07/14/2008 11:00PM

De Roode New England's top horse of 2007


De Roode, who rose from $4,000 claimer to stakes placed local hero, was voted 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, trainer Rafael Ramos claimed the chestnut horse for $4,000 and went on to win six races. He also finished second four times, including in the $45,000 Waquoit Stakes. De Roode was also named top older horse of 2007.

The Horse of the Year award was voted on at the end of Suffolk's season last November along with 19 other divisional and achievement awards. The Horse of the Year winner is kept secret until the dinner the following summer.

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 won the 2-year-old filly award. This spring she went on to win the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs in March and finished ninth behind Proud Spell in the Kentucky Oaks. 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.

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

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.

Other 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; Blind River Fox, sprinter; former Horse of the Year Ask Queenie, the Cliff Sundberg Memorial Award as top New England-bred. David Amiss, Clifford Dooley, and the horses Brilliant Mrs. W, Milky Way Guy, and President's Intern each won special achievement honors.