03/22/2017 3:11PM

Mo Dont No honored as 2016 Ohio Horse of the Year

JJ Zamaiko Photography
Mo Dont No won 8 of 11 starts, including four stakes, during his 3-year-old campaign.

Mo Dont No, whose 11-race campaign as a 3-year-old produced eight victories and four stakes wins at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 1/4 miles, was named 2016 Ohio Horse of the Year during the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners dinner last Saturday night in Galloway, Ohio.

In addition, Mo Dont No, a son of Uncle Mo owned by the Looch Racing Stables of Ron Paolucci and trained by Jeff Radosevich, was voted Ohio’s champion 3-year-old and champion handicap horse.

Mo Dont No’s dam, Lilah, was honored as broodmare of the year. Both Lilah and Mo Dont No were bred by Beachwood Racing Stable.

During a campaign that began on the first of May and stretched until Nov. 21, Mo Dont No won the Cleveland Gold Cup at 1 1/8 miles, the Governor’s Buckeye Cup and Best of Ohio Endurance at 1 1/4 miles, and the $200,000 Steel Valley Sprint (via disqualification) against open company going six furlongs. He earned $401,530.

Paolucci, a Ohio resident whose stable rose from claiming horses to a Breeders’ Cup winner with Ria Antonia in 2013, was named Ohio’s owner of the year. In addition to Mo Dont No, Paolucci campaigned in partnership Grade 2 winner Conquest Enforcer and Imperative, winner of the $400,000 Poseidon Handicap on the Pegasus World Cup undercard at Gulfstream Park.

Tim Hamm, who has won a divisional award in Ohio every season since 2008, extended that streak when his Blazing Meadows Farm was chosen breeder of the year. In addition to accumulating the most money in breeders’ awards, the farm bred and raised Ohio-accredited champions Eightthehardway and Leona’s Reward.

Former Canadian Champion Mobil was chosen as stallion of the year.  An 11-time stakes winner during his racing career, Mobil stands at Mapleton Thoroughbred Farm in Polk, Ohio.

Rivers Run Deep, the only Ohio-bred to finish in front of Mo Dont No when he captured the six-furlong Honey Jay Stakes at Thistledown for the third straight year, was named champion sprinter.  He went 6 for 7 in 2016, setting a track record for six furlongs at Belterra Park in Cincinnati.

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Someday Soon was voted champion 2-year-old filly after winning two of six starts for owner-breeder Tommy Ligon.

 Mobil Sky, who went 3 for 6y with earnings of $123,300, was named champion 3-year-old colt.

An upset win in the $150,000 Best of Ohio Distaff, propelled Ohio Gold to champion honors as 3-year-old filly. She won 5 of 16 starts and $208,105.

The 4-year-old Justalittlesmoke, who went 5 for 7 and earned $236,990, was voted champion handicap mare. She came within a nose of defeating Rivers Run Deep in the Best of Ohio Sprint.

The Thoroughbred Charities of America Award of Merit was presented to Anna Ford, who heads up the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program.  Last year, New Vocations provided aftercare services to 66 Thoroughbreds that retired from Ohio tracks or farms.

Dr. Paul Gutheil, who is stepping down as president of the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners after decades of service to the organization and has been an owner and breeder in the state for 40 years, was presented with the OTBO Award of Merit from incoming president Tom McCann.