When the voting lines opened for the champion older thoroughbreds for 2011, Havre de Grace was no exception but an obvious choice that stood tall amidst all her other male contenders reminiscent of the time when Azeri and Zenyatta made it to the top few and remained there for quite some time. A remarkable filly by Siant Liam and out of mare Easter Bunnette by Carson City, Havre de Grace was one of the finest fillies trained by trainer, Larry Jones.
Havre de Grace was foaled in the year 2007, in Kentucky was named for the racetrack at Havre de Grace in Maryland. She raced wearing the silks of Fox Hill Farms under the command of her jockey Ramon A. Dominquez. Together, Havre de Grace and Ramon formed quite a pair who seamlessly glided to victory in a number of races despite competing against the more aggressive breed of males.
As a two year old, she started only twice at a mile and a mile and 70 yards winning the latter to break her maiden, both the races happening at the Delaware Park racetrack. It was not until a layoff of more than 6 months that Havre de Grace started again for her three year old season with an allowance race. Her first graded stakes, once again at Delaware Park offered her a timid field of 5 runners which again she closely defeated save for a neck’s defeat by No Such Word. Her incredible fight for victory continued against her prime rivals, Blind Luck and Unrivaled Belle. She started again at the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks but succumbed to Blind Luck’s indispensible speed finishing runner up by a nose. It is believed that had the distance been a little longer, Havre de Grace had enough gas to pull off the victory.
Havre de Grace’s running up continued into the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes, again finishing a second place to winner Blind Luck, this time however, by a neck. All the top three year old fillies once again met at the Breeder’s Cup Ladies Classic; the field comprised of the best fillies, Havre de Grace and her deadly contenders, Blind Luck and Unrivaled Belle. Havre de Grace was over taken by Unrivaled Belle who maintained the lead stalked only towards the later half by Blind Luck coming closest to winner and finishing second by a length and ¾. Havre de Grace finished third, a length behind Blind Luck.
Havre de Grace finally avenged her numerous defeats against Blind Luck and another fine filly, Awesome Maria in the Fitx Dixon Cotillion Stakes, toward the end of their sophomore season, winning the one mile and one sixteenth by a neck. Blind Luck was the sole competitor who came close leaving behind third place finisher, Awesome Maria more than 9 lengths behind race lead.
Havre de Grace finally blossomed into an aggressive contender who’d beat Blind Luck eventually, as a four year old. She started her older season with Azeri Stakes and pulled off the longest lead against Blind Luck, a 3 ¼ lengths and romped the floor consistently again in the Apple Blossom Handicap, and the Obeah Stakes. However, Blind Luck soon caught up with her and defeating her again at the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap by a nose. However, Havre de Grace rose again and reinforced her lead as an older horse starting at the Woodward Stakes against a field of male contenders winning it 1 ¼ lengths over Flat Out.
She followed on with Beldame Invitational Stakes, continuing to win it by an incredible 8 ¼ lengths lead over Royal Delta. Havre de Grace started one more time, this time in Breeder’s Cup Classics against a field full with stronger male horses and finished fourth. Despite the finishing place, Havre de Grace pulled off a within 2 lengths finish to race lead Drosselmeyer and runner ups Game on Dude and Ruler on Ice.
Havre de Grace raced in 15 races in her entire career of 3 years, never finishing out of money save one. She retired with career earning lesser than her contender Blind Luck but was nominated and awarded the title of American Champion Horse of the Year along with Champion Older Female Horse 2011.
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