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Trainer Casie Coleman steals the show at O'Brien awards gala event

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Casie Coleman stole the show Saturday night at the O'Brien awards event.

The 32-year-old from Cambridge, Ont., and her connections captured four awards, including a fifth career top trainer honour for Coleman. In addition, two horses she trained and another she's a part-owner emerged victorious in their respective categories. Betterthancheddar won the older pacing horse honour while Michaels Power was tops in the three-year-old pacing colt division and was voted Canada's horse of the year.

Coleman trained 223 winners in 2012 and earned in excess of $6.8 million in purse money. In August, she became harness racing's youngest trainer to surpass $40 million in career earnings.

Sylvain Filion, 43, a native of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, Que., now living in Milton, Ont., was named Canada's top driver for the first time. He claimed 434 wins and a personal-best $8.6 million in earnings.

Filion was the regular driver for Wheeling N Dealin, voted Canada's two-year-old trotting colt of the year and topped the charts for drivers in the Ontario Sires Stakes last year.

Marc Campbell, 28, of Winsloe, P.E.I., received the O'Brien award of horsemanship. Campbell registered 186 wins and earnings of $467,980 in 2012.

I Luv The Nitelife was named the top two-year-old pacing filly, finishing with a record of 4-4-1 from 10 races and earnings of $682,574. She paced to a world record 1:50.1 in an elimination of the Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk Racetrack.

Captaintreacherous was voted top two-year-old pacing colt after a season that included $911,277 in earnings and eight wins, with four victories in 1:50 or better — a first by a two-year-old.

American Jewel claimed a second straight O'Brien trophy, this time as the top three-year-old pacing filly. The daughter of American Ideal posted a record of 9-4-2 in 16 starts and earned more than $1.1 million despite suffering a fractured sesamoid at the end of last season.

Michaels Power, owned and bred by American Jeffrey Snyder, was named both top three-year-old pacing colt and Canada's top horse. Michaels Power won 14 of 20 starts with more than $1.4 million in earnings and gave Coleman and driver Scott Zeron their first Little Brown Jug victory.

Anndrovette successfully defended her title as Canada's top older pacing mare. A winner seven times in 23 races with earnings of more than $696,000, the season included a dazzling 1:48.1 world-record performance in the Roses Are Red Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack

Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., of Leamington, Ont., and Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. of Windsor, Ont., were named winners of the top breeder awards. Robert McIntosh Stables won this honour in 2007 and 2010.

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