Bramble Bay Honored as New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year

Michael Dubb’s Bramble Bay has been named the 2022 New Jersey-bred Horse of the Year, champion turf runner, and champion older female by the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey. 

Bramble Bay won the first of her two stakes victories in the $85,000 Jersey Girl Handicap at one mile on the turf against New Jersey-breds on July 9.  The 7-year-old mare won the Jersey Girl for the second time in three years and finished in second during the 2021 renewal for breeder/owner Ballybrit Stable, LLC and trainer Mike Dini.

Mike Maker claimed Bramble Bay for $62,500 on August 3 at Saratoga for new owner Michael Dubb in a race in which she crossed the wire in sixth place.  The new connections chose the $88,000 Pino Grigio Handicap going 5 furlongs over the Monmouth Park turf course and were rewarded when Bramble Bay won the stake for her third victory in 2022.

The daughter of Bullet Train (GB) out of Regal Rose, by Empire Maker, finished 2022 with $160,170 in earnings. She won eight of 34 career starts with earnings of $474,623. 

Holly Crest Farms homebred Speaking is the champion three-year-old and champion sprinter after hitting the board in four of his seven starts with earnings of $141,425.  The son of Mr. Speaker followed up on his champion 2-year-old campaign by winning the $100,000 New Jersey Breeders Handicap by 1 ½ lengths and finishing second in the Sunny Ridge Stakes going one mile.  Speaking also finished third in the Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth Park. 

Speaking has career earnings of $288,100 and is trained by Eddie Owens, Jr.

John Bowers, Jr’s He’spuregold was honored as champion older male after showing his versatility to win stakes races on dirt and turf.   The 4-year-old son of Vancouver out of the Smart Strike mare, Smart N Classy, won the $90,000 Irish War Cry Handicap at one mile on the turf on July 10 in the second start of his championship campaign.  He’spuregold made his first start on the dirt a winning one defeating fellow New Jersey-breds in the $130,000 Charles J. Hesse III Handicap at a distance of one mile and one-sixteenth. He’spuregold is trained by Kelly J. Breen.

His dam, Smart N Classy, was a graded stakes-winning New Jersey-bred for John Bowers, Jr. who earned $466,209.  As a broodmare, Smart N Classy also produced the multiple stakes winner Valedictorian ($761,115) and stakes winner Stay Smart ($266.080).

LC Racing LLC and Swilcan Stable LLC’s Girl Trouble was named champion two-year-old filly after her stakes-winning campaign that saw her cross the wire first in three of her six starts.  Girl Trouble won in her second start on July 16 against open company fillies and was unsuccessful in her next two starts including a third-place finish in the $100,000 White Clay Creek Stakes before finishing her year with two victories.  The daughter of Fast Anna out of Adorabella, by Ghostzapper, won an allowance race by eight lengths before running away from her competition in a similar fashion winning the Future Stars Filly Division Stakes at Parx.

The champion two-year-old filly was bred in New Jersey by Gregory J. Kilka and Bright View Farm and raced under the tutelage of her trainer, Butch Reid.

Holly Crest Farm homebred Great Navigator is the New Jersey-bred champion 2-year-old on the strength of his graded placing in the Sanford Stakes (G3).  The son of first crop New Jersey sire Sea Wizard (Uncle Mo) out of the Stephen Got Even mare, All Even, won his first start June 4 by 5 ¾  lengths against open maiden special weight company.  Great Navigator traveled to Saratoga to run in the Sanford Stakes and finished an excellent second to Mo Strike defeating Breeders Cup Juvenile winner and Eclipse Champion, Forte, and graded stakes winner, Curly Jack.

The 2-year-old champion, trained by Eddie Owens, Jr., has earnings of $83,300.

I Can Run’s stakes win against older fillies and mares earned her the honor of New Jersey-bred champion three-year-old filly.  The daughter of Tourist out of the Peaks and Valleys mare, Hana J, was campaigned by Robert D. Bone and Magic Stable, LLC and is trained by Claudio Gonzalez.  I Can Run broker her maiden in February 2022 and later won a New Jersey-bred allowance race by 12 ¼ lengths in her first start going two turns.  Showing her versatility, I Can Run turned back to the six-furlong distance in the $104,000 Eleven North Stakes winning by 1 ¾ lengths against New Jersey-breds.

I Can Run was bred in New Jersey by Bright View Farm and is the third stakes winner out of Hana J following Exit Stage Left ($157,750) and Silent Appeal ($325,541).

Adorabella was honored as Broodmare of the Year in 2022.   Tracy Farmer bred the 7-year-old mare by Ghostzapper out of Alydorable, by Arch.  She was purchased by Gregory Kilka out of the Keeneland January 202 Horse of All Ages Sale in foal to Fast Anna.  The resulting foal is the 2022 New Jersey-bred Champion two-year-old filly, Girl Trouble.  Girl Trouble continued her racing success in 2023 with a win in the Parx Futurity Stakes and a second in the Ruthless Stakes at Aqueduct.  Adorabella produced a 2021 colt by Bucchero named Book’em Danno and a 2022 colt by Classic Empire.

Hey Chub is the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey’s Stallion of the Year for the seventh time in his career. The 23-year-old son of Carson City out of Donna Doo by Spend A Buck was a multiple stakes-winning New Jersey-bred who hit the board in 30 of his 36 starts and earned $441,755.  

Hey Chub has sired stakes winners Chublicious ($653,393), winner of the 2017 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes, 2018 New Jersey-bred champion sprinter Brother Chub ($674,611), multiple stakes winner Chub Wagon ($669,400), and stakes-placed Chubbiana ($119,872).

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