Canadian Hall of Fame induction memories
Ten new inductees were enshrined in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Wednesday evening in front of a packed house in Mississauga, Ontario. From the thoroughbred side, owner/breeder (the late) Robert Anderson, Trainer Roger Laurin, jockey Stewart Elliot, 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and communicator Jim Bannon were inducted. Representing the Standardbred breed, breeder owner Charles H. Armstrong, driver William Gale, racehorse Artsplace, broodmare J Cs Nathalie and communicator Harry Eisen also received their Hall of Fame rings. Harry Eisen’s wife Maxine summed up her husband’s all-encompassing love of harness racing when she accepted on his behalf. “He loved his job so much, he’d have worked for free,” she told the audience. “But I’m glad he didn’t!” Horse racing shaped Harry Eisen’s life from his pre-Kindergarten days attending races in Palmerston, Ontario through to the end of his career as a journalist. He used to sell tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a youngster and later used his knowledge of racing to become an expert handicapper. Eisen, who passed away in 1993, combined his passions for racing and writing into a storied career at the London Free Press, where he reported on the sport, wrote a popular column called Mostly About Horses and made the daily Western Fair Raceway selections. Eisen spent 22 years covering horse racing full time for the newspaper and retired in 1983, earning many accolades and honours - including the first media award handed out by the Canadian Trotting Association, also in 1983 - and the respect of horsepeople and other reporters along the way. His first full-time gig was with the Sudbury Star before he arrived in London, where he met his wife Maxine. “When I found out (about the induction) I couldn’t believe, it!” Maxine Eisen said upon accepting the Hall of Fame ring. “It’s nice to know Harry was remembered and appreciated.” Roger Laurin saddled the first winner of the Breeders’ Cup in 1984, Chief ’s Crown, and conditioned Eclipse Award winning filly Numbered Account for Ogden Phipps in 1971. Born in 1935, Roger was involved in horse racing as a youngster. He galloped horses for his father before going to school while living in Florida or where Lucien was racing at the time. At age he 16 earned a trainer’s license at Narragansett, RI. Roger came into prominence in 1964 when he took charge of the conditioning of Miss Cavandish, a $1,500 purchase by Harry Nichols. “I’d like to thank my father for being born before me,” Laurin quipped to the delight of the crowd while accepting his award. “Thank you for the induction; it’s greatly appreciated and a great part of my life.” Laurin was of course referring to Lucien Laurin, whom he coaxed out of retirement to help train at Penny Chenery Tweedy’s Meadow Stable in Virginia in 1971 “on a temporary basis” which culminated in the elder Laurin conditioning 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat for Chenery. Roger Laurin enjoyed success locally winning the 1970 Canadian International Championship with the remarkable filly Drumtop, who broke three track records in 1971. That year was a huge one for Laurin as he had eight stakes winners, including Phipps’ Numbered Account, champion two-year-old filly. In the late 1970s he trained for Reginald N. Webster and the U.S. racing division for E.P. Taylor’s Windfields Farm. Chief ’s Crown was champion 2-year-old after his Breeders’ Cup victory in 1984 and was in the money in all three Triple Crown races in 1985. He won the Travers, Flamingo, Blue Grass and Marlboro Cup Invitational that year. Laurin, however, left the main stage at age 50, retiring along with Chief ’s Crown. He was quoted as saying after Chief ’s Crown’s disappointing fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, “He’s the horse of a lifetime. It took 30 years to find him, and I can’t wait another 30.” When John Lamers claimed pacing mare JCs Nathalie as a five-year old for $25,000 at Mohawk Racetrack on Nov. 11, 1993, he never suspected she would become Dreamfair’s foundation Broodmare. But Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario said his outstanding broodmare is proof that desire is a breedable characteristic. She’s instilled it in her remarkable sons and daughters, among them the farm’s first great champion Dreamfair Vogel, a winner of nearly $1.2 million, and 2010 Canadian Horse of the Year Dreamfair Eternal, the sensational pacing mare that earned over $2.5 million and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014. From 13 foals, including 11 starters, JCs Nathalie’s progeny have earned more than $4.5 million and averaged $409,230 per starter for Lamers’ Dreamfair Farms. “It’s a bit emotional for me,” Lamers began when accepting JC S Nathalie’s Hall of Fame induction. “Every morning I look out the back door and see JC S Nathalie in the paddock eating grass, as healthy as can be. Hopefully she’s going to be there for a long time yet.” Lamers was almost ready to get out of the business the autumn before Dreamfair Vogel started winning. “I guess my suggestion to anyone would be: Don’t give up, there’s a winner out there. Do your homework, study your pedigrees. Then you need to be patient,” Lamers said. “I’m not always a patient man, but for some reason I am when it comes to the horses.” In over 35 years in the sulky, 2015 Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Bill Gale won 6,375 races, but none were more memorable than winning his first Breeders Crown in 1986 with Sunset Warrior at Garden State Park in New Jersey for trainer, friend and fellow LaSalle, ON resident Bob McIntosh. “It was such a big thing at the time for an Ontario-based guy to go to the States and win a race of that stature. I think they were going for $800,000 or so that night,” Gale said. “I think that was the win that kind of pushed me into the spotlight a little.” Gale first thanked his wife of 46 years Janice while delivering his acceptance speech. “I know there’s a few in the audience that think she deserves an award for putting up with me,’ He joked. “They’re probably right!” Gale went on to thank the owners and horseman that “put him in a position to succeed” during his career. “To be recognized by your peers is one of the highest honors you can receive,” he said. “I find this honor greatly humbling, but it is also one I accept with great pride and I thank you all.” Legends of the game such as fellow driver John Campbell and McIntosh — Hall of Famers in both Canada and the United States — made it clear when the 2015 ballot came out that Gale deserved to join them in Canadian Hall. Campbell said Gale was, “easily the best driver not yet enshrined.” McIntosh said Gale, “deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. We traveled all over the United States and Canada and he won a lot of stakes races for me. He had the lightest set of hands. He could keep a bad horse quiet. He was very good with them. Strategically as a driver he was right up there with the best, though he was underrated all the time.” Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons. In his career, he drove the winners of $42.1 million in an era before slots-fattened purses. In 1991, Gale was honoured with an O’Brien Award as Canada’s Driver of the Year following a season where he exceeded $3.2 million in purse earnings. He holds the record for the most driving wins at Windsor Raceway (some 3,500) and was inducted into the Windsor / Essex County Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Gale last drove in 2007, having his career cut short due to injuries sustained in a number of racing accidents. In May, 2004, Canadian jockey Stewart Elliott became the first jockey in 25 years to win the Kentucky Derby in his first appearance when he guided chestnut colt Smarty Jones to victory over 17 contenders over a sloppy track in front of 120,000 racing fans. Under Elliott’s guidance, Smarty Jones became the first undefeated horse since Seattle Slew in 1977 to win the Kentucky Derby. Elliott and Smarty Jones then set the horseracing world abuzz with an 11 1/2 length romp in The Preakness Stakes and expectations of the first Triple Crown winner in 31 were high. But in the Belmont Stakes, Elliott and Smarty Jones set most of the pace only to be nailed in the closing strides by longshot Birdstone, who went on to win by a length. “I know this is an industry where many toil with little or no recognition,” Elliott, a Toronto native, said accepting his Hall of Fame induction. “So I know how fortunate I am to have had a successful career in both Canada and the U.S.” 2004 was a career year for the 39-year-old Elliott as his mounts earned more than $14.5 million. Included in that total was a $5 million bonus from the people at Oaklawn for winning their Arkansas Derby along with the Rebel and the Kentucky Derby. And as he continues to ride into the 2015 season, the 50-year-old Elliott is approaching 4,800 wins, many of which came at Keystone Park, later named Philadelphia Park and now named Parx Racing. He won his first race at Keystone and was leading apprentice rider. Artsplace won 37 times in 49 races, including an undefeated 4-year-old campaign in which he won 16 races without tasting defeat. He set a world record of 1:51 1/5 winning the Breeders Crown at Pompano in 1990 in a performance that to this day is hailed as one of the greatest rookie performances ever. But his excellence was not limited to the racetrack as Artsplace is one of the greatest sires in the history of the sport. To date, his progeny have accumulated over $173 million in earnings with an average of $126,372 per starter. Many of Artsplace’s sons and daughters have gone on to sire champions, including Art Major, sire of 2008 Meadowlands Pace champion Art Official, who won in 1:47, which, at the time, was a world record for three-year-old pacers, and the second fastest race mile in harness racing history. Artsplace was also unique being both a sire of great sires and also of great broodmares, an unusual circumstance in today’s mostly abbreviated sire careers. Art Zubrod – for whom the great champion was named – accepted the induction and thanked “everyone that was involved with the horse,” and specifically thanked trainers Gene Reigle, who developed Artsplace and trained him at two, and “the great Bob McIntosh” who campaigned the champion for Brittany Farms at three and four. Artsplace – who won Horse of the Year both in Canada and the U.S. in 1992 - goes into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 15 years after being enshrined in the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He is part of the third crop of predominantly U.S.-connected superstar horses to gain entry to the Canadian Hall since eligibility rules were loosened in 2013 to allow entry to horses that made a significant contribution to Canadian racing. Previously horses had to be Canadian-bred or owned, predominantly, by Canadians. H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong of Brampton, Ontario, built the Armstrong Brothers farm into the second largest Standardbred breeding operation in North America from 1978 until 2005 when the farm ceased operation. Armstrong, 93, who appeared via video accompanied by family members when told of his Hall of Fame induction replied, “Mercy me, thank you kindly. Armstrong’s wife Lenore accepted the award in his absence and thanked Murray Brown of Hanover Shoe farms for the nomination and the Hall of Fame for the induction. Armstrong and fellow Hall of Famer Gustav Schickedanz were also the breeders of champion trotter Goodtimes, who retired after 11 years on the track, as the richest Canadian bred trotter of all time. Goodtimes was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004. Outside of heading Armstrong Bros., Charlie also had tremendous success with his own Village Acres farm, which produced two-time Breeders Crown winner Village Jiffy, as well as such horses as Village Jove, Village Jolt, Village Connection and Village Beretta. In 1999, Charlie was named to the Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame and the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association presented him with the Chris Van Bussell Award in 2003. Jim Bannon’s induction was met with a lengthy standing ovation from all in attendance as the audience showed their appreciation for a lengthy and charismatic career as a broadcaster, educator and humanitarian. Bannon, who first arrived at Woodbine in 1965 looking for a job at one of the stables, parlayed that interest in horseracing at a young age into a storied career as a public handicapper, analyst and television commentator and as a deeply religious and emotional man, he has led Woodbine’s Chaplaincy program since the late 1980s. Bannon has also produced the popular “Journal” since 1972 which offers bettors his observations and insights in print every racing day. Hall of Fame communicator Louis Cauz presented to Bannon, joking that he was breaking a rule that he instituted as Director of the Hall of Fame that forbid presenters to speak. “Tonight I pass the mantle to a legend who has dedicated his life to the sport of horseracing,” an emotional Cauz said. “It makes me feel I belong,” Bannon said of his induction. “I don’t think anyone wants anything else than to feel they belong to such a distinguished community.” Bannon recalled fondly his first introduction to the sport of horseracing. “I was seven years old and my grandmother took me down to Greenwood Racetrack,” he began. “This isn’t your ordinary grandmother. Grandmothers take you to the Exhibition. This grandmother, who was the mother of 16, took me to Greenwood and put me right where I could see the start of a 7 Furlong race.” “She held my hand as the horses came out of the gate,” he continued. “I got a picture that I would have all my life; the yelling, horses thrusting, the screaming. She looked down at me as if to say “did you get that”, and I got it. I still have it 60 years later.” Bannon, who won a Gemini Award in 2010 as Canada’s best sports analyst acknowledges that “an act of providence” was the main factor in his achievements. A deeply religious and emotional human, Bannon admits it was “an unmistakable evidence of God’s providence, which is everywhere in my life.” The late Robert Anderson, who died suddenly at the age of 64 in 2010, led one of the most influential breeding operations of the 1970s and 1980s. In the heyday of thoroughbred breeding and selling, Anderson surged to the top of the breeders charts. He sold yearlings for millions and bred numerous graded stakes winners. In 1985, Anderson Farms was the leading consignor at Saratoga and Keeneland yearling sales. For more than 41 years before his death Anderson did exactly what he wanted to do for a living. It was something he predicted when he was very young. “I went to Wellington Street School and I remember one day in Grade 5 a teacher asked everybody what they wanted to do, and I said I wanted to raise horses and sell them,” he once said. Anderson’s son David, accepted the induction with his sister Jessica Anderson Buckley remembered his father as a “true sportsman” that did something that he truly loved, traveling millions of miles up and down the 401 corridor following his racehorses. He was also remembered as a man who “treated everyone equally” by his son. That’s one of the things I loved about my father,” he remarked. “One minute he’d be rubbing shoulders with a Fortune 500 executive the next minute he’d be out drinking a Bud Lite with a Hot Walker laughing and telling jokes.” Anderson personally created the match-ups of stallions and mares that produced so many top class Canadian-bred thoroughbreds, most notably Alydeed and champions such as Pinafore Park, Larkwhistle, Prince Avatar, Bounding Away, Triple Wow, Northern Craze, Fifty Proof, A La Reine and Raymi Coya. Another key to his success as a breeder was the stallions he bred, Alydeed, National Assembly and Ascot Knight, who sold for $1.4 million in 1985. Ascot Knight, who stood at Windfields Farm, sired champions Pennyhill Park, Hey Hazel, Influent, Plenty of Sugar and Southdale, who was owned by long-time friend and business partner Rod Ferguson. In 2000, Anderson Farms became involved in Standardbred racing and immediately found success with such champions as Pampered Princess, who earned $1.7 million, Southwind Allaire, Cabrini Hanover, who earned close to $1.5 million, and The Pres. It is estimated Anderson Farms was the birthplace of some 1,400 horses. Anderson was a complete horseman, delving into every facet of the game. He was a director of the Ontario Jockey Club (now Woodbine Entertainment Group) for 25 years, president of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, director of the Hambletonian Society, board member of The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, a member of The Jockey Club of Canada and the Ontario Racing Commission. He was also the first chairman of the Guelph Equine Centre for Equine Research and a member of the E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund. He was the guy you wanted to have on your team,” David Anderson said “I always said: stand behind him or stand beside him; but don’t ever stand in front of him”. During his four-year racing career Mine That Bird won five races, four at Woodbine, the other in a monumental upset in the 2009 Kentucky Derby at Louisville’s Churchill Downs. He went off at odds of 50-to-1 and galloped from 19th place to win going away by six lengths and paying $103.20, the second largest payoff in Derby history. He was just the second gelding to win the Derby since 1929. The other one was Funny Cide in 2003. Bred in Kentucky by Toronto’s Peter Lamantia and partners Jim Blackburn of Chicago, and Kentucky horsemen Phil Needham and Bill Betz, Mine That Bird’s Canadian connections trace back to Northern Dancer on both the male and female lines of his pedigree. Accepting the induction for Mine That Bird was Dr. Leonard Bloch, who still seemed a bit surprised to this day that the gelding with Canadian connections won the world’s most famous horserace against all odds. “Who would have thought that a 50/1 shot coming out of New Mexico that hadn’t won since we bought him would win the Kentucky Derby?” he said. “It had to be divine intervention.” Like the grandsire of Mine That Bird’s dam, Mining My Own, the bay gelding had not celebrated his real birthday before the Derby. Both the Dancer and Mine That Bird were late May foals. The gelding was viewed as being a little small, with a crooked leg and was withdrawn from the Keeneland September yearling sales. “He was small because of his May birth date and we figured it might help if we sold him later,” said Needham. The following month he went through the sales ring at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October mixed sale and was bought for $9,500 by Woodbine-based trainer Dave Cotey on behalf of Dominion Bloodstock owners Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith. Another Canadian connection was the gelding’s dam, Mining My Own, a daughter of Sam- Son Farm’s champion sire Smart Strike. The acquisition of Mine That Bird, a son of Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone, was profitable for his owners. At Woodbine he won the Swynford, Silver Deputy and Grey Stakes and was named Canada’s champion male two-year-old in 2008. He earned $324,000 as a juvenile and was sold to New Mexico owners, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine for a reported $400,000. He was transferred to New Mexico to begin his sophomore campaign for trainer Chip Woolley Jr. He was second in the Borderland Derby in New Mexico before Woodley vanned him 1,450 miles to Kentucky. The graded-stakes earnings from his win in the Grey Stakes at Woodbine earned him a place in the starting gate at Churchill Downs. Its track was rated as “sloppy” after an overnight rain and Mine That Bird, ridden by Calvin Borel, had trouble out of the starting gate and was left about eight lengths behind the rest of the 18 starters. His gallant trip from 19th place escaped the attention of NBC announcer Tom Durkin as the field sped down the backstretch. Borel, using his ground-saving, rail-skimming riding technique, made up 21 lengths, moving into contention at the turn for home. Durkin, focusing on the leaders, didn’t see Borel steering his mount past tiring horses along the rail until he was three lengths in the lead, pulling away with each stride. Borel selected the great filly Rachel Alexandra for the Preakness, defeating Mine That Bird and jockey Mike Smith by a length. He closed rapidly in the stretch but the finish line came before he could catch her. Borel was back on the gelding in the Belmont but was third. A movie called “50/1” was made about Mine That Bird’s career – and more specifically his improbable Kentucky Derby win – and Bloch said he brought the horse to several premieres in the United States for which he sometimes gets recognized. “Hey, you’re the guy that won the Kentucky Derby,” he said people will stop him and say. “I reply: No I’m not. The horse won the Derby!” Standardbred Inductees Male Horse Category: Artsplace – bred and owned by George I. Segal, Chicago, Illinois & Brian P. Monieson, Northbrook, Illinois; later owned by Artsplace Syndicate, Versailles, Kentucky. Veteran Horse Category: J Cs Nathalie – bred by Gaetan Dessureault, St. Ours, Quebec; owned by John P. Lamers, Ingersoll, ON Builder Category: H. Charles Armstrong, Brampton, Ontario Communicator Category: Harry Eisen, London, Ontario Driver/Trainer: William (Bill) Gale, Ingersoll, Ontario Thoroughbred Inductees Male Horse Category: Mine That Bird, bred by Lamantia, Blackburn & Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds; owned by Double Eagle Ranch Inc. and Buena Suerte Equine, New Mexico Builder Category: Robert (Bob) Anderson, St. Thomas, Ontario Communicator Category: James (Jim) E. Bannon, Toronto, Ontario Jockey Category: Stewart Elliott, Auburn, Kentucky Trainer Category: Roger Laurin, Ocala, Florida Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com Presentation photos available at: HOF 2015 Awards Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
TORONTO, ON, July 8 - The 39th Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala Fundraising Dinner on August 5th promises to be an evening of celebration as ten new members join the best of Canadian Horse Racing. Held at the Mississauga Convention Centre, co-hosting duties will be shared by Jim Bannon, Woodbine Entertainment Group Thoroughbred Racing Analyst and 2015 CHRHF Communicator inductee along with Greg Blanchard, Raceway Manager at the Raceway at Western Fair and former racing television commentator. The Gala event will feature a cocktail reception, a fantastic line up of silent and live auction items, a four course gourmet dinner and the Induction Ceremony. The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame acknowledges the generous sponsorship support of this year’s event: Event Sponsor – OLG; Reception and Wine Sponsor – Central Ontario Standardbred Association; Photography Sponsor - Ontario Standardbred Alliance Tracks and Woodbine Entertainment Group for producing the video tributes to each of this year’s inductees. The CHRHF Planning Committee is putting together an impressive list of live and silent auction items including sporting event tickets, racing related memorabilia and art. All proceeds from the auction will go directly toward helping the Hall of Fame recognize the achievements of those that have built and established the roots of horse racing in Canada. The gala will celebrate the induction of Standardbred honourees H. Charles Armstrong, Bill Gale, Harry Eisen, Artsplace, and J Cs Nathalie. Thoroughbred honourees include, Robert Anderson, Stewart Elliott, Roger Laurin and Mine That Bird. The event will pay tribute to 2015 Legend honourees Col. K. R. (Rud) Marshall and Harold H. There will also be a look back to 1965, the year George Royal was named Canada’s Horse of the Year and Armbro Flight made headlines for her racing accomplishments as a three-year-old. The reception and silent auction will commence at 5:30 p.m., followed by a four course dinner, live auction and induction ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $175 per person or $1,700 for a table sponsorship which includes 8 tickets and a $300.00 donation to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame are available by visiting the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Online Store at http://shop.horseracinghalloffame.com/ or by contacting Linda Rainey 416-417-9404 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Opportunities to advertise in the souvenir induction program and event sponsorship packages are also still available.
Three months after moving to Campbellville after nearly 40 years in Peterborough, the veteran Ontario trainer’s Ontario-sired trotter Hemi Seelster pulled off a stunning 76-1 upset in the Goodtimes Stakes on the Pepsi North America Cup harness racing undercard. Pepsi North America Cup Night was surreal for John Bax of Campbellville on a number of fronts. Not only did his Ontario-sired pupil Hemi Seelster pull off a stunning 76-1 upset in the $233,000 final of the Goodtimes Stakes against top Grand Circuit horses, the veteran Ontario trainer then presented the trophy to himself. The Goodtimes, for sophomore trotting males, is named for Bax’s former trotting great, a longtime warrior in the open trot at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004 after earning more than $2 million on the track. Bax, 60, said he was numb as he headed for the winner’s circle on June 20 after the Goodtimes. “I just handed (the trophy) to my wife, Vicky. I was there to give it, so I certainly had no trouble standing on the other side and taking it,” Bax said, laughing. Adding to the surreal nature of the night, it took just five minutes for Bax to make the trip home after the races, rather than the usual two- or three-hour trek. In April, Bax moved to the site of the famed standardbred breeding outfit Glengate Farms in Campbellville that ceased breeding operations in 2005. Until April, Bax had been based in Peterborough for his entire 38-year training career — a stint in which he trained the winners of well more than $17 million (trainer records weren’t kept for the first 16 years of his career) and earned a berth in the Peterborough and District Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. “I drove a lot down the road, wore out a lot of trucks,” Bax said. “There were nights when I was heading home at midnight and they’ve got the 401 shut down in the middle of Toronto and you’re sitting there until 1:30 or 2 in the morning trying to get through and back home.” Needing to be up at the crack of dawn to train his stable compounded the wear and tear on the trainer. “I figured it out that if I was coming (to Mohawk) five days a week in the summer, that’s 20 hours plus (on the road),” Bax said. Bax said the move to the west side of Toronto, and closer to Ontario’s most lucrative tracks, only made sense because his 25-year-old son, Matt, is also a trainer. John also credits Matt for Hemi Seelster being in the Goodtimes in the first place. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t even realize at first that (Hemi Seelster) was in the Goodtimes. Matt slipped one by me. He was always high on him,” John said. “It’s his baby and he sometimes, in his youth, gets a little over-stimulated or high on a horse, whereas I’ve been down that road before.” Hemi Seelster, a son of Holiday Road out of Hollywood Beauty bred by Seelster Farms in Lucan, ON, was a $19,000 yearling purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale in London — the exact same price John paid for Goodtimes as a yearling in 1992. Hemi Seelster is owned by John, Matt, John Houston of Cobourg, ON and the Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough. John Bax pegged the gelding as more of an Ontario Sires Stakes horse than a top stakes horses. In against 1-5 favourite Canepa Hanover and 3-1 second choice French Laundry — both from the powerful Jimmy Takter stable — John said he was hoping for a fifth-place cheque with Hemi Seelster in the Goodtimes. But when Canepa Hanover and later French Laundry broke stride, John said he began counting horses in front of Hemi Seelster. “I really wasn’t paying so much attention to who was in front of us so much as the number there were… I don’t know if I breathed down the stretch,” John said. It was the first victory for Hemi Seelster in seven starts this year. All of this comes on the heels of one of John’s best years in the business. In 2014, John trained the winners of some $1.6 million. Two of John’s trainees — two-year-old trotting filly Stubborn Belle and three-year-old trotting filly Riveting Rosie — earned O’Brien Awards as the top horses in their division in Canada. Only 2001, when John earned some $1.85 million, won a Breeders Crown with Duke Of York at Woodbine and earned the O’Brien Award as Canada’s Trainer of the Year, was better, statistically, than last year. Beyond Goodtimes and Duke Of York ($900,000 lifetime), John has trained a long string of Ontario-sired trotting stars over his career, including: Define The World ($1.65 million), Charmed Life ($830,000), Northern Bailey ($775,000), Pepi Lavec ($650,000), Summer Indian ($435,000), Oaklea Odessa ($410,000), Oaklea Omega ($400,000), Elegant Supreme ($380,000) and Aimees Image ($230,000) Though Hemi Seelster is bound mostly for the Ontario Sires Stakes program this summer — of which John Bax is both a huge proponent and, historically, one of its most successful trainers — he said he might take a shot at the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks with Ontario-sired Stubborn Belle (Taurus Dream—Musetta Hanover) in August at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. He said he hopes Ontario-sired Riveting Rosie (Muscle Mass—Rose De Vie Stena) can overcome allergy issues in time to race in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine in October. For now, the trainer is happy to enjoy an easier commute, easy access to Mohawk Racetrack to train horses and Hemi Seelster’s surprising Goodtimes victory. “I suppose at the end of the day it makes that $1,000 or $2,000 entry fee a little more bearable. It gives you a little hope,” he said. Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Horse Racing email@example.com (519) 782-7178 Please visit: www.ontariohorseracing.ca
Looking for something to do this weekend? Visit the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and Woodbine Racetrack as they take part in Doors Open Toronto presented by Great Gulf. This is your opportunity and to learn about the history and heritage of Canadian horse racing from historians and docents including Hall of Fame Founder/Director Emeritus, Lou Cauz; author and Hall of Fame Member Bill Galvin; and harness racing ambassador, owner and super fan, Sydney Weaver. See rare memorabilia and photos of iconic Canadian horses Northern Dancer and Cam Fella, test your trivia knowledge for the chance to win great CHRHF merchandise, and take your picture as a harness driver or jockey in the photo area. Woodbine activities include backstretch bus tours starting at 10am each day, with behind the scenes tours beginning at noon, and don’t forget there is a full card of Thoroughbred racing action beginning at 1pm both Saturday and Sunday. Hall of Fame driver Ron Waples and Hall of Fame jockey Sandy Hawley are also scheduled to make appearances. Events takes place this Saturday May 23rd & Sunday May 24th from 10am until 5pm. The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, founded in 1976, offers visitors a one of a kind look into 250 years of rich history and heritage of both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred horse racing industry in Canada. For further information on the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame visit canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com & join the conversation via Facebook and Twitter! Facebook: Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Twitter: @cdn_halloffame @woodbineracing @Doors_OpenTO and using the event hashtag #DOT15 Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2015 inductees. A total of 5 horses and people have been elected to the harness racing section of the Hall of Fame. Standardbred inductees include horses Artsplace, J Cs Nathalie and the people include H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong, William (Bill) Gale and Harry Eisen. Artsplace, representing the Standardbred Male Horse Category, was the 1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following a sixteen race, undefeated four-year-old season. He was a World Record holder in his two-year-old season, winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida. Under the care of trainer Bob McIntosh and driven throughout his racing career by Hall of Famers John Campbell, Bill O’Donnell and Cat Manzi, and Bill Gale, Artsplace won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million. As a stallion, Artsplace produced top horses from the time his first crop raced in 1996. To date, his progeny, including 18 millionaires, have accumulated over $173 million in earnings with an average of $126,372 per starter. Many of Artsplace’s sons and daughters have gone on to sire champions, including Art Major, sire of 2008 Meadowlands Pace champion Art Official, who won in 1:47, at the time a world record for three year old pacers, and the second fastest race mile in harness racing history. Standardbred Veteran Horse Category inductee, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal. Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a race record 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 and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014. In total J Cs Nathalie has produced 13 horses of which 11 have started and banked more than $4.5 million in purse earnings. In the Driver/Trainer Category, William (Bill) Gale, 66 of Woodstock, Ontario, has been elected to the Hall of Fame. Gale 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 a driving career that spanned over 30 years, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million. In the fall of ’91 at Pompano Park he won a pair of Breeders Crown Championships, as he guided King Conch to a World Record 1:56.2 win in the $300,000 Two-Year-Old Colt Trot and reined Three Wizards to an upset victory over Die Laughing and Artsplace in the $357,000 Breeders Crown for Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts. In 1991, William Gale was honoured with an O’Brien Award as Canada’s Driver of The Year following a season where he exceeded $3.2 million in purse earnings. H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong, 93, of Brampton, Ontario, has been a true Icon in the Ontario and North American Horse Industry for over 60 years. Following the death of his father Elgin, Charlie and his wife Lenore took over the operation of Armstrong Bros. Farm, and as Chairman of Armstrong Holdings Brampton Limited, he oversaw the growth of the farm into the second largest Standardbred breeding operation in North America. The Armbro name was ever-present in the winner’s circles of prestigious races for both trotters and pacers, producing such champions as Armbro Flight, Armbro Feather, Armbro Omaha and hundreds of others. Of note, Charlie Armstrong and fellow hall of famer, Gustav Schickedanz were the breeders of champion trotter Goodtimes, who at the end of his 11 year race career was retired as the richest Canadian Bred Trotting Horse of all time. Other notables include two-time Breeders Crown winner Village Jiffy, as well as such horses as Village Jove and Village Jolt. Stallions standing at the Armstrong breeding operation included King Conch, Camotion, Dream of Glory, Armbro Emerson and Adios Pick to name a few. The family company was dispersed in 2005; however Charlie, along with his daughters, continues to raise and race Standardbreds under the name Village Acres Limited. Charlie’s involvement in racing extended far beyond that of a breeder and owner and resulted in a long list of achievements for his commitment to the racing industry. In 1999 he was named Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame Honouree in 1999 and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association presented him with the Van Bussell Award in 2003. The 2015 Standardbred Communicator Inductee is the late Harry Eisen who spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario. 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. 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 and described his work as a “labour of love”. Eisen’s regular column, “Mostly About Horses” kept horse lovers in the loop. As a highly regarded handicapper, he also made the Western Fair selections for the Free Press. In 1980, he became the first non-horseman to be inducted to the Western Fair Raceway Wall of Fame. Standardbred Inductees Male Horse Category: Artsplace – bred and owned by George I. Segal, Chicago, Illinois & Brian P. Monieson, Northbrook, Illinois; later owned by Artsplace Syndicate, Versailles, Kentucky. Veteran Horse Category: J Cs Nathalie – bred by Gaetan Dessureault, St. Ours, Quebec; owned by John P. Lamers, Ingersoll, ON Builder Category: H. Charles Armstrong, Brampton, Ontario Communicator Category: Harry Eisen, London, Ontario Driver/Trainer: William (Bill) Gale, Ingersoll, Ontario Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2015 ballot. A total of 30 horses and people comprised of 15 Standardbred racing candidates and 15 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will determine the winners in their respective categories. Results will be announced Tuesday, April 7. Standardbred ballots representing this year’s five voting categories are as follows: In the Standardbred Male Horse category, Artsplace, Blissfull Hall, and Majestic Son are the candidates. Artsplace was the1992 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. He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career. As a stallion, Artsplace produced top horses from the time his first crop raced in 1996. To date, his progeny, including 18 millionaires, have accumulated over $173 million in earnings with an average of $126,372 per starter. In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown for owners Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, Quebec, trainer Ben Wallace, and driver Ron Pierce. 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 he embarked on a successful career as a stallion. To date his progeny have amassed over $67 million in earnings, including 205 horses with earnings over $100,000, and average earnings per starter of $92,461. Majestic Son’s race career consisted of 38 starts, stats of 22-5-3, a mark of 1:52.2 and $1,993,157 in purse earnings. A son of Angus Hall out of the King Conch mare Celtic Contessa, Majestic Son's career was highlighted by wins in the premiere stakes for sophomore trotters including the Champlain, Goodtimes, Canadian Trotting Classic and Breeders Crown. As a sire, his progeny have earned $8.2 million including three $500,000 winners, seven winners of $250,000 and 20 winners of $100,000. B Cor Tamara, Happy Lady and J Cs Nathalie are nominated in the Veteran 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, Ontario, 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. Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville, Ontario. 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. As a broodmare, J CS Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario -- 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 and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014. The three candidates in the trainer-driver category are Jack Darling, Yves Filion, and William Gale. Jack Darling, 62 of Cambridge, Ontario has enjoyed a successful career as a harness horse trainer in southern Ontario over three decades including campaigning 876 winners and conditioning horses to $17.3 million in earnings. In 1995, four fillies put Darling in the spotlight- Diamond Dawn, a winner of $175,000, Low Places (who would win a 1996 O’Brien Award), Faded Glory (winner of more than $250,000 as a freshman) and DieHard Fan (over $200,000 as a two and three year old). Other top horses included Northern Luck ($907,984), North America Cup champion Gothic Dream ($1,528,671), and Twin B Champ. Jack is also known for significant fundraising efforts on behalf of racing related causes, and was recently winner of the Lloyd Chisholm Memorial Award by the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario as well as the recipient of the United States Harness Writers Association Unsung Hero Award and the Good Guy Award. Yves Filion, 68 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. Filion bred, owned and trained pacing mare Rebeka Bayama, a multiple stakes winner who won 23 races and over $690,000 during her career. William Gale, 66 of Woodstock, Ontario, 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. In the fall of ’91 at Pompano Park when he won a pair of Breeders Crown races, he guided King Conch to a world record 1:56.2 win in the $300,000 Two-Year-Old Colt Trot and reining Three Wizards to an upset victory over Die Laughing and Artsplace in the $357,000 Breeders Crown for Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts. Candidates in the Builders’ category include Charles Armstrong, John B. Ferguson and Ted Smith. Charles Armstrong 93, of Brampton, Ontario, has been a true Icon in the Ontario and North American Horse Industry over 60 years. Following the death of his father Elgin, Charlie and his wife Lenore took over the operation of Armstrong Bros. Farm, and as Chairman of Armstrong Holdings Brampton Limited, he oversaw the growth of the farm into the second largest Standardbred breeding operation in North America. The Armbro name was ever-present in the winner’s circles of prestigious races for both trotters and pacers, producing such champions as Armbro Flight, Armbro Feather, Armbro Omaha and hundreds of others. Stallions standing at the Armstrong breeding operation included King Conch, Camotion, Dream of Glory, Armbro Emerson and Adios Pick to name a few. The late 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 Bonnet Raceway in Montreal, Quebec, and after leaving the NHL became the President of Windsor Raceway. He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Ted Smith, of Rockwood, Ontario is the fourth generation of his family to have a passion and interest in horse racing. In 1976 he began working at the Canadian Trotting Association, leading many initiatives and developing many processes and procedures in areas that included freeze branding as a means of identification of Standardbreds in Canada, online systems for maintaining race lines and horse registration data. Ted was also responsible for the management and dministration of the amalgamation of the Canadian Trotting Association and Canadian Standardbred Horse Society and became Standardbred Canada’s first president and CEO in 1998 where he remained until his retirement in 2010. In the Communicators category the election committee will make their selection from Paul Delean, Harry Eisen, and Marie Hill. North Bay native Paul DeLean, began his career as a horse racing writer in the late 70’s at the Barrie Examiner where he met Bill Rowe and was in turn introduced to Standardbred racing. He has worked for The Gazette in Montreal since 1981 and was once referred to as the “English language voice of harness racing in Quebec”. For owners, breeders, trainers, drivers and fans, Delean was the man on the front line telling what they needed to know about the racing game in the province. In addition, Paul was a frequent contributor to the many trade journals in racing. At age 61, Paul has compiled an impressive body of work in covering the sport in Canada. 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. Marie Hill, a native of Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick became involved in harness racing as a youngster, she began writing at the age of 13 and had sporadic columns in The Canadian Sportsman. She followed racing in the Maritimes and during her teen years became friends with Joe O’Brien who she later penned two biographical books about, “Gentleman Joe, The Story of Harness Driver Joe O’Brien” and ‘The Horseman from Alberton”. Other books she wrote include “Single G the Horse That Time Forgot”, “Adios, The Big Daddy of Harness Racing” and “The Delvin Miller Story”. In 2007, Marie was inducted into the Communicators Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York, becoming the first female author to receive this honour. The voting ballots for Thoroughbreds will feature: A Thoroughbred Male Horse ballot comprised of Joshua Tree, Mine That Bird and Quiet Resolve is offered for election committee consideration. Irish-bred Joshua Tree’s career statistics feature earnings of $3,851,594 in 37 starts (7-7-4). The son of Montjeu achieved wins in multiple graded stakes around the globe including the Qatar International Invitation Cup (G1) in 2011 and three victories in the Pattison Canadian International Stakes (G1) in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Mine that Bird, the 2008 Sovereign Award Champion 2-year old bankrolled $2,228,637 in 18 starts (15-2-2). His Juvenile year began at Woodbine with an impressive 4 wins in 5 starts. He gained international attention with his performance came in the 2009 Triple Crown winning the Kentucky Derby, a 2nd place finish in the Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont. Quiet Resolve, winner of the 2000 Sovereign as Champion Turf Horse and also named Canada’s Horse of the Year the same year, was a winner of $2.3 million and a homebred for Sam Son Farm. His race 10-6-4 career over 31 starts included multiple graded stakes wins highlighted by victories in the Atto Mile (G1), and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy Stakes (G2) Stewart Elliott, Richard Grubb and Mickey Walls have been selected to appear on the Jockey ballot. Toronto-born, second generation jockey Stewart Elliott made headlines around the world when he became the first jockey in 25 years to win the Kentucky Derby in their first appearance when he partnered with 2005 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones. During a career consisting of over 29,000 starts, horses ridden by Elliott horses amassed earnings in excess of $93 million with wins in 4,650 races. In 2010 he was named the winner of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. Born in Kitchener, ON, Richard Grubb began his riding career in 1966 at the age of 16 and won the first race he ever rode in as a professional, the first of 1,607 career trips to the winners circle. The following year he was Canada’s leading Jockey with 230 victories. That same year (1967) he won seven straight races on an eight-race card, a feat never duplicated. Richard rode some of the country’s most time-honoured stars including 1968 Sovereign Award - Horse of the Year, Viceregal, Mary of Scotland, and Rouletabille. During his career, Grubb won over 100 major races and was presented the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award in 1997. Following his retirement from racing in 1989, he became a senior Steward with the Ontario Racing Commission. Mickey Walls of British Columbia was born to a horse racing family. His parents Joe and Carol Walls are well-known owner and trainer on the backstretch at Woodbine. In 1990, when Walls was just 16 he won his first Sovereign Award as Canada’s Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. His 1991 efforts saw him become the first apprentice jockey to be voted the Sovereign Award and the United States' Eclipse Award in the same year. In addition, he was voted the overall Canadian Champion Jockey. An early season injury forced him to sit out most of 1992, but he bounced back in 1993 to become leading riding for the second time at Woodbine. In the mid 1990’s he competed in the USA at various tracks before returning to Canada in 1996, winning the final two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown. Among his accomplishments in 1999 he rode Queen’s Plate winner Woodcarver. Career stats include earnings of over $37 million between 1990 and 2002 Election Committee members will select between Thoroughbred Builders Robert Anderson, Michael Byrne and Michael Colterjohn Robert M. (Bob) Anderson was a long-time horseman based in St. Thomas, ON. As President of Anderson Farm, he was involved with breeding, racing and selling both thoroughbred and Standardbred horses for 41 years in Canada, U.S., and Europe. A former Director of Woodbine Entertainment Group (formerly OJC) and past national President of the CTHS from 1981-82, he was also a Board member of Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association in the U.S.A, a Steward of the Jockey Club of Canada as well as a member of the Ontario Racing Commission Advisory Board, the First Chairman of the Guelph Research Centre for Equine Research and member of the E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund. He bred and matured over 1,400 thoroughbreds including champions Pinafore Park, Larkwhistle, and Prince Avatar. He was the breeder of successful sires Ascot Knight, National Assembly and Alydeed. Michael C. Byrne emigrated from Ireland in 1970, and quickly found a job with thoroughbred owner George Gardiner. Twelve years later, Byrne opened his own operation in Orangeville, Ontario, Park Stud, that became home to Ontario stallions such as Brave Shot, Geiger Counter, and Bold Ruckus. In time Byrne took on a larger role in the industry, serving six years on the Ontario Racing Commission, and was a Director of the Ontario Jockey Club for a decade. Other industry positions included Steward of the Jockey Club of Canada in 1993, Chief Steward from 1996-2005. He helped form the Canadian Graded Stakes Committee in 2000 and is also a member of the International Cataloguing Standards. He founded his own sales company, Canadian Breeders’ Sales in 1990, and subsequently took over the CTHS sale at Woodbine for eleven years. Dr. Michael Colterjohn, one of Canada’s top equine reproductive experts joined Gardiner Farms in 1987 and soon became farm President. Under his management, the Caledon East farm became one of the country’s most well-respected and accomplished breeding operations. He built a quality broodmare band to elevate the farm into a significant player in the Canadian-yearling market. Following the sale of Gardiner Farms 2008, Colterjohn along with his wife Dr. Moira Gunn and farm manager Sherry McLean, purchased the Gardiner livestock he had spent so much time and effort amassing and the three partners launched Paradox Farm Inc. The long list of Paradox-bred horses include 2014 Queen’s Plate winner Lexie Lou along with venerable Ontario-sire performer, Pender Harbour. The three Communicators appearing on the Election ballot are Jim Bannon, Curtis Stock and Tom Wolski Toronto’s Jim Bannon, was part of the first Simulcast Racing TV Show in North America in 1981. His natural comfort in front of the camera and extensive Thoroughbred racing knowledge propelled Bannon into a career that includes television analyst, commentator and handicapping expert with followers at racetracks and living rooms across North America. He has been the face of the CBC’s Queen’s Plate and Breeders’ Cup shows and in 2010 he was rewarded with a Gemini Award as Canada’s Best Sports Analyst. For the past 40 years he has published Woodbine Journal, a staple for bettors. In addition to his journalistic endeavours he gives generously of his time as an educator in handicapping seminars, as well as an instructor at Humber College’s Canadian Racing Official’s Course. He is head of the Chaplaincy Program at Woodbine and is also a Director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Curtis Stock, originally from Calgary, got his start as a horse racing reporter while still in university, before working at Woodbine with CHRHF member Bruce Walker. He returned to Alberta to take over the publicity, marketing and advertising at Northlands Park and is now with the Edmonton Journal Stock’s affection for the horses, jockeys, trainers and horse people in general, is reflected in his writing. His reporting has resonated with Sovereign Awards judges. Stock was the recipient of back-to-back Sovereign Awards for Outstanding Feature Story in 1993-94 and beginning in 1985 took home an unprecedented eight Sovereign Awards for Outstanding Newspaper Story in Canada. BC based Tom Wolski has been involved in thoroughbred horse racing for forty years, during which he has worn many hats including jockey, radio-television sportscaster, racing columnist, racetrack media and publicity director, film actor and public speaker. Wolski is the recipient of multiple Sovereign Awards in the category of Outstanding Film &Video Broadcast as writer/ producer in 1998, 2001 and 2011. He was also honoured with the U.S.T.A.’s John Hervey Award in 2004, which recognizes the best in harness racing television and radio journalism. The Veteran Person category will be contested by Roger Laurin, J.G. (Jerry) Lavigne and Robert A. (Red) McKenzie. Roger Laurin, the Montreal-born trainer, came into prominence in 1964 when he took charge of the race conditioning of a filly named Miss Cavandish for Harry S. Nichols. Miss Cavandish became one of the top two fillies racing in the United States that year. From there the list of graded stakes horses he conditioned reads like a who’s who of 1960’s and ‘70’s racing. He trained Drumtop who won numerous top stakes and who broke three track records in 1971 for John Moseley while at the same time achieving conditioning the 1971 2-year-old Eclipse champion filly Numbered Account for Ogden Phipps.J.G. (Jerry) Lavigne’s career as a trainer began in 1958. His achievements included 68 stakes race wins with 22 stakes winners, as well as two Queen’s Plate races with Almoner in 1970 and Son of Briartic in 1982. He was the conditioner of Canadian Champion colt Nice Dancer, a multiple stakes winner on the turf; Lost Majorette and sprinter Park Romeo. His trainee Fabe Count had a stellar record over four years as a multiple stakes winner at nine different distances over both turf and dirt. Alberta-based trainer Robert A. (Red) McKenzie has literally spent a lifetime on the racetrack, joining the backstretch community at the age of 11 before becoming a jockey at age 16 and going on to be a leading rider in western Canada in the mid-40s. When McKenzie grew too big to be a jockey, he took out his trainers' licence. He had early success at Bay Meadows, Golden Gate, Hollywood Park, Meadowlands, Assiniboia Downs, Hastings Park, as well as the Ontario tracks in the fall. In later years, he concentrated on racing in Alberta; at Calgary, Edmonton, or Whoop Up Downs and Grand Prairie. McKenzie won both divisions of the Alberta Derby in 1965 with the filly Chariot Chaser while Chopstick won the other division. Chariot Chaser would go on to win the Prairie Triple Crown that year, a record that stood for 34 years. McKenzie also won 29 races with the venerable campaigner Grandin Park. The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 2015 Induction Ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015. Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com Contact: Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Linda.firstname.lastname@example.org 416-417-9404
Less than one week remains to submit nominations for 2015. Is there a horse or person that you think should be added to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2015? Someone who should join such racing icons as Northern Dancer, Somebeachsomewhere, John Campbell, or Sandy Hawley? You can have your say by submitting a nomination by 5:00 pm March 4th in any of the following categories: Nominations for the following will be considered: MALE HORSE: Stallions or geldings whose contribution to Canadian racing occurred in the past 20 years. FEMALE HORSE: Mares whose contribution to Canadian racing occurred in the past 20 years. VETERAN HORSE: Horses whose careers have been concluded for 20 years, but less than 50 years. PERSON: Trainers, Drivers, Jockeys BUILDERS: Includes, but not limited to Breeders, Owners, Officials, and others. COMMUNICATORS: Includes, but not limited to writers, broadcasters, photographers, announcers. VETERAN PERSON: Trainers, Drivers, Jockeys whose careers have been concluded for 20 years, but less than 50 years. Complete eligibility criteria available at: http://horseracinghalloffame.com/inductees/eligibility/ Submissions must include as much detail as possible concerning the record and/or merits of candidates nominated. For further information regarding eligibility, or to submit a nomination, contact: Standardbred Nominations: Darryl Kaplan, Standardbred Nomination Chair, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 1-2150 Meadowvale Blvd., Mississauga, ON L5N 6R6 P: (905) 858-3060 ext. 241 F: (905) 858-3089 E: email@example.com Thoroughbred Nominations: Tom Cosgrove, Thoroughbred Nomination Chair, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 555 Rexdale Blvd., P.O. Box 156 Toronto, ON M9W 5L2 P: (416) 213-2113 F: (416) 213-2128 E: firstname.lastname@example.org All submissions will be carefully considered by the Nominating Committee and, if approved, presented to the Election Committee on a ballot for a secret vote. NOMINATION DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 2015 5:00 pm EST. The final list of the 2015 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The 2015 Induction Gala will be held Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at the Mississauga Convention Centre. We invite you to visit the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame located at the West Entrance of Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is available at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame or by contacting email@example.com or 416-417-9404. Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Linda.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is seeking public participation in the nomination of horses and people who have made a significant contribution to Canadian horse racing, for induction to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2015. Nominations for the following will be considered: MALE HORSE: Stallions or geldings whose contribution to Canadian racing occurred in the past 20 years. FEMALE HORSE: Mares whose contribution to Canadian racing occurred in the past 20 years. VETERAN HORSE: Horses whose careers have been concluded for 20 years, but less than 50 years. PERSON: Trainers, Drivers, Jockeys BUILDERS: Includes, but not limited to Breeders, Owners, Officials, and others. COMMUNICATORS: Includes, but not limited to writers, broadcasters, photographers, announcers. VETERAN PERSON: Trainers, Drivers, Jockeys whose careers have been concluded for 20 years, but less than 50 years. Complete eligibility criteria available at: http://horseracinghalloffame.com/inductees/eligibility/ Submissions must include as much detail as possible concerning the record and/or merits of candidates nominated. For further information regarding eligibility, or to submit a nomination, contact: Standardbred Nominations: Darryl Kaplan, Standardbred Nomination Chair, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 1-2150 Meadowvale Blvd., Mississauga, ON L5N 6R6 P: (905) 858-3060 ext. 241 F: (905) 858-3089 E: email@example.com Thoroughbred Nominations: Tom Cosgrove, Thoroughbred Nomination Chair, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 555 Rexdale Blvd., P.O. Box 156 Toronto, ON M9W 5L2 P: (416) 213-2113 F: (416) 213-2128 E: firstname.lastname@example.org All submissions will be carefully considered by the Nominating Committee and, if approved, presented to the Election Committee on a ballot for a secret vote. NOMINATION DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 2015 5:00 pm EST. The final list of the 2015 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The 2015 Induction Gala will be held Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at the Mississauga Convention Centre. We invite you to visit the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame located at the West Entrance of Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is available at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame or by contacting email@example.com or 416-417-9404 Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Linda.firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the busy hallways of Woodbine Racetrack, filled with people going this way and that, there is a room, steep in history; and in this room some of the greatest moments in Canadian horse racing are kept. On the walls are plaques of heroes of our sport both past and present; from the great Secretariat to the great Keith Waples. It’s a place where Thoroughbreds, Standardbred, drivers, jockeys, and people who devoted their lives to this sport come together to celebrate their accomplishments. Each year some of racing’s best and most honorable join this elite club. This is the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame! As you walk through you can feel the energy, you can hear the horse’s hooves thundering home, the crack of a driver’s whip as he hits the shaft of his bike trying to urge his horse to go. Or the muffled voice of a commentator, maybe even the clicking of keys on the typewriter or now a days a computer laptop. Or you can imagine the screams of fans because of builders who built our sport from the ground up, turning hopes into dreams; and nothing into something. You feel as though you have been brought back in time and are walking through history. Seeing milestones crossed, champions beaten and records broke. Last year I had the honor of attending the Canadian Hall of Fame induction dinner. This dinner is where the year’s inductees and inductees of the past come together to congratulate each other on their success, honor and accomplishments, and it gives them a chance to connect and share stories and their memories with one another. I had the honor of being there when my dear friend Carl Jamieson was inducted in the Standardbred Trainer/Driver category. While I was there I met many people; but I had the pleasure of meeting two people in particular that I never thought I’d meet. They were; Chris Tweedy, the son of the lady who changed the sport forever- Penny Tweedy, with the idea to syndicate her horse Secretariat, who today is still one of the greatest horses our sport has ever seen. The other person I met was someone who I never thought I would meet in my entire life; he was none other than the one and only Ron Turcotte. We talked for several minutes. We talked about Secretariat, his success as a jockey, me and my adventures in horse racing, and my hopes and dreams. I told him about Pinky and shared our story. Sitting and talking with him was a true honor. He is so inspirational, the passion he has for the sport whether its Standardbred or Thoroughbred is extremely memorable; and I felt so privileged to have been able to meet such a person. The class of 2014 is an incredible group of inductees. Their impact on the sport will forever be imbedded in our history, now and long after they’re gone, their memory will continue to live on. With great pleasure and honor I now introduce to you the 2014 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Inductees; In Thoroughbred racing: Apelia – Female Thoroughbred Inductee A filly owned and bred by Steve Stavro, of Knob Hill Farm was the filly trained by the Hall of Fame trainer Phil England. She always impressed her connections; in her 24 career starts she hit the board a total of 18 times, with 12 wins, 3 seconds, and 3 thirds and a bankroll of $621,708 CND. The filly was unraced at the age of two, however she was undeniably one of Canada’s dominate female sprinter, a recognition and name she earned by taking on some of the world’s best fellow sprinters, against both colts and fillies. Because of her impressive record she has a stakes race named in her honor. This race is run annually at Woodbine Racetrack, which is fascinating because Apelia won her maiden start at Greenwood in 1993 by seven lengths. Also joining Apelia in the Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2014 is Wando: Wando- Thoroughbred Inductee A multiple stakes winner throughout his career, Wando won Canada’s Triple Crown in 2003 at the age of two, all of which he did with in open length fashion. He was only the seventh one to win Canadian Triple Crown since 1959. Wando was retired at age four due to a slight tear in the suspensory ligament of his hind left leg. He retired with a lifetime earnings of $2,566,060 CND, and a successful racing career that saw 23 starts and included 11 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds. He passed away on January 22, 2014 at the age of 14. Along with the boys there is also a filly going in: Cool Mood- Female Thoroughbred Inductee Cool Mood won the 1969 Canadian Oaks. She only had 8 wins in 41 starts but that didn’t matter because her success as broodmare was *quite * the record, and here is a sampling her foals success; With Approval captured the 1989 Canadian Triple Crown and Izvestia took the 1990 Canadian Triple Crown, along with Touch Gold who won the 1997 Belmont Stakes. Her daughters also made good broodmares too! Five of her nine daughters also produced twelve stakes winners. The final the Thoroughbred being inducted is a legend of the sport of the sport, meet Archworth: Archworth- Legend Horse In 1938 Archworth was considered Canada’s top two year as he had wins in a variety of stakes races In 1939 Archworth won the Queen’s Plate but, he along with connections he also had a brush with royalty. As it was the first time in Queen’s Plate history that a ruling monarch had been present. On this day Archworch also galloped to a 10 length victory. Archworth was retired at the age of five, and stood stud a William H. Wright’s farm in Barrie Ontario. The same place as where he was foaled in 1937. At the end of his career he had 47 starts, and hit board in 31 of those, including 15 wins and finished second or third in 16 other races, with career earnings of $31,234. There is also a remarkable group of Standardbred horses going into the Hall of Fame this year: Albatross- Male Horse Inductee: At two the colt had 14 wins in 17 starts, and impressive earnings of $183,540 and a mark of 157.4. In the early beginning of his three season he was syndicated for 1.25 million which in 1971 was a record for a horse at that time. Then Stanley Dancer took over, Albatross won 25 out 28 starts, making $558,009. His success continued into his four year old season where he collected 20 wins in 26 starts and made earnings of $459,921. In 1972 he was retired and re-syndicated for 2.5million. He held records of both fastest horse, with a mark of 1:53.4 and the richest in history for his breed. He stood at Hanover Shoe Farms and sired more than 2,640 foals. Fan Hanover was one of them; who even today is the only filly to win the coveted Little Brown Jug. Albatross died at Hanover Shoe at in 1998, the age of 30, due to complications from heart failure and colic. During his lifetime he was also named U.S Horse of the Year in 1971 and 1972, and was buried in the cemetery at Hanover Shoe Farms. This year at the induction dinner I had the pleasure of talking to Murray Brown who worked at Hanover Shoe Farms, and got to work with Albatross on a daily basis, here is what he had to say about Albatross: “He was perfect horse! He was kind gentle and had no bad manners; he was just an absolute great horse,” Mr. Brown said, “He was handsome and great gaited. He could have the post 8 on a half mile [track] and still win! I was lucky to have been able to meet such a great horse! He continues. “When Stanley Dancer approached Hanover Shoe Farms about buying Albatross and the legal ownership (of even a percentage) Stanley Dancer said ‘all that mattered was the size of his testicles.” Murray Brown recalled with a chuckle. Some racehorses hit the track and you know that they are going to be remembered forever, and that’s exactly what our next inductee did: Rocknroll Hanover- 2014 inductee Rocknroll Hanover is the only horse in history to win the Metro Pace, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and Breeders Crown. In 26 career starts Rocknroll Hanover had 15 wins, 5 seconds and 5 thirds. At age 11 his stud career was cut short when he had to say goodbye in March of 2013 to the sport loved, and a sport that loved him back after he suffered complications from gastric impaction. He will always be remembered as the horse who always wanted more. His memory and legacy will always live on through his successful children and grandchildren. Our next inductee is one that I remember watching race, her grace and elegance was eye catching and her name is... Dreamfair Eternal-Female Standardbred Inductee Dreamfair Eternal, The filly by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Famer father Camluck out of J Cs Nathalie who is a United States Harness racing Hall of Fame inductee and now she herself has continues that legacy. On the track Dreamfair Eternal was quite the champion, she had multiple stakes wins to her name including, the Breeders Crown for older pacing mare in 2010, and wins in the Roses are Red in both 2009 and 2011; as well as a number of other stakes races in 2010 and 2011, and the Artiscape in 2011 and 2012. Along the way she also set four records along the way including a world record on a half mile track; which she took at Flamboro Downs which was 1:51.4. Her career best was 1:49 at Tioga Downs it came on her eighth and final year on the track. Her career also saw 140 trips behind the gate, 56 of those resulting in trips to the Winner’s Circle, 18 seconds, and 13 thirds. But as a youngster she was quite the handful. She made dirty breaks, and top drivers didn’t really want to steer her. But that didn’t deter her owner and breeder. He knew that she was special. But at the age of four John Lamers made the tough decision to put her in a mixed sale with a reserved bid of $85,000, when that price was not met he brought his mare back home and that resulted in the Dreamfair Eternal we know today. The wonderful horses that we have already mentioned would not have gotten where they are today if it wasn’t for the humans that trained, drove or rode them. So meet the 2014 Hall of Fame trainer, driver and jockey inductees: Horatio Luro- Thoroughbred Trainer Horatio Luro, moved to the United States in 1937 from Argentina, with him he brought four race thoroughbred horses which he later grew into a stable. He was a good horsemen, he was fair with his exercise riders, jockeys and other people he worked with, and always took their opinions into consideration when training his horses. Luro was a three time Queen’s Plate winner; he was also the first to ship a horse from United States to Canada to compete in the Long Branch Championship; which today is known as the Canadian Championship. That is when his connection for Canadian racing began. He trained the great Northern Dancer. Luro also trained both of Northern Dancer’s parents, and this colt took him on the trip of a lifetime, when he won the Kentucky Derby in record time, followed by a win in the Preakness and finishing third in the Belmont. Horatio Luro died in 1991 but among the many things he will be remembered for, he will always be remembered as a trainer that believed in his horses and a true gentlemen. Robert Landry-2014 Jockey Robert Landry was one of Canada’s top riders he had career that spanned 30 years. He captured his first lifetime win at the age of 19 aboard Hammy Hubert at Fort Erie Racetrack on June 21st 1981. That would be the first of many trips to Winner’s Circle for Landry, the first of 2,045 trips to the Winner’s Circle to be exact With 167 of those wins being stakes races; he first stakes win came in 1982 when he rode La Salle Park in the Fair Play Stakes. His career exploded in 1992 when he won 102 races; this would also be the first of seven years that he would win 100 or more races. His best years were in 1993 where he won 176 races; and 1994 where he won 178 races. And because of those two very impressive years he was also a Sovereign Awards in both years. It wasn’t easy getting those mounts; it took lot patience, dedication, and determination, but Landry had plenty of all three and he was strong-willed and wanted to succeed. Along the way he suffered from serious injuries including breaking his back on two separate occasions. He made the decision to retire in 2011. His last stakes win which would also be his last career came on August 8th, 2014 aboard Rahys Attorney in the Approval stakes. Even though he might have retired from riding, he is still doing what loves, and that is working with horses as Chiefswood Stables General Manager. I had a chance to sit down with Robert Landry and reflect on his career with him; here is what he had to say: “Being inducted was the ultimate! I have been lucky enough to do what I love to do. I have had the opportunity to ride so many great horses and win so many great races.” Then I asked him, what do you consider your greatest accomplishment?” He smiled, thought about and then said “My greatest accomplishment would have to be being so fortunate and always trying my best and being able to promote the sport as much I as I been able to. Wally Hennessy- Trainer/ Driver Wally Hennessy was born and raised on Prince Edward Island and saw most of his success come in the United States. His career is quite impressive; he has 8,500 wins and has $58,000 000 (million) in purse earnings. Each year for the past 25 he has won more than 200 races and banked more 1, 000,000 in purses; he has had the opportunity to drive in major races all across the globe. In 2005 he drove Driven To Win in the 46th edition of the coveted Gold Cup and Saucer. I have actually had the opportunity to meet Wally Hennessey in person. It was at Legend’s Day at Clinton Raceway in 2011. On that afternoon I talked to him and he signed my keepsake poster along with the other legends who had signed it. My parents and I were watching the races, and after the featured ‘Legend’s Day Invitational Trot’ they called all of the drivers for a group photo, and Hennessy was walking back from doing an interview when he heard the announcement. He stopped in front of us on the opposite side of the fence. He said hello and we exchanged pleasantries; then he placed his helmet and gloves on the ground and asked if we could watch his belongings while he went for the picture. I agreed delightedly (after all it was Wally Hennessy) so when he returned to collect his possessions we continued chatting and then he took his gloves out of his helmet and passed them to me. “Here you go.” I was in a state of pure amazement as he passed me his royal blue driving gloves. “Thank you” is all I could say. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. He winked and said “you’re welcome.” And I knew my mom had a sharpie marker in our bag we had brought, and so before he walked away. I said “Mr. Hennessy before you go can you please sign these before you go? As I had handed him back the gloves he had just given me. He nodded and smiled and he pasted the gloves back to me, and then he was off. I wore the gloves for the rest of the day and I wore them with such pride. When I slipped them on, they felt like they were magical, they gave my hands this tingly sensation, this aura of honor, the things their previous owner had accomplished were only dreams of mine. When I got home I put them in my mom’s china cabinet so they wouldn’t get damaged or lost. I sat down with Wally Hennessy at the induction ceremony and chatted with him and reminisce about his career and here is what we talked about: “Mr. Hennessy is there one horse that you have driven that you will always remember that special horse to you?” He smiled and said “as a matter of fact there is.” The horse that I will always remember would have to be Moni Maker. It defined my career as a driver, and she sent me on a ride of a lifetime! You just can’t compare something like her to anything else. “ “What does being inducted to Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame mean to you?” “Being inducted to the Hall of Fame means everything to me. It is overwhelming and very humbling. I didn’t get to where I was by myself, I am very grateful for the support my family has given me. I am very fortunate for the longevity and consistency of my career and I am very lucky that I have not had setbacks in the sport that have hindered me from doing what I love - driving” Our sport wouldn’t be without the fans and enthusiasts, and if it wasn’t for our builders we would not have a facility to race at or a place where fans can come to watch the races. And without our communicators those fans would never have known about the sport of horse racing so without a further ado I would like to introduce you to the 2014 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame builders and communicators: Dr. Ted Clark- Standardbred Builder: A veterinarian by profession Dr. Clark is now the General Manager of the racetrack he helped to build. He gave up his practice in 2002 in order to devote his life to the sport of standardbred. He has a deep passion for what he does. He’s dedicated and wants his costumers and horsemen to both be happy while at Grand River Raceway. During the construction process he taught himself how to read blueprints so he would know what the contractors were talking about. One night at Grand River I had the humbling opportunity to sit one on one with Dr. Clark and I asked him about his induction, here is what he had to say: “Being inducted is a surprise, and it’s not just me that made things possible for me do the things I am being recognized for milestones many people made possible. I have fortunate to have able to apart of many great times in racing, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have been apart and I appreciate all of them because they have helped me get to where I am today.” Grand River is a family affair for Dr. Clark and his daughter Carrie who also works there as the equipment judge and I asked her about what her dad’s induction meant to her and her family, here is what she had to say: “It was a once in a lifetime thing, and it was so great to see him be recognized for all the things he has done and continues to do he helped both our track and our industry rebuild and find a way to survive: to reinvent the Industry. So by definition and practice, he has been, and continues to be a builder. Builders are survivors. he just keeps going. It means so much that his work has not gone unnoticed. As a family, we are very proud of him.” Without Dr. Clark racing for me personally because during the summer I race my horse Sydney “Pinky” Seelster at Grand River Raceway, it is such a nice place to race. It is perfectly set up for both the patrons and horsemen. Robert Murphy- Standardbred Builder An O’Brien Award nominee in 2006 for Canada’s Breeder of the Year, built and owned a Serta mattress manufacturing plant along with a couple other businesses and manufacturing plants. Over more than 30 years Robert Murphy owned more 400 horses, either in part with other owners or by himself and together they made other $100 million. In 2007 Robert Murphy owned more Standardbred horses than anyone in Canada. He said goodbye to the sport he helped build and strengthen in February 2010 when he died at the age of 77. William “Bill” D. Graham- Thoroughbred Builder William “Bill” Graham is the owner of Windhaven Farms in Caledon Ontario. He also helped to build Woodbine Racetrack’s E.P Taylor Turf Course. The horses he bred, were bred to be champions. The fillies that were bred at Windhaven were no less than impressive. In last 40 years there has rarely been a race for fillies or mares that hasn’t been won by a Windhaven bred. They also have multiple Sovereign Award winning fillies to their credit. Graham himself is a Sovereign Award winner. In 2012 he was a Sovereign Award as a Canadian Outstanding Breeder. He is also a member of the Brampton (Ontario, Canada) Sports Hall of Fame, Vice- President of (H.B.P.A), director of (C.T.H.S), a steward of the Jockey Club of Canada, a commissioner of the Ontario Racing Commission (O.R.C), a member of Woodbine Racetrack’s Board of Directors and now a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Arthur (Art) W. Stollery - Thoroughbred Builder Arthur W. Stollery served in World War II as a flying officer; after returning home ran Angus Glen Farm. He took developed broodmares from Canada, the United States, and South America and bred them to top Canadian stallions. His successful ran for more than two decades. It included many multiple stakes winners, and a few were even award winners. He died in 1994 at the age of 80. E. King Dodds - Standardbred Legend and Communicator Edmund King Dodds, who went by E., founded the Canadian Sportsman, a magazine that covered everything sports (including horse racing) and later the publication switched its focus to strictly horse racing. The Canadian Sportsmen was published for 143 years, and recently stopped publication, so his induction came at the perfect time. He lost his sight completely and still managed to write for his publication for 5 years and was fully able to publish a book on horse racing. His book included his experiences that he witnessed through the years and even included stories as early as the 1840’s and at the time it was published it was welcomed and praised as “one of the first and best serious attempts to record sports history.” Our next and final inductee is a gentleman I had the pleasure of keeping in contact with since his induction. We have met at the races a few times and shared a countless amount of stories. It is with true pleasure and honor I introduce to my good friend Bill Galvin; William (Bill) Galvin - Standardbred Communicator Bill Galvin has seen and done pretty much everything thing there is to see in harness racing. He is a lifelong enthusiast of the sport and has devoted his life. He always had a love for horses. He groomed horses as a teenager, then he went to University of Detroit for English, and there he began tell people about harness racing. He brought the sport of Racing Under Saddle (R.U.S) to Canada, and applied to have it has a wagering event and was turned down back in the 80’s. He organized a day of ice racing on the Rideau* Connell in Ottawa (Ontario, Canada); an event where Standardbred horses raced over the frozen Connell. On this day 4,000 spectators gathered to witness this event, including the Prime Minister of Canada; on this momentous occasion a very large storm came about as Galvin recalled. The list accomplishments and things this remarkable gentleman has done are endless. He has worked with the Horseman’s Chaplaincy at Woodbine for many years, and was recently appointed to the Standardbred Chaplaincy Board of Directors; and now he can add a 2014 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee When I asked him what his greatest accomplishment was he paused and thought about it for a moment and said; “My greatest accomplishment would have to be the fundraiser I started for the Race Against M.S. I have been so fortunate to do what I love”, he added with a smile.” Here you have it, your 2014 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductees! If you want to learn more about them or more about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame or want to learn about this year’s inductees, or inductees of the past; please visit: http://www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com/ Thank you to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame for giving me this opportunity, thank you for letting me use your resources. Thank you to all the people who have helped me make this story possible, from my fellow writers who gave me expert advice when I needed it, to the inductees who took the time to sit down and answer my questions, to my editor for all of his patience, I really appreciate it. And to Linda Rainy and Andrea Magee, and everyone else at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame thank you for letting me be a part of your special event, and creating so many memories that I will never forget! Sydney Weaver is 14 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, grooms horses, jogs them on the track, co-owns a racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals.
ELORA, ON - Monday (September 29) marks the final live race card of the year at Grand River Raceway, but it's already proven to be a successful year at the track. Despite fewer races and fewer cards, the average bet per race jumped 10.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013 and total wagering on Grand River is up 4.8 per cent from just under $6.5 million in 2013 to nearly $6,786,149 this year through Wenesday's card. All this despite a decrease in the number of races per card of nearly 10 per cent. On the track, nothing topped Hall of Fame driver John Campbell and Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh teaming up to win the $217,140 Battle of Waterloo Aug. 4 with McIntosh's two-year-old homebred pacing colt Go Daddy Go. It was the first Battle of Waterloo victory for both men. "I haven't started that many in it, but it feels tremendous," McIntosh said in the winner's circle. "It's a real thrill." Campbell said the victory felt great. "It's been a fun day for me and it's capped off extremely well," he said. This year also marked Campbell's first trip to Grand River and he liked what he saw. "I got a tour before the races started here and it's very efficient and very convenient for fans. It looks like a very nice plant," Campbell said. The Grand River meet also saw rising star James MacDonald win his first premier stakes race at the track when he drove 20-1 longshot Win The Gold to victory in the Battle of the Belles for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. In August, Grand River's general manager Dr. Ted Clarke was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in the builders' category. That same month, Jet Airway set a track record for three-year-old pacing colts when he buzzed the Grand River oval in 1:51.1. Five other horses also set Canadian seasonal records at the track. On the drivers' side, Trevor Henry was again crowned the top Grand River driver for both wins and money. Casie Coleman was Grand River's top money-winning trainer and Richard Moreau led all trainers in wins at the track by a wide margin. And this year, we also learned important information such as what three people driver Scott Coulter would enlist to thwart a zombie apocalypse. "I'm going to take Clint Eastwood," Coulter said, "Superman and throw Sly Stallone in there, too. Why not?" We also discovered what Randy Waples would be doing if he wasn't driving horses for a living -"At one time, being a surfer sounded pretty good. I likead the idea of that." - what music trainer Casie Coleman thinks Satan has playing on repeat in her version of hell - "Anything country, probably." - and what James MacDonald does better than his two famous driving brothers, Anthony and Mark - "Golf, that's for sure, because they're both horrible." To hear our conversation with some of the most prominent drivers and trainers in the game, check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway Final Training Day at Grand River Raceway Grand River Raceway will remain open for training every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon, with all horses vacated by 1:00 p.m. This schedule will remain in effect until the final training day on October 9. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway
The retired harness racing trainer reflects on learning to communicate with horses and what it feels like drive them to victory in the sport’s biggest races. ELORA, ON — What does it feel like to drive a horse to victory in a major stakes race? Dr. John Hayes said coming from 10th at the top of the stretch to win the 1981 Meadowlands Pace with Conquered is a feeling he can only compare with finishing his first Boston Marathon. “It was totally emotionally impacting. It was so overwhelming I had trouble controlling it,” he said Wednesday, referring to the marathon he completed on his first attempt in 2007. As for that equally overwhelming Meadowlands Pace victory, Hayes said, “At the head of the stretch I was out of it. Halfway through the stretch it was evident I was going to be in the hunt for a cheque. Down near the wire, the cheque was going to be pretty good and at the wire, holy f---. “It was that first 30 seconds from the horse crossing the finish line until you get down into the turn and the horse gets pulled up; that feeling I never experienced it to that extent before in my life.” Hayes has done it all in harness racing. He’s a veterinarian that has owned, trained and driven horses all of his adult life. While he’s retired from training and his farm on the shore of Lake Ontario in Beamsville is for sale, it is still home to Canadian Pacing Derby champion Modern Legend trained by Dave Drew. Hayes has long been one of the sport’s most respected, most articulate participants. When asked to describe the sensation of driving horses, he said it doesn’t feel like you might expect. “Something you’re acutely aware of is how fast the ground is going underneath you when you’re driving a horse,” he said. “That sense is, of course, nothing you can compare to because it is being in the car without the floorboards. “Lots of times there is that addition of physiology of the horse that impacts on you. You smell the horse. There’s sweat involved. You’re getting that added sensory input that doesn’t come from another moving-over-the-ground experience.” Nearly 50 years of experience has taught Hayes to understand the language horses speak. “Although horses don’t talk, they certainly communicate. I became much better at speaking horse speak incrementally as time went on,” he said. “The language is in their response to the inputs that are from your end. In other words, you just get more comfortable in identifying the feedback and what it probably means.” As for people he admires in the game, Hayes said he’s a big fan of fellow veterinarian Dr. Ted Clarke, the general manager of Grand River Raceway in Elora. Clarke was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in August. “If Ted Clarke had a greater responsibility for the direction of Canadian racing, we would be way, way down the road to optimal opportunity,” Hayes said. “He has the ability to create consensus like nobody I’ve seen. He does not make vested interest his primary objective. He makes the interest of everybody his primary objective with the assumption that vested interest will be best served.” Hayes no longer owns any horses, but he was quick to name the one that changed his life. “The horse’s name is Decked. Let’s just say it was a father-son relationship thing,” he said of the late John Hayes, Sr., who is enshrined in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. “Father was cutting back, phasing out and I was taking over the operation … Of course, I was young and wanting to expand my wings and there was no opportunity to do it with a trotter. So, we had this two-year-old who was by the first crop of Penn Hanover called Decked. His mother was an Adios mare. She was from the last crop of Adios. He was made to pace, but he loved to trot. “Father said, ‘You can hold him together in 2:20, but he’s bred to pace and he’ll switch over to the pace as soon as you chirp to him going some speed …’ The bottom line is he won his first pari-mutuel start, in London, in a sires stakes on the trot in 2:09 in October. That was the day that I somewhat gained a level of independence from my father where I was able to make a decision and he didn’t have to tell me I was full of (it).” In six years on the track, Decked earned more than $140,000 on the trot and just $4,000 on the pace. To hear our conversation with Dr. John Hayes — including what his personal heaven is like — check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway
On Wednesday night the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inducted its class of 2014 and welcomed its newest members both horses and individuals. Albatross, Dreamfair Eternal and Rocknroll Hanover are the Standardbreds that made up part of the 2014 class. Joining these Standardbreds in the Hall Of Fame are the late Robert Murphy (breeder/owner); Dr. Ted Clarke, in the builder category; trainer/driver Wally Hennessey, and communicator Bill Galvin. Apelia, Cool Mood and Wando are the Thoroughbreds that make up part of the 2014 class. Trainer Horatio Luro, jockey Robert Landry and breeders William ‘Bill’ Graham and Arthur Stollery are also 2014 inductees on the Thoroughbred side. The Induction Ceremony was held at the Mississauga Convention Centre in Ontario. Male Horse Category: Rocknroll Hanover – bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania. Owned by Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey. RocknRoll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his racing career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey. Career highlights included victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three-year-olds, the Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and the North America Cup for three-year-olds He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. To date, the son of Western Ideal, out of Hall of Fame mare Rich N Elegant, has sired winners of $60.7-million, including eight million-dollar-plus winners. "My job was to bring the best out in my horses and he made it easy, said Sarah Lauren Scott, Rocknroll Hanover's caretaker. "He brought out the best in all of his connections. He was a once in a lifetime horse and his legacy will live on." Female Horse Category: Dreamfair Eternal – bred by Mary and John Lamers, and owned by John Lamers, Ingersoll, Ontario. Dreamfair Eternalretired from racing in 2012 after a seven-year career that included 56 victories, and every major stakes event on the older pacing mare schedule, earnings of over $2.5-million and Horse of the Year honours in Canada in 2010. During that year, she racked up wins in the final of the Masters Series, an elimination of the Roses are Red Stakes, elimination and final of the Milton Stakes, the elimination and final of the Forest City Pace and the Breeders Crown. The daughter of Camluck was bred by John and Mary Lamers and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario. Patrick Fletcher trained her for most of her career. "This is certainly a great honour for myself and my family. 'Eternal' is a large part of our family," said owner John Lamers. "I want to thank Pat and Karan Fletcher for the amazing job they've done with Dreamfair Eternal over her racing career. "She's an outstanding race mare and she's equally as good a mother," noting that Lamers has a filly sired by fellow Hall Of Famer Somebeachsomewhere on the ground that might have a "bit better conformation" than her Mom. Lamers hoped that the filly has just as good of a career. Veteran Horse Category: Albatross – bred by John E Wilcutts, Aberdeen, North Carolina; Charles A Kenney, Lexington, Kentucky; Elizabeth B Peters, Wilmington Delaware; and Mark Lydon, Abington, Massachusetts. Owned by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania; George Segal, Versailles, Kentucky; Castleton Farm, Lexington, Kentucky; Hal S Jones, Montgomery, New York. A champion on the track and in the breeding shed, Albatross was a major influence on the Standardbred breed. He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million. Two of his major stakes wins in Canada included the Prix d’Ete and Canadian Pacing Derby. He retired as both the fastest and richest horse in the history of the breed. As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million, including Niatross, who is considered by many to be the greatest pacer of the 20th Century, and Fan Hanover, who is the only filly to ever win the Little Brown Jug. "This is a very distinct honour for me," said Hanover Shoe Farms' Murray Brown, who was around Albatross his entire life. Brown considers Albatross "probably the greatest two-year-old of any breed that's ever lived," recalling how he'd have to race against aged horses in his freshman year. "It's unheard of for a two-year-old to race against aged horses. He did it with regularity." Noting that Albatross was the first sire of any breed to sire progeny with more than $100 million in earnings, Brown called Albatross "the perfect horse" and stated that "his name is a fixture in the breed and will continue to be. " Wally Hennessey, 58, born in Prince Edward Island and now a resident of Coconut Grove, Florida, has more than 8,500 victories to his credit and has banked earnings in excess of $57 million. During the early stages of his career, Hennessey re-wrote the record books, setting new standards in both wins and earnings. 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. Throughout his career, Hennessey has been remarkably consistent, winning at least 200 races in each of the last 25 years, and driving horses to earnings in excess of $1 million for 24 straight years. In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. "To be inducted takes hard work and dedication from many," said Hennessey. "I was blessed to grow up with four great brothers and sisters. They were very supportive and competitive and loving. We were all on each other's team. "Not to point out one person, but my brother Dan has been with me my whole career. Without Dan I definitely would not be standing here. I had a father I was so proud of. I never wanted to let him down. He was so talented. I learned my early lessons from my father. My greatest influence could not be here. My mom, I wish she was here, but she could not travel to be here. Without her love and what she taught me, I would not be here. To my wife Barb and daughter Christie -- you're my greatest supporters and Barb you hung in with me and that was hard to do. And my daughter is my inspiration." "It's been a journey one could only dream about and I'm so glad dreams do come true." Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry. Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth. Prior to Grand River’s opening, Dr. 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. He was honoured for his innovative thinking and leadership with the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award in 1999 from the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. "The fact of the matter is, with the industry being in the state it's in, it's important to remember the things that got us to where we are," said Clarke, imploring the industry to pull from the same end of the rope going forward. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, was one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, and 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. Murphy had a great impact on harness racing in BC with both his breeding and training centres, but that impact extended across the continent as his horses raced all over North America. William ‘Bill’ Galvin, a native of Arnprior, Ontario and now a resident of Mississauga, Ontario, made a tremendous impact on horse racing in the country as a Canadian horse racing historian, poet, author, publisher, educator, horseman, humanitarian, publicist and former Thoroughbred racing official. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing. He led a charge to bring harness racing on ice 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 well-being of horse racing during his career. He was also the executive editor of Trot Magazine and a member of the Advisory board for the School of Equine Studies at Toronto's Humber College of Applied Arts. "What a special and memorable occasion this is tonight," said Galvin. "I congratulate you all and thank each and every one responsible for this tremendous honour. "This evening is especially memorable with the presence of Dr. John Findlay, who presented to me. I received my an introduction to horse racing in the standardbred sport as a very young lad in Arnprior, Ontario. Those early days at Madawaska Farms with Dr. John Findlay would define and shape my career. "Tonight, my life comes full circle from those unforgettable country fairs in the Ottawa Valley, to the glory day of Canadian harness racing in the 1980s, to the pinnacle of my career tonight at the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, with the man who introduced me to the sport - Dr. John Findlay." By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com with files from the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
TORONTO, ON, July 31 – Tickets for the upcoming the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala Fundraising Dinner on August 6th are now sold out. Over three-hundred people are scheduled to attend the evening at the Mississauga Convention Centre which will celebrate the induction of Standardbred honourees Albatross, Dreamfair Eternal, Rocknrollhanover, Dr. Ted Clarke, Wally Hennessey, Robert Murphy and Bill Galvin. Thoroughbred honourees include, Apelia, Cool Mood, Wando, William D. Graham, Robert Landry, Horatio Luro and Arthur Stollery. The event will also pay tribute to 2014 Legend honourees, Archworth and E. King Dodds. Two significant anniversaries will be celebrated – the 25th Anniversary of Matts Scooter’s world record set at Mohawk Racetrack and the 50th Anniversary of Northern Dancer’s Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Queen’s Plate wins. The Planning Committee and Directors of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame would like to thank and acknowledge the generous sponsorship support of this year’s event: Event Sponsor – OLG; Reception and Wine Sponsor – Central Ontario Standardbred Association; Photography Sponsor - Ontario Standardbred Alliance Tracks and Woodbine Entertainment Group for producing the video tributes to each of the 2014 inductees. Thank you also to a long and prestigious list of donors to both the live and silent auction portion of the evening. A complete list of items and donors is available at: www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com. by Linda Rainey for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York (July 29, 2014) – On August 1st, the Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association (SHHA) and Saratoga Casino and Raceway will host ‘Wally Hennessey Night,’ at the casino’s harness track. The night will be dedicated in honor of the legendary driver who made his Saratoga debut in 1987. Following the third race of the night, Hennessey will be honored by world famous horse racing announcer and local favorite, Tom Durkin. “Wally Hennessey Night” will offer fans plenty of fun filled activities in addition to the evening’s harness racing card. Stewart’s will be on hand offering up free ‘make-your-own’ sundaes while supplies last, sponsored by the Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund. Additionally, following the third race, a group photo will be held on the harness track near the winners circle. All guests will have the opportunity to join the photo with both Wally Hennessey and Tom Durkin in what is being planned to be the largest group photo in the history of the harness track. The photo will be available to purchase and take home later that evening. Drawings will be sponsored and conducted by the SHHA for all horsemen and guests who present a valid New York State racing license, for a chance to win grain and other equine supplies. Parking and admission are free, as always, and in honor of the event, programs for the evening’s races will be available for no charge. The first post time for the August 1st event is at 7:05pm. “Hosting an event like this is truly an honor for us,” said John Matarazzo, Director of Racing Operations at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. “We’re very proud to be a part of Wally’s historic accomplishments and couldn’t be more excited to celebrate such top class in harness racing.” Hennessey will be inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in Ontario on August 6th where he will join an elite group of standardbred drivers. Hennessey is already a member of the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame, the Florida Hall of Fame, the Prince Edward Island Sports Hall of Fame and the Prince Edward Island Wall of Fame at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino in Charlottetown. Immediately following his induction in Canada, Hennessey will be traveling to Ireland, where he will be driving in the Ladbroke's Vincent Delaney Memorial series at Portmarnock Trotting Track in Dublin. “The SHHA is honored to be part of such a special event honoring Wally Hennessey for being inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and being invited to represent the United States at the Delaney Memorial in Ireland,” said Tom McTygue, Member of the Board of Directors for the SHHA. “We hope to have the opportunity to do this for other drivers in the future to showcase and promote the sport of harness racing.” Wally Hennessey’s storied career began in the early 70’s and has brought him to tracks all over the world. Since then, Hennessey has become one of the premier drivers in all of harness racing, amassing 8,588 career wins and nearly $58 million in purse earnings. by Tom Engle, for Saratoga Raceway
Its been 8 years since the Whatthehecklavec set the last Aged Mare Track Record and it was in the Walker Invitational Trot. This year Trevor Henry owned and Richard Moreau trained Angies Lucky Star beat the old mark by 1/5th of a second on a track rated good, due to a light steady rain. Angies Lucky Star got away second to the quarter behind Spartan Victory driven by Ryan Holliday in 27.3, but quickly took over control, and never looked back hitting the half in 56.2, the 3/4â€²s in 1:26.1 and the mile in 1:56.4. The Walker Trot is named for Allan and Viola Walker. Allan was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1996 and was not only a top driver, but a well respected trainer as well and his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren are still involved in the sport. Hanover Raceway also host the staff from 92.3 The Dock radio, who gave away a $1500 dollar Smart TV, won by Randy Cook of Holland Centre, and 2 more people qualified for the Survivor handicapping contest. So far 17 fans have correctly picked 4 horses that finished in the money, and will return on August 9th for a shot at another High Definition TV package. Next Saturday is Dream of Glory elimination night. Over 90 horses are paid up to the series, and the top 8 will return on Sunday August 3rd for the 60,000 dollar final. Hanover Raceway will also host the 2nd Rider under Saddle race to feature wagering next Saturday. its being billed as Canada vs Norway, and the girl riders will be on hand after their race for a meet and greet and autograph session. Post time next Saturday is 7:15pm. by Gord Dougan, for Hanover Raceway 519-364-2860 x 2