Updated on 09/16/2011 9:50AM

Wake at Noon Canada's best


TORONTO - Wake at Noon was the star of the evening at the 28th annual Sovereign Awards gala here Saturday, taking home honors as Canada's horse of the year, top sprinter, and top older male for 2002.

Wake at Noon, a 5-year-old horse owned and bred by Bruno Schickedanz and trained by Abraham Katryan, won four stakes, six races, and $463,011 while dominating Woodbine's sprint division for much of the season.

The other horse of the year finalists were Added Edge, owned by Team Valor and Robert Wilson, and Portcullis, owned and bred by Sam-Son Farm.

Added Edge was undefeated in four starts, including Aqueduct's Grade 3 Nashua, en route to being voted Canada's champion 2-year-old colt or gelding.

Portcullis, a 3-year-old gelding, won three straight stakes on the grass at Woodbine this summer and was honored as top turf male.

The Sovereign Award winners were elected by 59 voters across Canada, who listed their top three choices in 16 categories. Points were assigned on a 4-2-1 basis and the three finalists in each division were announced Nov. 28.

The Jockey Club of Canada, which conducts the Sovereign Award voting, departed from previous practice this year and did not make public the point totals for the various categories. Therefore, there was no way to know how close the voting was in each of the divisions, robbing the awards of much of their drama in a year in which several categories were expected to be hotly contested.

In one division expected to produce a close vote, the 2-year-old filly division, Brusque, owned and trained by Ron Woods, was honored on the strength of her victory in Woodbine's Grade 2 Mazarine.

Lady Shari, owned by her trainer, Dave Cotey, in partnership with Hugh Galbraith and Derek Ball, won stakes at Northlands Park and Woodbine and prevailed in what was perceived to be another contentious category, the 3-year-old filly division.

Le Cinquieme Essai, winner of Fort Erie's Prince of Wales Stakes for owner-breeder Bill Scott and trainer Paul Nielsen, emerged victorious in a wide-open 3-year-old male race.

Chopinina, runner-up in Woodbine's Grade 1 Atto Mile for owner-breeder Knob Hill Stable and trainer Alec Fehr, was the champion turf female.

Small Promises, owned by her trainer, Roger Attfield, in partnership with Kinghaven Farm, won stakes at Woodbine and Fort Erie and was the champion older filly or mare.

Attfield, Woodbine's leader in money-won, also received his sixth Sovereign Award as outstanding trainer. He last won the award in 1993.

Sam-Son Farm took home its third straight award, and fifth overall, as outstanding breeder, while Stronach Stable was honored as outstanding owner for the seventh time.

First Class Gal, whose progeny include 2002 Woodbine stakes winner First Quarter and 2000 Canadian champion One Way Love, was honored as outstanding broodmare.

The winners in the two jockey categories were familiar faces. Patrick Husbands, Woodbine's leading rider, was honored as outstanding jockey for an unprecedented fourth consecutive time and Chantal Sutherland repeated as outstanding apprentice.

Sovereign Awards also were presented in four media categories with Michael Burns Jr. honored for outstanding photo, Steve Simmons for newspaper article, Bruce Walker for feature story, and Great North Productions for film/video/broadcast.

More than 300 attended the ceremonies at the downtown Royal York Hotel.