MISSISSAUGA. Ont. - As he did many times this year, Somebeachsomewhere stole the show Saturday night at the O'Brien Awards.
The brilliant colt was a unanimous choice as three-year-old pacing colt of the year and also received the 2008 Cam Fella award before making history by being named unanimously as Canada's horse of the year for the second straight season.
In addition, regular driver Paul MacDonell captured his first-ever O'Brien, as Canada's top driver after being the runner-up in two of the past four years.
Somebeachsomewhere set a single-season earnings record with more than $2.5 million in 2008. The son of Mach Three paced three world-record miles and won all but one of his races.
He was the sport's richest and fastest in `08, pacing to a 1:46.4 world-record run at The Red Mile in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes.
Owned by the Schooner Stables, a six-member group from Bible Hill, N.S., Somebeachsomewhere's stakes victories included the Burlington, North America Cup, Confederation Cup, Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final, Simcoe, Tattersalls, Messenger and Breeders Crown.
Co-owner Brent MacGrath, who makes his living selling cars, took 2008 off to manage the colt's career.
MacDonell drove 195 winners in 2008 and amassed earnings of more than $8 million. In addition to Somebeachsomewhere, MacDonell was also the regular driver for O'Brien Award winners Define The World and Elusive Desire.
Bob McIntosh, 56, of Windsor, Ont., captured his fourth O'Brien Award as Canada's top trainer. McIntosh led all trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes by earning over $1 million in OSS events. His stable won 159 races and earned $3.7 million in purses, pushing him over $51 million all-time.
Nebupanezzar, one of McIntosh's top horses was also awarded an O'Brien as Canada's top two-year-old pacing colt. Nebupanezzar was North America's top money-winning juvenile pacing colt, with over $1 million to his credit and won 10-of-14 races including seven OSS events.
St Lads Popcorn captured top two-year-old pacing filly honours. The Twin B Champ filly won 12-of 15-and races and over $600,000 for the Jack Darling Stable while winning eight OSS events.
Chancey Lady, a winner of nine races and over $721,000, was voted Canada's three-year-old pacing filly of the year.
My Little Dragon was named older pacing mare after accumulating over $831,000 in earnings and registering top-three finishes in 19 of 22 races.
Secrets Nephew, a winner of over $411,000, captured older pacing horse honours.
Elusive Desire was named Canada's two-year-old trotting filly of the year. She had the OSS Super Final and $395,000 in earnings to her credit.
Federal Flex, a winner of over $560,000 and such stakes events as the Champlain and Valley Victory, was voted Canada's top two-year-old trotting colt.
The top three-year-old trotting filly title went to Lantern Kronos. Al Libfeld's homebred Define The World took sophomore trotting honours, winning 14 races and $751,000 last year.
Breeders Crown champion Brigham Dream, who netted over $222,000 in earnings, received the older trotting mare award.
Arch Madness earned his second straight O'Brien Award, this time as Canada's top older trotting horse after capturing the Maple Leaf Trot and over $842,000.
Phil Pinkney, 71, of Central Onslow, N.S., received the O'Brien Award of horsemanship. Regarded as one of the best developers of young horses in the Atlantic region, Pinkney had 26 wins and $135,000 as a trainer, then added 26 wins and $138,000 in purses as a driver.
Robert Hamather of Exeter, Ont., received the Armstrong breeder of the year award. Horses he bred made 23 starts and earned $1.2 million in '08.