Ontario-Bred Champion Mr. Havercamp
Friday, August 2, 2019

By Jennifer Morrison

The Canadian Premier Yearling Sale is on August 29th at the Woodbine sales pavilion. The sales catalogue is out and features 272 stunning Ontario-breds like Mr Havercamp  who is making dreams come true for Sean and Dorothy Fitzhenry of Toronto, ON.

The Fitzhenrys stood proudly in the winner's circle at the famed Saratoga Racetrack in Saratoga Springs, NY on July 12 after their homebred boy won the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple Stakes in his first outing of 2019.

“I have dreamed about standing here for a long time,” said Fitzhenry to reporters about winning a race, and a graded stakes race at the 'Spa' at that!

Mr. Havercamp, the 2018 Champion Older Male and Turf Male in Canada, has career earnings of over $673,000 and will now be pointed to the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile on his home turf on September 14.

The Fitzhenrys, who mostly breed to sell, occasionally keep a homebred if the price isn't right. That was the case with Mr. Havercamp, a son of former Ontario sire Court Vision from their mare Tennessee Lamb by Medaglia D'oro.

When he didn’t reach their reserve, the Fitzhenrys sent him to Ontario to trainer Catherine Day Phillips who gave the gelding plenty of time to mature. He debuted as a 3-year-old in the summer of 2017 and promptly won his first two starts, including an eight-length victory in his first start on grass which ultimately would prove to be his favourite surface.

Off that big win, the gelding was sent to Saratoga for the first time for the Grade 3 Saranac, his first stakes test where he finished a good fifth. Back at Woodbine, Mr. Havercamp rolled to victories in the restricted Vice Regent and Bunty Lawless Stakes, both on grass.

Mr. Havercamp's 2018 championship season began with flair as he won the Steady Growth Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for Ontario sired older horses with ease under his regular rider Eurico Da Silva. Later that season his win in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes, a theatrical run as he came out of traffic to win over yielding grass, put him in the field for the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.

The gelding ran a brilliant race in the $800,000 Mile to finish second to front running Oscar Performance and it was that effort that nabbed Mr Havercamp the Champion Turf Male and Older Male Sovereign Awards. He put an exclamation mark on his season with a win in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes on the Tapeta surface in the fall.

Day Phillips was a bit leery to start the champ's 5-year-old campaign in Saratoga's Forbidden Apple because of rain the day before but had been so impressed by how the horse was training. It proved to be the right move as Mr. Havercamp won by half a length.

With eight wins in 13 races the gelding, named for a character in the comedy “Caddyshack”, is one of the most exciting Ontario-breds in training these days along with champion Pink Lloyd and the filly Summer Sunday, both of whom are unbeaten at Woodbine in 2019.

Sean Fitzhenry paid tribute to their hero when accepting the Sovereign Awards this past April.

“We are truly humbled to own a horse that has provided us with such wonderful memories,” said Sean Fitzhenry.

Stay tuned, there could be more special moments from this talented Ontario-bred to come.

Photo caption: Mr Havercamp and Eurico Rosa Da Silva winning the Steady Growth Stakes on June 16 at Woodbine. (Michael Burns Photo)