12/20/2016 2:37PM

Harness: O'Brien Award finalists announced


On Tuesday, December 20, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2016 O’Brien Awards, which honor Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season.

The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ont.

This will be the 28th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Twelve past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. Past winners include Caprice Hill, Flanagan Memory, L A Delight, Lady Shadow and Solar Sister in the horse categories as well as Casie Coleman, Travis Cullen, Sylvain Filion, Richard Moreau,  Rick Zeron, the partnership of Marvin Katz & Al Libfeld, and Seelster Farms.

Below is a complete list of the nominees and their respective owners:

2016 O’Brien Award Nominees


Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer

Idyllic Beach

Owned by Christina Takter, East Windsor, NJ – John Fielding, Toronto, ON – Brixton Medical Inc., Matawan, NJ and Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON

Yaris Bayama

Owned by Bayama Farms Inc., Saint-Andre-D’Argenteuil, QC

Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer

Beyond Delight

Owned by Jeffrey Snyder, Michael Snyder, New York, NY and Four Friends Racing Stable LLC, Moorestown, NJ

Sports Column

Owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Paoli, PA –Blake MacIntosh, Cambridge, ON –Daniel Plouffe, Bromont, QC

Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer

L A Delight

Owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON – CSX Stables, Liberty Center, OH, and Al McIntosh Holdings, Inc., Leamington, ON

Pure Country

Owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Wellsville, PA

Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer

Betting Line

Owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge, ON, Christine Calhoun, Chatham, ON and Mac Nichol, Burlington, ON

Racing Hill

Owned by Tom Hill, Hamilton, ON

Older Pacing Mare

Lady Shadow

Owned by David Kryway, Amherstburg, ON, Carl Atley, Xenia, OH, Ed Gold, Phoenixville, PA and BFJ Stable, Philadelphia, PA

Solar Sister

Owned by David Willmot, King City, ON & Clay Horner, Toronto, ON

Older Pacing Horse


Owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Oakville, ON – Tao Racing LLC, Pompano Beach, FL –Howard Taylor, Philadelphia, PA – Cool Cat Racing Inc., Flemington, NJ

Wiggle It Jiggleit

Owned by George Teague Jr Inc., Harrington DE – Teague Racing Partnership, Boynton Beach, FL


Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter

Ariana G

Owned by Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON & Al Libfeld, Pickering, ON

Magic Presto

Owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David Mc Duffee, Delray Beach, FL – Little E LLC, New York, NY

Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter

Mass Production

Owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Oakville, ON- James Walker, Port Perry, ON- Bruno Dipoce, Wasaga Beach, ON and Rene Allard, Matamoras, PA

Seven And Seven

Owned by June Durand- Tom Durand, Puslinch, ON & Allan Smith, Oakville, ON

Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter

Caprice Hill

Owned by Tom Hill, Hamilton, ON

Emoticon Hanover

Owned by Determination, Montreal, QC

Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter

Bar Hopping

Owned by Christina Takter, East Windsor, NJ- Hatfield Stables, Columbus, OH – Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON & Al Libfeld, Pickering, ON

Marion Marauder

Owned by Marion Jean Wellwood, Stratford, ON & Devin Keeling, Cambridge, ON

Older Trotting Mare

Charmed Life

Owned by Allard Racing Inc., Saint-Esprit – Yves Sarrazin, La Presentation, QC-VIP Internet Stable LLC, Piscataway, NJ

Hannelore Hanover

Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – Frank Baldachino, Clarksburg, NJ – J And T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY

Older Trotting Horse

Flanagan Memory

Owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny – Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC

Musical Rhythm

Owned by Santo Vena, Brampton – Nunzio Vena, Bolton, ON – Claude Hamel, Ayer’s Cliff, QC – Ben Baillargeon, Guelph, ON

People Awards

O’Brien Award of Horsemanship

Travis Cullen, Rockton, ON

Rick Zeron, Oakville, ON

Armstrong Breeder of the Year
Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON / Al Libfeld, Pickering, ON

Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON

Driver of the Year
Sylvain Filion, Milton, ON

Bob McClure, Elora, ON

Trainer of the Year

Casie Coleman, Cambridge, ON
Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON

Future Star Award

Brett MacDonald, Embrun, ON

Louis Philippe Roy, Mont-Joli, QC

-edited release (Standardbred Canada)