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HomeHorse RacingHavre de Grace: A Perfect Blend of Natural Talent and Intelligence

Havre de Grace: A Perfect Blend of Natural Talent and Intelligence



Havre de Grace possessed expertise in such abundance she introduced Larry Jones out of retirement to coach her in 2011.

She had proven potential at 3, ending third to Unmatched Belle and Blind Luck within the Breeders’ Cup Women’ Traditional (initially known as the Distaff and now again to that title). However proprietor Rick Porter thought there was extra to be tapped, and that Jones was the most effective individual to resolve her.

He was not incorrect.

As Porter stated of Jones’ position within the filly’s emergence, “He made her particular.”

Jones vividly remembers the day the daughter of 2005 Horse of the Yr Saint Liam arrived at Oaklawn Park. After inspecting her from head to toe, he instructed members of his workers and anybody else who would pay attention, “This horse right here has simply bought every thing.”

With the passage of time, Havre de Grace by no means misplaced her luster to Jones.

“She was most likely the closest factor to an ideal horse that I’m ever going to have the ability to contact,” he stated. “She principally had no points.”

The filly’s thoughts impressed Jones as a lot as something. She was all the time comfy in her personal pores and skin, even when shipped to faraway venues for main races. Nothing appeared to faze her.

“Her perspective was as a lot about her wonderfulness as something,” Jones stated. “She simply did issues proper for us. She made herself at dwelling wherever her feed tub and water bucket was.”

Havre de Grace loved an auspicious opening to her 4-year-old marketing campaign when she rattled off three victories in succession. She defeated rival Blind Luck within the 2011 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn and added one other victory there within the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap.

She moved on to Delaware Park, Porter’s dwelling observe. She prepped for the Delaware Handicap by successful the Grade 3 Obeah Stakes, solely to have Blind Luck flip the tables by beating her by a nostril within the Delaware Handicap.

That led to a pivotal resolution by Porter. He thought Havre de Grace might nonetheless emerge as Horse of the Yr, however he knew it might take a daring stroke for that to occur.

Rachel Alexandra had grow to be the primary filly to defeat males within the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Race Course solely two years earlier than and used that as a springboard to Horse of the Yr honors. Maybe Havre de Grace might comply with that lead?

Porter saved turning over that concept in his thoughts. He started analyzing how she in contrast with the highest males within the nation. From each angle, he appreciated what he noticed.

“It was getting towards the top of her profession. I simply in contrast the numbers,” stated Porter, who died in June 2021 after an extended battle with most cancers. “She was on the prime of her sport. I simply stated, ‘We’re going to run her in [the Woodward],’ and he or she ran superbly.”

She defeated Flat Out by a size and 1 / 4. That final result certainly resonated with Horse of the Yr voters. So did her 8 ¼-length stroll within the park towards elegant Royal Delta within the Grade 1 Beldame Invitational.

Porter was so inspired by the Woodward that he opted to check males once more within the Breeders’ Cup Traditional. Havre de Grace acquitted herself properly, however ran fourth to victorious Drosselmeyer.

Nonetheless, she had finished sufficient to simply take dwelling Horse of the Yr honors. She acquired 166 first-place votes to 26 first-place votes for runner-up Acclamation, the Pacific Traditional victor.

Havre de Grace closed her profession with 9 victories in 16 begins. She ran second 4 occasions and third on two different events in incomes $2,586,175.

In accepting Horse of the Yr recognition for Havre de Grace, Porter famous her potential to ship at crucial occasions. “She did it her means,” he stated. “She gained the massive races when it counted.”  

Word: This story was initially revealed in 2018 and has been up to date.


Enjoyable Information

  • Foaled Could 12, 2007
  • Named after metropolis in Harford County, Md.
  • Was third consecutive filly or mare to be named Horse of the Yr, following Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta
  • Delivered first foal, a filly by Tapit, on Feb. 7, 2014. Filly was named Heavenly Grace
  • Heavenly Grace was unable to win at 2 or 3 however broke by means of at 4, when she was victorious on Could 27, 2018 in her fourth profession begin
  • Havre de Grace’s third foal is Grade 3 winner Swish Princess, by Tapit
  • Havre de Grace bought for $10 million on the Fasig-Tipton November sale after her racing profession was over



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