07/20/2012 2:52PM

Sassy City named New England Horse of the Year for 2011


Sassy City was named the James Moseley Horse of the Year for 2011 in New England on Thursday night at the region’s turf writers’ awards dinner.

Owned by Kathleen Botty and trained by her husband, John Botty, the mare won twice last year and placed in the Grade 3 Endine Stakes at Delaware Park. She is 5 for 9 at Suffolk Downs with three second-place finishes. A win last summer at Monmouth Park locked up the award as well as the trophy for champion older female. It is the second straight New England Horse of the Year for the Bottys after Lovethatdirtywater won for his 2010 campaign.

“It’s unbelievable,” said John Botty. “It seems hard to imagine to get two in a row like that.”

Sassy City finished second in the American Beauty Stakes in January at Oaklawn, helping erase the “fiasco” of a seventh-place finish in the Bob O’Malley Sprint last fall. She was sold back to Shari and Barry Eisaman and is in foal to Mineshaft. The Eisamans also broke and raised this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champ I’ll Have Another.

The New England Turf Writers name their divisional champions at the end of each season but save the Horse of the Year announcement until the banquet. Suffolk Downs racing secretary Tommy Creel received the Lou Smith Memorial Award for yearly achievement and prominent owner Frank Bertolino accepted the Sam McCracken Memorial Award for lifetime achievement.