11/15/2006 12:00AM

Johnie Bye NIght named meet's best


Johnie Bye Night, a 4-year-old gelding who won three stakes locally this season, was named the horse of the year at Finger Lakes, and former trainer Dan Conway became the 16th member of the track's hall of fame last weekend.

The honors were announced at the Finger Lakes Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's annual dinner on Saturday.

Johnie Bye Night, owned and trained by Charlton Baker, set stakes records in the George Barker and Leon Reed handicaps, both at six furlongs, and the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap at 1 1/8 miles. He was also chosen the track's top older male horse.

Conway, a trainer from 1963 to 1983, saddled 822 winners and won 22 stakes, including the New York Breeders Futurity six times and the New York Breeders Juvenile Fillies five times. He was the track's leading trainer three times during the 1960's.

The 6-year-old Ruby's Rocket, owned by David Brown and trained by Tim Murphy, was selected the track's top older mare for the second straight year after after winning the Proud Puppy and Jack Betta Be Rite handicaps.

Other awards went to Donkey Engine, 3-year-old male; Fly to Me, 3-year-old filly; Mad Bob Cat, condition allowance male; and Mighty Annie R, condition allowance female.

Claiming horses honored as best at specific levels were: Say I Do (male) and Hailey Keen (female), $4,000 to $6,250; Atlantis Crusader (male) and Me Me Anna (female), $6,250 to $8,000; and My Sweethearts Gone, $9,000 and up.