Nijinsky Bulllet, a four-time winner at Suffolk Downs last year, was named the recipient of the 2008 James B. Moseley Horse of the Year Award by the New England Turf Writers Association at its 67th Annual Awards Dinner held this evening at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA.
Owned by Aurora Springs Stable and trained by Rafael Ramos, Nijinsky Bullet was the reigning champion older mare from 2007.
In her first start of the 2008 season, Nijinsky Bullet rolled to an easy victory over a quality group of mares, including multiple New England champions Ask Queenie and Flirt for Fame.
She was a game runner up to 2008 champion older male, Southern Rainbow, in her next start. After a mediocre effort on the turf, she was back on the main track in stakes company in the $50,000 My Fair Lady Stakes. She battled gamely to prevail by a nose over a muddy racetrack that day. Runner up Salty Response was 15 1/4 lengths clear of the rest of the field. She was victorious in her next two starts and had a resounding win over males in August. She went on to have a successful winter campaign in New York, which included a runner-up finish against stakes company. Nijinsky Bullet is stabled at Suffolk Downs again this year and won her return to the races on opening day.
Nijinsky Bullet had previously been named top older female and champion sprinter, while Ramos was awarded the Gerry Sullivan Memorial Award for outstanding trainer for the second consecutive year.
Other divisional winners honored at the awards dinner were:
2-year-old filly – Snow Down
2-year-old male – Mr. Jolson
3-year-old filly – Shorty Puffs
Robert M. O’Malley Memorial Award – 3-year-old colt – Hold On Smokey
Older female – Nijinsky Bullet
Older male – Southern Rainbow
Joseph E. Carney Memorial Award – Turf – Gator’s Tracks
Sprinter – Nijinsky Bullet
Cliff Sundberg Memorial Award – New England-bred – Flirt for Fame
Special Achievement – Donald Kielty, Little Tara
Eli Chiat Memorial Award – Outstanding Jockey – Winston Thompson
Gerry Sullivan Memorial Award – Outstanding Trainer – Rafael Ramos
Lou Smith Memorial Award – Yearly Achievement – Lorita Lindemann
Sam McCracken Memorial Award – Lifetime Achievement – Edward “Ned” Allard
The New England Turf Writers Association also inducted its Hall of Fame Class of 2009, which consists of Allard, Seabiscuit, jockey Chris McCarron, owner and breeder Gil Campbell and reporter and handicapper Dave Wilson. The Hall of Fame was founded in 2005. A plaque bearing the names of all of the inductees is on permanent display at the Sports Museum located in the TD Banknorth Garden.