The 2011 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals capped a sensational year for breeders Dr. Michael Wilson & Dr. Julie Yager, whose Warrawee Farm topped the OSS breeder standings for the first time.
Rockwood, Ontario’s Warrawee Farm had 55 starts in the provincial program, culminating with three Warrawee-bred horses in the OSS Super Finals. Two of the Warrwee horses – two-year-old colt pacer Warrawee Needy and three-year-old colt trotter Mister Herbie – were victorious while Mystician finished third. The earnings bumped Warrawee Farm’s earnings up over $1 million to $1,055,560, the only breeding farm to surpass the million dollar mark.
Ontario Sires Stakes Top Breeders – 2011
Rank – Breeder – Starts – Wins – Earnings
1. WARRAWEE FARM – 55 – 14 – $1,055,560
2. WINBAK FARM – 198 – 20 – $987,560
3. ROBERT MCINTOSH STABLES – 84 – 17 – $608,720
4. HANOVER SHOE FARMS – 79 – 15 – $602,500
5. SEELSTER FARMS – 73 – 12 – $459,260
Warrawee Needy became the first freshman pacer and just the second Ontario-sired rookie to break the 1:50 barrier with his 1:49.4 score at Woodbine in October. Wilson announced that a portion of Warrawee Needy’s $535,000 earned will be going to children in Kenya to help build schools.
“I’m giving a percentage of what I make from ‘Needy’ to a charity called Children of Bukati,” explained Wilson. “An ex-graduate student of mine went to Kenya three or four years ago and was disturbed to see all of the kids that didn’t have enough energy to go to school because they didn’t have enough food, so she set up her own school and feeds them. She now feeds 700 children. The first class or two have gone on to secondary school, and I am supporting scholarships for girls to go to secondary school. I think educating girls can have a tremendous effect on changing the world. So ‘Needy’ is racing for them.”
While Mister Herbie started off the year slow, he finished with a flourish. Purchased privately in October, Mister Herbie is now four-for-four under the care of Canada’s leading’s money-winning trainer Jeff Gillis. In that four-race win streak, Mister Herbie knocked off divisional standout Daylon Magician in the $300,000 OSS Super Final and then successfully tackled older competition on Monday night in the Preferred Trot at Woodbine.
Mister Herbie’s 1:52 win on Super Final night made him North American harness racing’s fastest three-year-old trotter this season.
Unfortunately for Warrawee, Mister Herbie’s dam Independent Lassie passed away in 2010 but thanks to the exploits of their stock in the OSS program, the breeders awards helped the farm add some regally-bred mares at Harrisburg earlier this month.
- Davincis Choice, a three-quarter sister to the dam of Put On A Show
- All For Me, a three-quarter sister to the dam of 2010 U.S. Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven
- Noble Peace Prize, the first foal of trotting legend Peaceful Way
- Hot Fudge Sundae, the first foal from a sister to Yellow Diamond and recent world record holder Economy Terror
The farm also added Mister Herbie’s sister, Warrawee Kate to their broodmare band to replace the family bloodlines. And while she’s certainly not showing any signs of stopping and heading to the broodmare ranks, Warrawee Koine is another fabulous female from the farm, coming off her best year yet notching 11 wins against Canada’s best pacing mares, getting a new 1:50 lifetime mark and boosting her earnings past the $500,000 mark.
While the word warrawee is believed to come from an aboriginal term meaning “rest a while, stop here”, Wilson and Yager certainly hope to move Warrawee Farm onward and upward.