With the 2018 racing season in our rear view and the Prince Edward Island Standardbred Horse Owners Association Awards banquet just around the corner, there is still a lot of discussion about who will win Horse Of The Year. In years past there was typically an early favorite and it came as no surprise when the winner was announced. This year however in my opinion, there are three legitimate choices and they are Sock It Away, Magical Mistress and Czar Seelster.
Sock It Away has had a sophomore campaign for the ages. Not since Firms Phantom has there been a more dominate performance by a three-year old colt. This son of Pang Shui is owned by Reg MacPherson of Stratford, PE. The colt had 20 wins and 1 second from 21 starts in 2018. He captured multiple Atlantic Sire Stakes and Joe O’Brien Gold events. He also won the $18,000 Maritime Breeder’s Final, $20,000 Atlantic Breeder’s Crown Final and $11,000 Island Breeder’s Final. His only defeat came in December while racing our aged Preferred class. He lost by a neck to the aforementioned Invitational horse Czar Seelster. Sock It Away took a mark of 1:54 and earned an incredible $85,190 this past season which I believe is a record for money earned exclusively in the Maritimes by a three-year old. Gordies Last Call earned $83,706 in 2006 which was the record prior to 2018.
Magical Mistress is one of the greatest two-year old Maritime bred fillies ever in my opinion. The daughter of Camystic-Meridian Magic went undefeated in 12 starts in 2018. She was owned by Barry Martin of Sydney, NS until November of last year when she was purchased by Donnie MacRae of Vernon Bridge and Allard Racing of Saint-Esprit, QC. The filly has a mark of 1:56.1 and $71,280 in earnings. She captured the $27,000 Maritime Breeder’s Final, $20,000 Atlantic Breeder’s Crown and $9,600 Island Breeder’s Final along with multiple Atlantic Sire Stakes and Lady Slipper Gold divisions. She could’ve raced her male counterparts and went undefeated. She was that good.
Czar Seelster had an outstanding season in our aged pacing events. The now ten-year-old Stonebridge Regal horse is owned by Tammy Johnston of Stratford, PE. He had 9 wins from 29 starts with $42,931 in seasonal earnings. He was super consistent this year as he hit the board in 23 out of his 29 starts. He was victorious in the $25,000 Governor’s Plate in 1:53.2 and the $20,000 James “Roach” McGregor Memorial in a seasonal best clocking of 1:53. He also ended Sock It Away’s winning streak in his final start of the season.
I’m giving the nod to Sock It Away but I don’t think that there is a wrong choice between those three horses. I would also like to congratulate these horses and their owners on a spectacular 2018 season. Best of luck in the upcoming awards banquet this Spring.