01/12/2018 10:12AM

Shadow Tracer named Michigan’s 2017 Horse of the Year

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Joe Nevills
Shadow Tracer won the Lansing Stakes in June and the Mackinac Stakes in August.

A campaign that saw strong efforts within his home state and elsewhere helped earn Shadow Tracer the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s 2017 Horse of the Year title.

The Even the Score colt was dominant in three starts against his fellow Michigan-breds at Hazel Park, winning a June allowance by 8 3/4 lengths, then taking the Lansing Stakes by 14 3/4 lengths in June and Mackinac Stakes in August by 5 1/4 lengths.

Prior to the Hazel Park meet, Shadow Tracer finished second in a Keeneland allowance, then won an allowance at Belterra Park. He concluded his season with two thirds in optional claimers at Churchill Downs and Keeneland, and finally was second by three-quarters of a length in the Steel Valley Sprint Stakes at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

In addition to being named Michigan’s Horse of the Year, Shadow Tracer was also the breed organization’s champion 3-year-old male. He races as a homebred for Jim and Martha Fortney’s Elkhorn Oaks, which was named the state’s owner and small breeder of the year. It was the Fortney's second consecutive year earning the small breeder title.

James Jackson trains the Elkhorn Oaks string, including Shadow Tracer.

Shadow Tracer’s success also secured Broodmare of the Year honors for his dam, Star Sheba, also owned by Elkhorn Oaks. Star Sheba, an 11-year-old Elusive Hour mare, has two runners including Cutler, a full brother to Shadow Tracer who won last year’s Patrick Wood Stakes for juveniles at Hazel Park.

Owner Jenny Barbeau and trainer Tommy Gross teamed for two award winners, both by sire Zulu Magic.

A Magical Vow was named the state’s top 2-year-old female on the strength of a campaign that included a win in the Sickle’s Image Stakes and a second in the juvenile fillies division of the Michigan Sire Stakes.

After earning Michigan’s juvenile filly title in 2016, Poof Its Magic followed in 2017 by being named 3-year-old filly of the year. She won the Regret Stakes and Ann Arbor Stakes, and finished second in her division of the Sire Stakes.

Felicia Campbell’s Campbell Stables earned Michigan’s Breeder of the Year title for the fifth time in the last six years. The Grass Lake, Mich., operation’s graduates were led by Older Female of the Year Dorthy’s Blitz.

Winners from MTOBA’s year-end awards:

2-year-old female: A Magical Vow
Dk. b. or br. f., 2015, Zulu Magic — Golden Aphrodite, by Broken Vow
Owner: Jenny Barbeau
Trainer: Tommy Gross
Breeder: Davidson's Tracks-N-Time

2-year-old male: Elliot Road
Ch. G., 2015, Elusive Hour—Soul Fire, by Thunder Gulch
Owner/Breeder: Red Riding Hood Stable
Trainer: Kevin Fletcher

3-year-old female: Poof Its Magic
Dk. B. or br. f., 2014, Zulu Magic—Whackthekat, by Three Wonders
Owner/Breeder: Jenny Barbeau
Trainer: Tommy Gross

3-year-old male: Shadow Tracer
Gr. or ro. c., 2014 Even the Score—Star Sheba, by Elusive Hour
Owner/Breeder: Elkhorn Oaks, Inc.
Trainer: James Jackson

Older female: Dorthys Blitz
B. m., 2012, Fire Blitz—Dorothys Misile, by Gulch It
Owner: Ronald S. Bowling
Trainer: Doug Caraker
Breeder: Felicia Campbell

Older male: Boo Dutton
Gr. or ro. g., 2007, Equality—Inty Binty, by Cryptoclearance
Owner: Kala Crampton Uelmen
Trainer: Jason Uelmen
Breeder: Twin Cedars Farm

Broodmare of the Year: Star Sheba
Dk. b. or br. m., 2007, Elusive Hour—Native Aly, by Sir Cat
Dam of Shadow Tracer, Cutler
Owner: Elkhorn Oaks

Stallion of the Year: Equality
Gr. or ro. h., 1999, Mt. Livermore—Equilibrate, by Gone West
Sire of older male of the year Boo Dutton, stakes winner Pardon My Style, stakes-placed No Cash Back, Trinity Revealed, Pink Pajamas, Beija Boo
Owned by the Equality Syndicate

Breeder of the Year: Campbell Stables (Felicia Campbell)

Small Breeder of the Year: Elkhorn Oaks

Owner of the Year: Elkhorn Oaks

Horse of the Year: Shadow Tracer