normandy Farm LLC

B. F. 4, by American Pharoah – Skyscape (Marquetry)

2021: 5 Starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 1 third – $179,200

Winner: Maple Leaf S. (G3), Belle Mahone S., ALW/OC

Skygaze (106), Amalfi Coast (73), Infinite Patience (29)

Champion Older Main Track Male: MIGHTY HEART          

Trainer: Josie Carroll

Owner: Lawrence Cordes

Breeder: Lawrence Cordes

B. C. 4, by Dramedy – Emma’s Bullseye (City Place)

2021: 8 Starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 2 thirds – $377,361

Winner: Autumn S. (G2), Dominion Day S. (G3), Blame S.

Mighty Heart (108), Pink Lloyd (60), Sir Winston (40)

Outstanding Owner: LIVE OAK PLANTATION

68 Starts; 19 Wins; 7 Seconds; 4 Thirds

Earnings $1,403,812; Stakes wins 7

Live Oak Plantation, owned by Charlotte Weber, won its first Sovereign Award for Outstanding Owner in 2020 and had an even more lucrative season with its Canadian starters in 2021. Live Oak, located in Ocala, Florida, won 19 races from 68 starters, including seven stakes races. Leading the charge for the stable was Our Flash Drive, trained by Mark Casse, who won the Selene Stakes (G3) on Tapeta and the Ontario Colleen Stakes (G2) on the turf. Live Oak’s homebred gelding Souper Stonehenge won the Vigil Stakes (G3) and Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3). Another top runner for Live Oak in 2021 was Souper Escape. Other stakes winners for the farm included March to the Arch and Tap It to Win.

Live Oak Plantation (100), Gary Barber (61), Godolphin, LLC (35)

Horse of the Year: MIGHTY HEART

Trainer: Josie Carroll

Owner: Lawrence Cordes

Breeder: Lawrence Cordes

B. C. 4, by Dramedy – Emma’s Bullseye (City Place)

2021: 8 Starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 2 thirds – $377,361

Winner: Autumn S. (G2), Dominion Day S. (G3), Blame S.

Mighty Heart (63), Pink Lloyd (55), Town Cruise (34)