12/17/2005 12:00AM

A Bit O'Gold wins three Sovereign Awards

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Michael Burns
A Bit O'Gold, winning the Grade 2 Sky Classic at Woodbine October 2, took home Sovereign Awards for Horse of the Year, top older male, and top turf male.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - rung out the Canadian Thoroughbred racing season in style on Friday night, taking home Sovereign Awards as Horse of the Year, top older male, and top turf male before a gathering of 300 at the Wyndham Bristol Place Hotel.

Racing for The Two Bit Racing Stable and trainer Catherine Day Phillips, A Bit O'Gold won Woodbine's Grade 3 Dominion Day Handicap on the dirt and Grade 2 Chinese Cultural Centre and Grade 2 Sky Classic on turf while banking $597,336 in 2005.

A Bit O'Gold, winner of the Sovereign Award as outstanding 3-year-old male last year, was the clear choice for each of his three awards in the Sovereign Award balloting.

Voters were asked to rank their top three choices in each of 16 categories, with points assigned on a 4-2-1 scale.

The Jockey Club of Canada, which conducts the Sovereign Award proceedings, announced the finalists in all categories, with the exception of Horse of the Year, on Dec. 1.

Palladio, runner-up in the Horse of the Year voting, was the most dominant winner of the evening in his category, garnering 212 of a possible 228 points as the champion 3-year-old male.

Trained by Roger Attfield for Haras Santa Maria de Araras, Palladio won the Grade 2 Ohio Derby at Thistledown and the Ontario Derby and Victoria Park at Woodbine.

Gold Strike, runaway winner in the 3-year-old filly category, was the third Horse of the Year finalist.

Owned by Harlequin Ranches and trained by Reade Baker, Gold Strike won the Grade 3 Selene and the Labatt Woodbine Oaks prior to winding up her brief but spectacular campaign with a third-place finish in the Queen's Plate.

Baker, who also trained Sovereign Award sprint champion Judiths Wild Rush, won his first Sovereign Award as outstanding trainer.

Attard, second in the trainer vote, guided One for Rose to her third straight Sovereign Award in the outstanding older female category.

One for Rose won three stakes at Woodbine this year, including a victory over males in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup.

Knights Templar, winner of two stakes at Woodbine including a very impressive score in the Grade 3 Mazarine, was an emphatic choice in the 2-year-old filly balloting.

Edenwold, who put together a sprint stakes triple at Woodbine this summer, prevailed as champion 2-year-old male.

Ambitious Cat, despite failing to win a stakes, was competitive with the best in the female turf division at Woodbine all season and was honored in that category.

Todd Kabel won his third straight Sovereign Award as outstanding jockey, while Emma Wilson, in her first full campaign, was voted outstanding apprentice.

Stronach Stable was honored as outstanding owner for the ninth time. Stronach's Adena Springs was voted outstanding breeder for the fifth time.

Native Rights was voted outstanding broodmare, a lifetime achievement award.

Awards also were presented in four media categories with Beverley Smith of The Globe and Mail honored for newspaper story; Peter Gross of The Game, for feature story; David Landry for photograph; and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for film/video/broacast.

Michael Byrne, an owner and breeder who also is the former chairman of the Jockey Club of Canada and has been a major player in other executive roles in the racing industry, was presented with the E.P. Taylor Award of Merit.

SOVEREIGN AWARD POINT TOTALS

HORSE OF THE YEAR
A Bit O'Gold175
Palladio59
Gold Strike40

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY
Knights Templar194
Top Notch Lady59
Wannatalkaboutme57

2-YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING
Edenwold126
Seaside Retreat98
Vibank50

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY
Gold Strike201
Lemon Maid119
Monashee 52

3-YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING
Palladio212
Alabama Rain55
Spaghetti Mouse38

OLDER FEMALE
One for Rose207
Fifth Overture107
Nashinda26

OLDER MALE
A Bit O'Gold204
Cryptograph60
Mobil54

TURF FEMALE
Ambitious Cat139
Classic Stamp94
Top Ten List70

TURF MALE
A Bit O'Gold193
Jambalaya89
Mobil51

SPRINTER
Judiths Wild Rush150
Lemon Maid74
Mister Coop45

JOCKEY
Todd Kabel169
Jim McAleney108
Rickey Walcott22
Quincy Welch22

APPRENTICE JOCKEY
Emma Wilson174
Justin Stein113
Corey Fraser95

TRAINER
Reade Baker174
Sid Attard101
Catherine Day Phillips 32

OWNER
Stronach Stable128
Melnyk Racing Stable 110
Harlequin Ranches38

BREEDER
Adena Springs149
Eugene Melnyk102
Gustav Schickedanz 67

BROODMARE
Native Rights117
Adorned90
Big Bux Babe41