The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2014 ballot.
A total of 36 horses and people, including 18 Standardbred racing candidates and 18 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will declare the winners in their respective categories. Results will be announced Tuesday, April 8.
Standardbred ballots representing this year’s six voting categories are as follows:
In the Standardbred Male Horse category, Blissfull Hall, J M Vangogh and Rocknroll Hanover are the candidates.
In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown. Owned by Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, QC, this champion was trained by Ben Wallace with Ron Pierce as regular driver. A 31-race career over two seasons amassed a record of 19-4-6, a mark of 1:49.2 and earnings of $1.4 million before embarking on a successful career as a stallion.
J M Vangogh, purchased as a yearling for $4,500 by Paul Chambers of Harrington, Delaware, made a remarkable recovery from an accident in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final as a two-year-old to earn $2.28 million in 206 starts over eight seasons and the nickname ‘The Comeback Kid.’
Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his race career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ont.; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC. Career highlights include victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three-year-olds, the Metro Pace and the North America Cup. He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013.
B Cor Tamara, Dreamfair Eternal and J Cs Nathalie are nominated in the Female Horse category.
Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000. Bred and owned by Bill Core of Dresden, Ont., the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and granddam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall. Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.7 million.
Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a career spanning seven years, 56 victories, including every stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earning over $2.5 million and being named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The daughter of Camluck was bred, raised and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ont. with Patrick Fletcher receiving training credit.
As a broodmare, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ont. – pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal. Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3. Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010.
The three candidates in the trainer-driver category are Yves Filion, William Gale, and Wally Hennessey.
Yves Filion, 67 of Saint-Andre-D’argent, Quebec was one of his province’s premier trainer-drivers for close to 30 years driving in almost 18,000 races with 4,362 wins and $26.5 million in earnings. Training credits include 248 winners and horses earning in excess of $3.4 million. Pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama each became millionaires with Filion responsible for both training and driving.
William Gale, 65 of Woodstock, Ont., was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons. During his career, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million.
Wally Hennessey, 56, of Prince Edward Island, has more than 8,200 victories to his name and has banked earnings in excess of $55 million. In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown. In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York.
Candidates in the builders’ category include Dr. Ted Clarke, John B. Ferguson and Robert Murphy.
Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry. Highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth. Before Grand River, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network.
John B. Ferguson may be best known for his time in the National Hockey League, but his passion for Canadian horse racing was drawn from early years spent with his father and grandfather at old Hastings Park in Vancouver, BC. In addition to his role as a very active owner and breeder, Ferguson also took a role in track management. He was hired by Blue Bonnets in Montreal and after leaving hockey became the President of Windsor Raceway. He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, BC, one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, was known by his popular ‘Red Star’ moniker. First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners. He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009. In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada.
Outstanding Standardbreds Albatross, Artsplace, and Happy Lady make up the Veteran Horse Ballot.
Albatross was voted US Harness Horse of the Year in 1971 and 1972. He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million. As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million.
Artsplace was the 1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following an undefeated four-year-old season. He was a two-year-old world record holder winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida, soundly defeating champion Die Laughing. He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career which saw him race many times in Canada before becoming a world class sire.
Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, Ont. and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville. Though her race career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.2. Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races. As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts.
In the Communicators category the election committee will make their selection from Harry Eisen, Bill Galvin and Frank Salive.
The late Harry Eisen spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario. As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press. Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old,” sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy. He was inducted into Western Fair’s Wall of Fame in 1980.
As a publicist, promoter and author, Bill Galvin, a native of Arnprior, Ont. made a tremendous impact on horse racing in Canada. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing. He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans. He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the health of horse racing during his career.
Leamington, Ont. native Frank Salive was known for over 35 years as ‘The Voice’ of Canadian harness racing. During his career it is estimated he called over 100,000 races, becoming a fan and industry favourite for his knowledgeable and informative calls and silky voice. Frank’s career as a track announcer began at Sudbury Downs in the late ‘70s and continued at tracks throughout Ontario, including 14 years at Ontario Jockey Club/Woodbine Entertainment Group harness tracks and concluding at Pompano Park, Florida. Salive was also a regular writer for the Canadian Sportsman for several years.
The voting ballots for Thoroughbreds will feature:
A Thoroughbred Male Horse ballot comprised of, Peaks and Valleys, Quiet Resolve and Wando is offered for election committee consideration.
Peaks and Valleys, a Mt. Livermore son owned and bred by Pin Oak Farm’s Josephine Abercrombie of Kentucky and named Horse of the Year in Canada in 1995, was the winner of two Gr. 1 stakes – Molson Export Million Stakes at Woodbine, and the Meadowlands Cup Handicap. He achieved career stats of 9-3-2 in 16 starts and earnings in excess of $1.5 million before moving to the breeding shed.
Quiet Resolve, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2000, a winner of $2.3 million and a homebred for Sam Son Farm. His race career included wins in the Atto Mile (Gr. 1), and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy Stakes (G2)
Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2003 for breeder owner Gustav Schickedanz, an honoured member of the CHRHF. The Langfuhr son retired from racing with 11 wins eight of them in stakes, in 23 starts and earnings of $2.5 million.
Fillies and Mares will be represented on this year’s roster by Apelia, Ginger Gold and One for Rose.
Apelia, a splendid sprinter owned by Steve Stavro’s Knob Hill Stables was conditioned and ridden by Hall of Famers Phil England and Larry Attard respectively. She won stakes in New York, Kentucky and New Jersey and is the dam of champion mare Saorise.
Ginger Gold, Canada’s champion two-year-old filly in 2001, a homebred for the Jim Dandy Stable of Mel Lawson, honoured CHRHF member. Under the tutelage of 2013 CHRHF Inductee Sid Attard the mare earned over $1 million during her Canadian based career.
Three time Canadian champion filly or mare One For Rose was bred by John Sikura’s Hill ‘N’ Dale Farm, and owned by the Tucci Stables of Toronto. During her lengthy career, the popular fan favorite was trained by Hall of Famer Sid Attard, before being sold to Japanese breeding interests and producing her first stakes winner.
Stewart Elliott, Richard Grubb and Robert Landry have been selected to appear on the Jockeys/Trainers ballot.
Toronto-born jockey Stewart Elliott partnered with 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner ‘Smarty Jones’ to make headlines around the world. During a career of over 29,000 starts, Elliott ridden horses have amassed earnings in excess of $91 million. In 2010 he was named the winner of the Avelino Gomez Award.
Richard Grubb, born in Kitchener, Ont., excelled as a champion jockey for a 20-year period from the mid-‘60s to the early ‘80s and carries with him the stat of winning the first race he ever rode as a professional. Significant mounts include Overskate, Vice-Regal, LaPrevoyante and Dancer’s Image.
Named Canada’s outstanding jockey in 1993 and 1994, Robert Landry’s stats over a 29-year riding career include 17,656 mounts with purse earning of $69.7 million. Of note was his 1999 Atto Mile win on Quiet Resolve, also a 2014 CHRHF nominee. Landry has also made significant contributions to the promotion of racing.
Election Committee members will select between Thoroughbred Builders W. D. Graham, Pierre-Louis Levesque, and Arthur W. Stollery.
W. ‘Bill’ D. Graham has been an integral participant in the horse racing industry for almost half a century as an outstanding breeder, owner and racing executive. He is the owner of Windhaven Farms which operates in both Caledon, Ont. and Lexington, KY, and has bred and raced many Sovereign Award winning horses throughout his career.
Highly successful owner, breeder, and racetrack operator Pierre-Louis Levesque of Carignan, QC has spent much of his career working behind the scenes in the racing industry. A founder of the Thoroughbred Jockey Club of Quebec, he is viewed as an inspirational figure within the thoroughbred industry in his home province.
Arthur W. Stollery was the owner and breeder of two of Canada’s most celebrated racing stars, both CHRHF inductees: Kennedy Road, named after the location of his Unionville based Angus Glen Farms and Laurie’s Dancer named after Stollery’s daughter Laurie. Both horses were products of his first year of his breeding operation and achieved significant wins in both Canada and the US.
The Veteran Horse category will be contested by Cool Mood, Not Too Shy and Ruling Angel.
Cool Mood, the 1969 Canadian Oaks winner owned by Kinghaven Farms, was one of Canada’s most influential broodmares. The Northern Dancer daughter is the grand-dam of such horses as Touch Gold.
Three-time Canadian champion filly or mare Not Too Shy was owned and bred by Conn Smythe, an honoured member of the CHRHOF is a daughter of Neartic
A homebred for the renowned Sam Son Farm, Ruling Angel was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 1986.
Roger Laurin, Horatio Luro and Maurice Zilber are this year’s nominees in the Veteran People category.
Roger Laurin, the Montreal-born trainer, garnered success at prominent racing stables most notably in the U.S. during the 1960s and 1970s working for the likes of Penny Chenery and Ogden Phipps training such horses as Riva Ridge and Numbered Account.
Argentine-born trainer Horatio Luro, nicknamed ‘El Gran Senor’ was hired by E.P. Taylor to run his Windfields Farm operation and was best known in Canada for training ‘Northern Dancer’ in 1964, 50 years ago. In a career that spanned 48 years, Luro trained 43 Stakes winners and three times, Luro-trained horses won the Queen’s Plate.
French-based trainer Maurice Zilber was acclaimed in Canada and elsewhere for his work with racing stars ‘Dahlia’ and ‘Exceller’ among others. In total Zilber trained horses who won the Canadian International a record-tying three times.
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.
Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com.
(Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)