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Eternal Camnation, Gallo Blue Chip Elected To Living Horse Hall Of Fame

Published: January 5, 2011 3:58 pm ET

Last Comment: January 6, 2011 8:06 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Stanley Bergstein, chairman of the Living Horse Hall of Fame nominating committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, has announced the results of recent balloting that determined the 2011 members of the Harness Racing Living Horse Hall of Fame. Annual members (in good standing) voted for the two horses they felt exemplified greatness. Their choices are racehorse Gallo Blue Chip, who received 34 per cent of the vote, and racehorse Eternal Camnation, who received 20 per cent of the votes cast.

The other nominees were Rainbow Blue (17 per cent), Garland Lobell (15 per cent) and Real Desire (11 per cent).

Gallo Blue Chip and Eternal Camnation will be inducted on Hall of Fame Day, Sunday, July 3, 2011. The ceremonies for these two extraordinary standardbred racehorses will take place during the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame’s annual dinner. For information on the Hall of Fame weekend and other festivities surrounding this important occasion visit from April 2010 onward or call or write the Museum at 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924. Phone: 845-294-6330.

Standardbreds are only eligible for nomination to harness racing’s highest accolade if they comply with the following strict criteria:

They must be retired from racing for five years and had a drug-free career. In addition, racehorses must have won 75per cent of their lifetime starts, or gone undefeated in a single-season campaign of 12 or more races, or been the winner of $3 million lifetime or named Harness Horse of the Year (US and/or Canada).

Stallions must rank among the 10 all-time leading money-winning sires at their gait, or have sired at least one hundred $200,000 winners, or been a leading money-winning sire at his gait in three or more seasons.

NOTE: BROODMARES are automatically elected if they have produced a $1 million winner and two other winners of $500,000 OR produced a Harness Horse of the Year (US and/or Canada) and another $500,000 winner.


(Nominated as Race Horse)
p,4,1:48.4 ($4,260,959 -- U.S.) Bay Gelding, 1997
(Magical Mike - Camatross - Albatross)

Gallo Blue Chip is the leading money-winning pacer of all time, and the all-time leading money-winning standardbred gelding.

Gallo Blue Chip was undefeated in all eight starts of his freshman season of 1999, as he swept all seven of his New York Sire Stakes contests, including the $150,000 final. By the end of his three-year-old campaign in 2000, Gallo Blue Chip had become the richest single-season money-winning standardbred of all time by earning over $2.4 million (U.S.). Major victories that year included the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Art Rooney Pace, Tattersalls Pace and the Breeders Crown. In his Little Brown Jug Preview win, Gallo Blue Chip set a World Record for three-year-old pacers on a five-eighths mile track (1:50). Gallo Blue Chip was voted 2000 Horse of the Year and Pacer of the Year, and also won both the USTA and Canadian (O’Brien) Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year awards.

As a four-year-old in 2001, in a victory at the Canadian Pacing Derby Prep, Gallo Blue Chip became the leading money-winning pacer of all time with $3,227,861 (U.S.) to his credit. On his way to winning the 2001 Pacing Horse of the Year award in both the U.S. and Canada, Gallo Blue Chip would win 10 out of 19 starts, including the Graduate Pace, Battle of Lake Erie, American-National and the Canadian Pacing Derby. In winning the Presidential Series final as a six-year-old in 2003, Gallo Blue Chip became the first pacer in history to break the $4 million mark in earnings. He would continue to race into 2005 as an eight-year-old.

Gallo Blue Chip was retired on March 12, 2005. He enjoys a well-deserved life of leisure and fame in Slate Hill, New York.

(Nominated as Race Horse)
p,5,1:49.2 ($3,748,574 -- U.S.) Bay Mare, 1997
(Cam Fella - Cool World - Nihilator)

Eternal Camnation ranks as the leading money-winning pacing mare of all time, the third-leading money-winning pacer of all time, and the tenth-leading money-winning standardbred of all time.

In 1999, Eternal Camnation finished second in her first race, but went on to win her next 12 consecutive freshman contests, culminating with a Breeders Crown victory and both the USTA and Canadian (O’Brien) Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year awards. During her 2000 sophomore season, 'Cammie' won the Fan Hanover and the Jugette as her earnings topped the $1 million mark.

As a four-year-old in 2001, Eternal Camnation won the Lady Liberty, her second Breeders Crown, and the Milton Stakes. With her triumph in the final of the Roses Are Red Stakes, Eternal Camnation became the richest distaff pacer ever. She finished the year a nose shy of $2 million (U.S.) in lifetime earnings and was voted 2001 Pacing Mare of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada.

In 2002, five-year-old Eternal Camnation won her second Roses Are Red and Milton Stakes, again receiving U.S. and Canadian Pacing Mare of the Year honours. In 2003, Eternal Camnation would win her last nine straight races, including her third Breeders Crown and Milton Stakes as well as the Classic Distaff. That year she set the World Record for five-year-old and older pacing mares on a five-eighths mile track and earned $908,346 (U.S.), bringing her lifetime earnings to over $3 million (U.S.). For the third time, she was voted Pacing Mare of the Year in the U.S. and Canada and also won Canada’s 2003 Horse of the Year award.

Eternal Camnation’s greatest victory in 2004 was her Classic Distaff win. She garnered her fourth consecutive Canadian Older Pacing Mare of the Year award and retired with $3,748,574 (U.S.) in lifetime earnings. Cammie is currently performing her broodmare duties in Ohio.

(Living Horse Hall of Fame)

January 6, 2011 - 8:06 amI'm obviously prejudiced,

I'm obviously prejudiced, but of all the good horses I trained Real Desire deserves more than any to be recognized. He was put in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (which includes thoroughbreds) three years ago.  All five of the horses nominated should automatically be elected. How can there be arbitrary objective requirements for such an obviously subjective thing?

Hilariously, Real Desire wouldn't even qualify under any of the criteria that judge on track accomplishments. He is only eligible because some educated and many uneducated voters decided he should be Horse of the Year once. Who came up with these requirements? No way it was true horsemen.

As an example: undefeated in a season is a Herculean task but it is vastly different doing it in sire stake program as opposed to open competition. Real Desire was the fastest horse on a mile track EVERY year he raced (season's champion). He dominated Gallo when they met as aged horses. He may have been one of the best to race at racing's premier track The Big M, going 7 for 8 there lifetime. He certainly would have had many more victories if he had not run into another juggernaut and obvious Hall of Fame horse by the name of Bettors Delight (Is he even eligible under the accepted format?).

The whole thing is obviously slanted towards longevity. Something that is more likely achieved by geldings and mares. Pronunciations like this Hall of Fame announcement may be representative of a sickness within our industry that is possibly endemic.

My ramblings may all have been "sour grapes", but how can something be printed where they show a great animal like Real Desire finishing fifth?  He is the only horse amongst those five still out in the market. It is disheartening.

Thanks, Blair. 

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