07/19/2013 10:58AM

Scorpion Strike named New England's top horse for 2012

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EAST BOSTON, Mass. – Scorpion Strike, the winner of four consecutive races in allowance/optional claiming company to complete his 2012 campaign at Suffolk Downs, was named James B. Mosely New England Horse of the Year at the 71st annual New England Turf Writers Association dinner Thursday.

A gelded son of Scorpion out of the Pentelicus mare Pentaflor, Scorpion Strike, won 4 of his 8 starts and had two second-place finishes in 2012. Owned and trained by John Rigattieri, he began his four-win streak with an eye-popping 14 1/2-length win on July 7 and scored a 15-length win on Aug. 28.

Scorpion Strike, announced last November as New England’s champion older male in 2012, died last fall while preparing for a fall and winter campaign in Maryland.

“He caught some kind of strange blood infection when he was with me at  Laurel. The vets and I did everything we could for him but, sadly, he succumbed to it,” said Rigattierri by telephone. “He was a neat horse and had a great personality. It’s really sad and I miss him.”

Scorpion Strike was bred by Santa Cruz Ranch Inc. in Florida and foaled in 2005. In 30 lifetime starts, he won 10 times with 6 seconds and 1 third and earned $121,767.

The horse of the year award, named for the late chairman of Suffolk Downs, and divisional champions are determined by a vote of the regional turf writers.