For the third straight year, Michigan champion Valley Loot was named Horse of the Year by the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association at its year-end awards banquet.
The five-year-old Demaloot Demashoot mare tallied two wins from nine starts during her 2009 campaign for earnings of $112,875.
Valley Loot notched stakes wins in the June 16 Golden Sylvia Handicap at Mountaineer and the Older Filly and Mare division of the Oct. 3 Sire Stakes at Pinnacle Race Course. She finished second in the Farer Belle Lee Handicap at Pinnacle and third in the Larkspur Handicap at Pinnacle, the Autumn Leaves Stakes at Mountaineer and the Windward Stakes at Presque Isle Downs.
Valley Loot is owned by Felicia Campbell and trained by Ronald Allen, Sr.. She was bred in Michigan by Marilyn McMaster. Her regular rider was Federico Mata.
For more information on the winners from the MTOBA Awards Banquet and other happenings during the event, check out my writeup on the MTOBA website.
In related news, I recently accepted a gig writing news updates for the MTOBA website, so if I write anything exciting over there, I’ll post a link to it. Don’t worry, I assure you the new venture will not affect the quality, quantity or objectivity of the content on this site. To quote my favorite recurring character from In Living Color, “Homey don’t play dat.”
As always, I enjoyed myself at the awards banquet. Catching up with people and making new connections in the industry is always a good time.
The silent auction is often my source of reading material for the following year, and there is always some cool memorabilia to bid on. I chipped in a few items myself by donating a few framed photos I took of the scenery at Keeneland Race Course and one I took of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin in the paddock prior to the 2008 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Both sold pretty well.
My haul was not as visually impressive as in previous years (I’ve needed a good sized box to carry everything out on more than one occasion), but I still walked out with some goodies. I snagged a set of clubhouse passes to Arlington Park for next year’s meet, so look for a nice recap from the not-so-cheap seats sometime this summer.
In a move to expand my knowledge of the world of horse racing, I bought a book on harness racing – “Harnessing Winners” by Dave Brower. There were also a few Christmas presents in the pile, but to reveal what they were would compromise their surprise value. I’m sure you understand.