Havre de Grace was the 2011 American Horse of the Year. She is owned by Fox Hill Farms and trained by Larry Jones. Her sire is the 2005 American Horse of the Year, Saint Liam, and her dam is the mare Easter Bunnette, a daughter of Carson City. Her name derives from the city and race track of Havre de Grace, Maryland. Racing Career 2009: two-year-old season Based at Delaware Park, Havre de Grace made her career debut under the care of trainer Tony Dutrow, finishing third in a one-mile maiden race on August 24.
She broke her maiden in her second start on September 30, a one-mile and 70 yards maiden event. She was then rested for her three-year-old campaign in 2010. 2010: three-year-old season Havre de Grace made the first start of her three-year-old campaign by winning a one-mile allowance race at Delaware Park on May 10. She then finished second in the ungraded Go For Wand Stakes on June 5 in preparation for the July 10 Delaware Oaks, where she was beaten a nose while finishing second to Blind Luck in the first of several meetings between the fillies. She finished second again to Blind Luck, this time by a neck, in her first start away from her home track in the August 21 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga, before besting her newfound rival by the same margin in the October 2 Cotillion Handicap at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. She ended her three-year-old campaign with a third-place finish behind both Unrivaled Belle and Blind Luck in the November 5 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic at Churchill Downs. This was her first start against older fillies and mares.
Afterwards, she was rested for her four-year-old campaign in 2011. 2011: four-year-old season Under the tutelage of her new trainer, Larry Jones, Havre de Grace made her four-year-old debut in the Azeri Stakes on March 19 at Oaklawn Park with an emphatic victory over her archrival, Blind Luck. This was the fifth straight meeting between the two fillies. She then garnered her first Grade 1 victory with a win in the April 15 Apple Blossom Handicap, also at Oaklawn Park .After her win in the Apple Blossom, Havre de Grace returned to her home track, Delaware Park, and scored an easy victory in the Obeah Stakes. She then faced off with Blind Luck for the sixth time in the July 16 Delaware Handicap, finishing second by a nose after a prolonged stretch battle.
After that race, the decision was made that Havre de Grace would make her first start against male horses in the Woodward Stakes on September 3 at Saratoga. She was sent off as the heavy favorite and won, joining the 2009 American Horse of the Year, Rachel Alexandra in becoming only the second female horse to win the race. Her Woodward victory was followed by a dominating performance in the October 1 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park, in which she scored by 8 1/4 lengths over eventual Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic Winner Royal Delta. Havre de Grace closed out her 2011 campaign in the Breeders' Cup Classic on November 5, 2011, at Churchill Downs where she was again pitted against male horses. However, she fell short in her attempt to join Zenyatta in becoming only the second female racehorse to win the richest horse race in America, finishing fourth behind the winner, Drosselmeyer. 2012: five-year-old season In her first start in 2012, Havre de Grace bested four over matched opponents in the March 17 New Orleans Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds.
She was due to make her second start of the year in the April 13 Apple Blossom Handicap an Oaklawn Park, but her trainer and owner, fearing that she might lose, withdrew the reigning Horse of the Year when she was assigned to carry top weight of 123 pounds, six to nine pounds more than her expected rivals.