Woodbine trainer Kevin Attard clearly knew what he was doing when he claimed Starship Jubilee for a very good price at Gulfstream Park in 2017.
Having laid out $16,000 US for Starship Jubilee, he saw the horse earn $604,929 last year, and on May 19 she was named 2019 Canadian Horse of the Year at The Jockey Club of Canada’s 45th annual Sovereign Awards ceremony.
With 17 victories, the seven-year-old has now earned $1,498,667US from 35 career starts, and was also named champion female horse at the Sovereign Awards.
“Hearing her name announced made me jump out of my chair and scream,” Attard is reported to have said. “Obviously, it’s a huge achievement, but to see where she started from — a $16K claimer to a multiple Graded winner and earner of $1.5 million — shows that it’s possible for anyone.”
Although it was a win, it was by the narrowest of margins, with Starship Jubilee racking up 108 points to 105 over former winner Pink Lloyd.
Bred in Florida by William P Sorren, Starship Jubilee recorded three victories in 2019 from seven starts, capped by a score in the EP Taylor Stakes (G1T) at Woodbine.
She started the 2020 season with three straight stakes wins: the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf and the Grade 3 Suwannee River at Gulfstream Park and the Grade 2 Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs.
The 45th annual Sovereign Awards ceremonies were originally scheduled for April 20 in northwest suburban Toronto, but were postponed in response to the coronavirus outbreak, and an announcement was made by The Jockey Club of Canada.
In a news release it said: “The health and safety of our finalists, our guests and their families is of the utmost importance and we feel this is a necessary precaution in the current situation.”
As a result, the Sovereign Awards were held on the evening of Tuesday, May 19 via a virtual presentation, which was streamed live.
Another runner to win two prizes at the recent Jockey Club awards was Entourage Stable’s Pink Lloyd, who claimed the titles of champion older main track male (134 votes) and champion male sprinter (180 votes).
Trained by Robert Tiller, the gelded son of Old Forester won six of his seven starts in 2019, all of which were stakes.
Pink Lloyd upheld his reigning title as winner of Woodbine’s Vigil Stakes (G3), the Jacques Cartier Stakes (G3), and the OLG Kenora Stakes Presented by HBPA of Ontario – each one for the third year in a row.
He also won the Kennedy Road Stakes (G2) and Shepperton Stakes for the second time, having first won both races in 2017, and his total earnings for 2019 were US$376,975.
Bred in Ontario by John Carey, Pink Lloyd was named Canadian Horse of the Year in 2017, as well as champion male sprinter and champion older horse the same year. He was also named champion male sprinter again in 2018.