Havre de Grace in the frame for USA Horse of the Year

Havre de Grace put herself squarely in the picture for USA Horse of the Year honours with a G1 victory in the Woodward Stakes (1800m) at Saratoga on Saturday.

Havre de Grace won by over a length under jockey Ramon Dominguez.  She is bidding to become the third filly in a row to claim the Horse of the Year award following Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta.

Rachel Alexandra won the Woodward at her final start of the 2009 season and the race was widely credited with clinching year-end honours.

Havre de Grace (4f Saint Liam – Easter Bunnette by Carson City) became just the second female to win the Woodward in its 58-year history.  She cost Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farm $380,000 at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale and has now earned over $1.98 million.

“I definitely think we’re in the picture,” trainer Larry Jones said of the Horse of the Year chase.  “We put her in a position to earn a championship if she was good enough.  I think we’re in front of the division.”

Havre de Grace is a daughter of 2005 Woodward winner Saint Liam (Saint Ballado).  He died from a fractured leg at Lane’s End Farm in August 2006 after covering just one book.

Havre de Grace is one of 96 foals from that sole crop.  Her dam Easter Bunnette has a 2yo Hard Spun filly named Easterette.  Jones also trained Hard Spun to 7 wins including the G1 King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga.