11/15/2008 12:00AM

Tin Cup Chalice, Ross Morton honored by Finger Lakes

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Tin Cup Chalice was named 2008 Finger Lakes horse of the year at the Finger Lakes Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association awards dinner on Saturday. Tin Cup Chalice won three races at Finger Lakes this season, including the $150,000 New York Derby. He also won the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park.

A New York-bred 3-year-old gelding owned by Scott Van Laer and trainer Michael Lecesse, Tin Cup Chalice became the first horse to sweep the three legs of the Big Apple Triple. He received a bonus of $250,000 for the sweep. Tin Cup Chalice has career earnings of $868,680 and is expected to make his next start in the $2.4 million Japan Cup Dirt at Hanshin Racecourse in Japan on Dec. 7.

* The late Ross Morton, the announcer at Finger Lakes for the track’s first 46 years of operation, was inducted as the 17th member of the track’s hall of fame on Saturday. Morton began his announcing career in 1962 when the facility opened and went on to call over 60,000 Thoroughbred races. In addition to Finger Lakes, he announced races at Gulfstream Park in Florida for 23 years during the winter months.

Before he became the voice of Finger Lakes he was known as “Mad Man” Morton while working as a radio disc jockey in Syracuse, New York.

Morton passed away on Feb. 20 at the age of 74.