12/06/2007 12:00AM

Sealy Hill finalist in two categories

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Cloudy's Knight and Sealy Hill, both of whom turned in impressive performances in Grade 1 turf races on Woodbine's Canadian International Day card, are among the leading finalists for this year's Sovereign Awards.

The Jockey Club of Canada, which conducts the Sovereign Award balloting, released the lists of three finalists in each of 15 categories on Thursday.

A total of 50 of the 65 eligible voters cast their online ballots in the Sovereign Award poll, listing their top three choices in each category, with points assigned on a 4-2-1 basis.

To be eligible for consideration, 3-year-olds and older horses must have made at least three starts in Canada this year by Nov. 25. For the first time, 2-year-olds were required to make just two starts.

The winners, along with the three finalists and recipient of the Horse of the Year award, will be revealed at the 33rd annual Sovereign Awards ceremony at the Westin Harbour Castle in downtown Toronto on Dec.o14.

Cloudy's Knight, based in Illinois with trainer Frank Kirby, won the $2 million Canadian International in his third visit to Woodbine and heads a talented group for the champion turf male award.

Sky Conqueror, winner of the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in May, and Eccentric, winner of back-to-back graded stakes at Woodbine earlier this year, are the other turf male finalists.

Sealy Hill, trained by Mark Casse, finished a close second behind the formidable French invader Mrs. Lindsay in the $1 million E.P. Taylor for fillies and mares.

Earlier, Sealy Hill became the first horse to sweep Woodbine's triple tiara series for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies and also is a finalist in her own division.

Bear Now, winner of the Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion at Philadelphia Park this fall and Woodbine's Gradeo3 Selene in May, should furnish some serious opposition in the 3-year-old filly voting.

Mike Fox, winner of Woodbine's Queen's Plate; Alezzandro, successful in Fort Erie's Prince of Wales; and Leonnatus Anteas, who defeated older rivals in Woodbine's Grade 3 Durham Cup in October are the male 3-year-old finalists.

Financingavailable, last year's champion older female, and True Metropolitan, the reigning champion older male, both are in line to repeat in their respective categories.

Financingavailable also is on the short list in both the turf female category and the sprinter category, in which four candidates indicate a tie for third place. Bear Now also reappears on the sprinter list.

Kodiak Kowboy, a 2-year-old colt who is based in the United States with Steve Asmussen, benefited from the new two-start rule as he met the requirement at Woodbine and went on to be competitive with the best of his division south of the border.

Officer Cherrie, based at Woodbine with Casse, and Dancing Allstar, whose connections hail from Vancouver, head the 2-year-old filly short list.

Casse and his go-to rider, Patrick Husbands, are the runaway leaders in their respective standings at Woodbine and top the finalists in their Sovereign Award categories. There also was a tie for third in the jockey voting.

Tyler Pizarro, the leading apprentice rider in Canada, is joined on his short list by Dean Deverell and Matt Moore. All are based at Woodbine.

The Melnyk Racing Stable of Eugene and Laura Melnyk is an outstanding-owner finalist, and Melnyk is on the short list for outstanding breeder.

Bob Cheema, the Vancouver-based owner of True Metropolitan and Dancing All Star, is a finalist for the second straight year.

Adena Springs is up for its third straight owner award.