12/18/2006 12:00AM

Arravale takes top Sovereign


Arravale, a Kentucky-bred owned by Bob Costigan and trained at Woodbine by Mac Benson, was the solid choice in both the Horse of the Year and turf female categories in the balloting conducted by the Jockey Club of Canada.

A total of 61 voters participated, naming their top three choices in each division, with points assigned on a 4-2-1 basis.

True Metropolitan, a 4-year-old gelding owned by Bob Cheema and trained by Terry Jordan, was second in the Horse of the Year voting and was a hands-down choice in the older male category.

Based in Vancouver, True Metropolitan won stakes races at Hastings, Stampede, Northlands, and Woodbine.

Sky Conqueror, a homebred 4-year-old colt who races for owner Bill Sorokolit and trainer Darwin Banach, was the third Horse of the Year finalist and dominated the voting in the older turf male category.

Bred in Ontario, Sky Conqueror won the Grade 2 King Edward and Northern Dancer at Woodbine and finished third in the Grade 1 Canadian International.

Shillelagh Slew, who won Fort Erie's Prince of Wales via disqualification and later journeyed to Edmonton to take the Canadian Derby, was a popular winner in the male 3-year-old category and finished fourth in the Horse of the Year voting.

Rounding out the top five in the Horse of the Year balloting was Financingavailable, the runaway winner in the older female category.

Financingavailable started eight times at Woodbine, all in stakes races, winning five and finishing second in the other three.

Kimchi, winner of the Woodbine Oaks and Bison City when trained by Mark Casse, was the 3-year-old filly champion. Casse also earned his first Sovereign Award as outstanding trainer.

Leonnatus Anteas, undefeated in three starts at Woodbine, including the Cup and Saucer and Coronation Futurity, prevailed in the 2-year-old male balloting, while Catch the Thrill emerged with the 2-year-old filly title in the closest vote of the year.

Winner of Woodbine's Princess Elizabeth Stakes, Catch the Thrill is trained by Mark Frostad and races for Sam-Son Farm, this year's Sovereign Award-winning owner.

Judiths Wild Rush, who was voted champion sprinter for the second straight year, was one of four Sovereign Award winners who were repeating their successes of 2005.

The others were Emma-Jayne Wilson, who was voted outstanding apprentice jockey for the second time; Todd Kabel, who took home his fourth straight Sovereign as outstanding jockey; and Adena Springs, voted outstanding breeder.

Dream Smartly was voted outstanding broodmare, a lifetime achievement award.

Awards also were handed out in four media categories,

David Landry was honored for outstanding photograph, Paul Wiecek for feature story, Dave Perkins for newspaper story, and Horse Racing Alberta and WhiteIron Productions for film, video, or broadcast.

vote tallies

The point totals for the three finalists in each category, based on 4-2-1 for each voter's top three choices, follow: Sovereign Awards point totals Horse of the Year Arravale 182 True Metropolitan 70 Sky Conqueror 67 2-Year-Old Filly Catch the Thrill 115 Sealy Hill 107 Midnight Shadow 85 2-Year-Old Colt or Gelding Leonnatus Anteas 199 Barilko 113 Skip Code 46 3-Year-Old Filly Kimchi 156 Vestrey Lady 96 Strike Softly 76 3-Year-Old Colt or Gelding Shillelagh Slew 214 Edenwold 92 Malakoff 39 Older Female Financingavailable 220 Monashee 72 Hide and Chic 66 Older Male True Metropolitan 222 Arch Hall 49 Judiths Wild Rush 41 Turf Female Arravale 236 Ambitious Cat 56 Strike Softly 55 Turf Male Sky Conqueror 230 Le Cinquieme Essai 86 Last Answer 38 Sprinter Judiths Wild Rush 150 Main Executive 79 Just Rushing 45 Jockey Todd Kabel 112 Patrick Husbands 84 Emma-Jayne Wilson 76 Apprentice Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson 216 Justin Stein 103 Mario Gutierrez 32 Trainer Mark Casse 117 Reade Baker 82 Sid Attard 78 Terry Jordan 78 Owner Sam-Son Farm 120 Bob Cheema 92 Stronach Stable 65 Breeder Adena Springs 158 Sam-Son Farm 74 Gardiner Farm 61 Broodmare Dream Smartly 129 Braverelle 124 Artic Bleu 65.