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Saftic To Be Honoured In Sudbury

Published: April 15, 2016 1:04 pm ET

Last Comment: April 17, 2016 3:26 pm ET | 9 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

He’s won over 5,100 races and steered his mounts to more than $96 million in purse earnings. Mike Saftic’s driving peers have long had respect for the man in blue, white and red, and now Saftic’s hometown is officially giving him some love, as well.

As an article by the Sudbury Star explains, Saftic will be inducted into the Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame this summer as part of the class of 2016. The induction ceremony will take place during the 48th annual House of Kin Sports Celebrity Dinner and Awards, which will be held on June 8 at Sudbury's Caruso Club.

Saftic is one of three athletes that will be inducted into the hall this year. He will be inducted alongside former NHL forward Al Secord and former Laurentian Voyageurs basketball player and coach John McKibbon.

Saftic has been a mainstay on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit for decades now. The 1989 campaign was the first time that he drove his mounts to over $1 million in earnings, and Saftic has continued to do so each year since then. He has consistently put up productive seasons on Canada’s toughest harness-racing circuit. Saftic drove his mounts to over $6 million in purses in both the 2001 and 2002 campaigns. He topped $5 million in earnings each year from 2003 to 2005, and eclipsed the $4 million mark every year from 2006 through 2009.

Saftic has reduced his amount of drives in recent years, but has still been getting the job done for his connections, as his win totals and purse earnings reflect. Additionally, one cannot think of O’Brien Award winners Sir Luck, Luck Of Michelle, Ellamony or top Open trotter Corn Cob Conch without instantly thinking of Saftic.

On June 8, Doug Gingrich, the longtime Lo-Ellen Park Knights track and field coach will be inducted in the Administration category. The late Father Brian McKee, who was a co-founder of the Sudbury Flying Fathers, will go in under the Builder's category. Longtime local synchronized swim coach Gwendolyn Beaton-Whissell will also be inducted into the Builder’s category, as will longtime local gymnastics coach Lisa Kivinen of the Sudbury Laurels/GymZone.

Tickets for the event are available at the House of Kin or by contacting Norm Mayer, Chris Sheridan or Karly Bortolotti at 705-522-3600. Tickets are $55 for adults and $20 for youngsters 10 years of age or younger.

(With files from the Sudbury Star)

April 17, 2016 - 3:26 pmIt was 1984 you came down in

Garth Gordon SAID...

It was 1984 you came down in the fall from Sudbury to work for the late Bill Carroll and you brought a horse with you which you owned yourself. In Jan. 1985 Bill found out he had incurable cancer. He decided to have his owner's pick up their horses. That left you with your horse and out of a job. I remember like it was yesterday. You and your sister Patricia were walking past my barn at Greenwood Raceway it was now Feb. 1985. And I said what are you going to do now and you said I am going back to Sudbury. And I said if you want to stay I will give you a job and you can bring your horse with you. You brought your horse down to my barn that afternoon and started to work for me the next day. And like they say the rest is history. Aren't you glad you "Stayed". Congratulations, hope to attend.

April 17, 2016 - 6:49 amA wonderful tribute for a

A wonderful tribute for a great fellow ! As a driver , trainer and owner Mike has contributed much to the sport of harness racing . Nice to see one of the real good guys get deserved recognition .

April 16, 2016 - 12:28 pmCongratulations Mike. Well

Congratulations Mike. Well deserved success. John

April 15, 2016 - 7:30 pmHappy to call you a longtime

Hart Duddy SAID...

Happy to call you a longtime friend...Congrats brother! Would love to attend!...Hart

April 15, 2016 - 5:38 pmGood guy, well deserved and

darryl laver SAID...

Good guy, well deserved and pretty good hockey coach also

April 15, 2016 - 3:36 pmSoft Light, Victorious

Joe Riga SAID...

Soft Light, Victorious Breeze, Rare Earth, the great Ellamony, and many many more. Always liked Mikey and he has come through for me many times. I always felt he has not been given the credit he deserves but one of my faves on the WEG circuit for a long time. Congratulations Mike. Well deserved.

April 15, 2016 - 2:55 pmAlmost as good as being the

Dan Fisher SAID...

Almost as good as being the winning coach of the hockey tournament... eh Michael? Haha. Congratulations :)

April 15, 2016 - 2:49 pmCongrats, buddy. Well

Eric Sherban SAID...

Congrats, buddy. Well deserved. Continued success.

April 15, 2016 - 1:20 pmCongratulation Mike and keep

Congratulation Mike and keep up the good work, may the good LORD keep you in good health, enjoy.Ron

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