Standardbred Canada on Wednesday announced the finalists for the 2013 O'Brien Awards, which honor Canada's best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O'Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014.
This will be the 25th edition of the O'Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O'Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
Nine past O'Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms.
Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair.
There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title.
Kelly Hoerdt, 47, receives his third nomination for the O'Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie.
Here are the names of the division finalists, of which one will be named Canada's 2013 Horse of the Year:
2FP: Precocious Beauty & She's Da Bomb
2CP: Arthur Blue Chip & Luck Be Withyou
3FP: I Luv The Nitelife & Love Canal
3CP: Sunshine Beach & Vegas Vacation
OMP: Anndrovette & Rocklamation
OHP: A Rocknroll Dance & Foiled Again
2FT: Miss Aultsville & Riveting Rosie
2CT: Father Patrick & Muscle Matters
3FT: Bee A Magician & Motown Muscle
3CT: Flanagan Memory & Your So Vain
OMT: Bax Of Life & Maven
OHT: Intimidate & Mister Herbie
Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award.
In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd.