SMART STRIKE notched another milestone at the recent 37th annual Sovereign Awards in Toronto when his daughter Never Retreat was honored as Canada’s 2011 Horse of the Year. She becomes the third individual Horse of the Year for SMART STRIKE, following in the hoofsteps of two-time HOY Curlin and Canada’s 2004 HOY Soaring Free. Also named Canada’s 2011 Champion Turf Female, Never Retreat is SMART STRIKE’s 11th individual champion, joining the likes of ENGLISH CHANNEL, Lookin At Lucky, My Miss Aurelia, etc.
Sportingly kept in training at the age of six, Never Retreat put together an outstanding 2011 season, one that saw her win five graded events in a busy 11-race campaign. She opened the year with victories in the G3 Honey Fox S. and G2 Jenny Wiley S. in the U.S. before annexing the G2 Dance Smartly S. and G2 Canadian S. over the summer at Woodbine. In her penultimate career start, she defeated a deep field in the G1 First Lady S. at Keeneland, a well-deserved first top-level score. Owned by Team Block and trained by Chris Block, Never Retreat was retired with a record of 31-11-7-7 and earnings of $1,298,76. Never Retreat was bred in Kentucky by Gerry O’meara and Stanley Inman. Congratulations to the connections of this wonderful race mare!