03/21/2014 11:21AM

Giovanni Boldini named 2013 West Virginia Horse of the Year


The West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association has named Giovanni Boldini, a Grade/Group 1-placed runner in the U.S. and Ireland, the 2013 West Virginia-bred Horse of the Year.

The announcement was made on Sunday at the organization’s annual awards banquet, at which the War Front colt also received honors as the state’s co-champion 2-year-old male with Amherst Street.

Giovanni Boldini was a $675,000 purchase by the Coolmore partnership of Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale, and was sent to the barn of trainer Aidan O’Brien in Ireland. After breaking his maiden in his first start at Dundalk, Giovanni Boldini followed with a third place finish in the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh.

The colt returned to Dundalk to win the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Star Appeal Stakes. He was then shipped to the U.S., where he finished second by a half-length to Outstrip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita as the betting public’s second choice.

Charles Woodson Jr., who sold the colt as a weanling for $190,000 at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, bred Giovanni Boldini. His dam is the unplaced Old Trieste mare Dancing Trieste, who has produced three winners from four foals to race, and shared the title as West Virginia’s Broodmare of the Year for 2013.

Horseman James Casey was the most prolific winner of the evening, owning, training, or breeding four divisional champions under his own name or that of his Taylor Mountain Farm. Those accolades came in addition to Breeder of the Year honors, Stallion of the Year for Windsor Castle, and co-broodmare of the year for Romantic Twist.

Casey campaigned three of the winners as homebreds: co-champion 3-year-old female Blisstikus, champion older female Down Town Allen, and champion sprinter Greenway Court. He was also the breeder of record for co-champion 2-year-old Amherst Street.

Following is a list of winners from the West Virginia Throughbred Breeders’ Association’s 2013 awards banquet.

Champion 2-year-old male: Giovanni Boldini
Dk. b. or br. c., 2011, by War Front—Dancing Trieste, by Old Trieste
Owner: Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Breeder: Charles A. Woodson Jr.

Co-champion: Amherst Street
Ch. g., 2011, by Luftikus—Romantic Twist, by Wild Rush
Owner: Phyllis M. Susini LLC
Trainer: Javier Contreras
Breeder: James W. Casey

Champion 2-year-old female: Henny’s Princess
Ch. f., 2011, by Henny Hughes—Stolen Heart, by Ecton Park
Owner/Breeder: James Miller
Trainer: Keturah Obed-Letts

Champion 3-year-old male: Hidden Canyon
B. g., 2010, by Fiber Sonde—Ghost Canyon, by Indian Charlie
Owner: Phyllis M. Susini LLC
Trainer: Javier Contreras
Breeder: John D. McKee

Champion 3-year-old female: Blisstikus
B. f., 2010, by Luftikus—Prospector’s Bliss, by Personal Flag
Owner/Trainer/Breeder: Taylor Mountain Farm/James Casey

Co-champion: Jax and Jill
B. f., 2010, by Yes It’s True—Rain Song, by Intensity
Owner/Breeder: Robert Cole Jr.
Trainer: Scott Lake

Champion older male: Lucy’s Bob Boy
Ch. g., 2009, by Flatter—Love for Lucy, by Not For Love
Owner: Michael Furr
Trainer: Sandra Dono
Breeder: Robert Furr Sr.

Champion older female: Down Town Allen
B. m., 2007, by Windsor Castle—Like Down Town, by Roy
Owner/Trainer/Breeder: John Casey

Champion sprinter: Greenway Court
B. g., 2009, by Windsor Castle—Candy One, by Yankee Victor
Owner/Trainer/Breeder: Taylor Mountain Farm/James Casey

Horse of the Year: Giovanni Boldini

Breeder of the Year: Taylor Mountain Farm

Stallion of the Year: Windsor Castle

Co-broodmares of the year: Romantic Twist & Dancing Trieste

Special Recognition Award: Russell Road