06/12/2009 12:00AM

Toronto group lauds best of '08


Michael's Bad Boy will be honored as claimer of the year at the Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club's 47th annual awards day on Sunday at Woodbine.

Michael's Bad Boy, a 6-year-old gelding, is trained by Nick Gonzalez for owner Joan Agro. He won 5 of 10 starts last year, for earnings of $154,131, and was victorious on both the Polytrack and the grass.

Michael's Bad Boy, who was developed by trainer John LeBlanc Jr., captured his first stakes last weekend at Woodbine in the $125,000 Steady Growth.

Patrick Husbands will take home the hardware for top jockey in number of races won, 140. His mounts earned a meet-leading $9,433,918.

Mark Casse was the top trainer, with 75 victories and earnings of $5,648,751.

Stronach Stable was the top owner in money won, with $2,297,301. The outfit won 32 races.

Bill Tallon, the Canadian editor of Daily Racing Form, will receive the merit award, in recognition of his contributions to Thoroughbred racing in Ontario. Tallon, 57, joined DRF in 1979.

"I'm flattered to have been chosen for this honor," said Tallon. "I believe the Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club serves an important function, as it gives its members the opportunity to experience the facets of the racing world which would not necessarily be available to all regular racegoers."

The Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club, consisting of people from all segments of the racing industry, conducts farm and backstretch tours, as well as an annual field trip to an out-of-town racetrack, which will be a second trip to Presque Isle Downs this August.