12/30/2014 2:12PM

Harness: 3 Brothers Stables, Fielding share Owner of the Year

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As members of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) considered choices for the Dan Patch Owner of the Year, Breeder of the Year, Pacing Broodmare of the Year, and Trotting Broodmare of the Year awards, two names surfaced frequently – the 3 Brothers Stables and John Fielding.

Fielding, a resident of Toronto who has graduated from riding the streetcar to the old Greenwood Raceway to serving on the Board of Directors of the Woodbine Entertainment Group, owned two seasonal million-dollar-winners in 3-year-old trotting colt Father Patrick and 3-year-old trotting filly Shake It Cerry while the 3 Brothers Stables of Alan, Ronald, and Steven Katz, who got their schooling on the New York City circuit, owned millionaire 3-year-old pacing colt JK Endofanera and 2-year-old pacing filly JK She’salady, the first freshman filly to be named harness racing’s Horse of the Year.

Both of the “JK” horses, with the prefix honoring the Katzes’ late father and mentor Jack, are offspring of Art Major out of a Presidential Ball-Mardi’s Crown mare named Presidential Lady, who was a “walkover” for Pacing Broodmare of the Year – USHWA’s Breeder/Broodmare nominating committee thought no other candidate viable. They will be the last “JK”s for the Katzes out of Presidential Lady, who was sold last year to Melissa Orlando of Ohio – but this “1-2 punch” was thought so potent, with both horses at the very top level of their divisions all year, that the Katzes/3 Brothers Stables were named Breeders of the Year by USHWA.

On the trotting broodmare side, Solveig got the most votes of any candidate in their category, two- or four-legged, with 100 out of 140 voters picking her for Trotting Broodmare of the Year. The winner is a daughter of Yankee Glide-Exquisite Amanda owned by, straightforwardly enough, Solveig’s Breeders, of which Fielding is a member. Solveig, from matings with Donato Hanover, was represented in 2014 by Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry and by the 2-year-old trotting colt Uncle Lasse, who himself earned $351,297. Fielding is also among the owners of Uncle Lasse and no fewer than three Breeders Crown (and Dan Patch divisional) winners: Shake It Cerry, Father Patrick, and 2-year-old gelding trotter Pinkman.

So with credentials such as these, the voters must have had a hard time deciding between 3 Brothers and Fielding for the honor of Owner of the Year, right? Right.

Whom did they choose? Both – it was a dead heat, with each receiving 50 votes. And it’s hard to argue with that result – because it’s hard to argue with excellence, which both 3 Brothers and Fielding showed in spades during 2014.

The Katzes and Fielding will be presented these awards and others, as will the rest of 2014’s stars, both human and equine, on Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Orlando, Florida, at USHWA’s annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet--Night of Champions.