07/14/2008 11:00PM

De Roode named New England's best of 2007


De Roode, who rose from $4,000 claimer to stakes-placed local hero, was named the James B. Moseley Horse of the Year title for 2007 at the New England Turf Writers annual awards dinner Monday night.

After two losses in allowance races at the start of last year's Suffolk Downs meet, the chestnut was claimed by trainer Rafael Ramos for $4,000 and went on to win six races with him. He also ran second four times, including in the $45,000 Waquoit Stakes.

In addition to De Roode, Ramos and owner Jose Acero's Aurora Springs Stables were busy at the dinner, winning awards for two other horses: Awesome Chic - who after the Suffolk meet went on to win the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs - won the 2-year-old filly award, while Nijinsky Bullet took the older female award.

Ramos was voted the Gerry Sullivan outstanding trainer award and Tammi Piermarini won the Eli Chiat Memorial Award as top jockey.

Richard Fields, the majority shareholder in Suffolk Downs, received the Lou Smith Award for the year's greatest contribution to New England racing, and owner Skip McDonnell was given the Sam McCracken Award for lifetime achievement.

Other equine award winners were Beijing House, 2-year-old male; Musical Start, 3-year-old filly; What a Trippi, the Robert M. O'Malley Memorial Award as top 3-year-old male; Mommyums, turf female; Canyon's Way, the Joseph E. Carney Memorial Award as top turf male; and Blind River Fox, sprinter.

A former New England Horse of the Year, Ask Queenie, was given the Cliff Sundberg Memorial Award as top New England-bred.

In addition, multiple New England champion Timely Writer, trainer George Handy, and former announcer Jim Hannon were formally inducted into the region's racing Hall of Fame.