Bob Hope Stakes
Getty Grable Stakes
Breeders Cup Wrapup
Breeders Cup Saturday
Breeders Cup Friday
The awards given to the inductees - crystal trophies for equine, rings or pendants for human.
On Wednesday night the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame welcomed its 2020 and 2021 classes at an induction ceremony and dinner held at the Mississauga Convention Centre with about 400 people in attendance. There were 16 new members voted into the Hall this year, eight equine and eight human, plus 1 Legend equine inductee. This is the 46th anniversary of the Hall of Fame which was founded in 1976. Due to pandemic gathering restrictions, no ceremony was held in 2020 nor 2021 so the Hall decided to honour 2020 and 2021 tonight, and induct their 2022 and 2023 classes in August 2023. Due to this delay, nominations for the 2022 class remain open until August 19.
Halters of Danzig, Langfuhr, and Wando were the highlight of the silent auction, bringing $2400 for the framed set.
There was only one Legends inductee this time: the great Thoroughbred Man o'War. He was honored given that his final race was in Canada, when he defeated Canadian-owned Triple Crown winner Sir Barton in a match race, the Kenilworth Park Gold Cup. It was the first horse race to be filmed in its entirety, and Big Red broke the 1 1/4 mile track record by over 6 seconds. The Tiffany-designed gold trophy won by Man O'War was donated by the Riddle family to Saratoga, where it now serves as the Travers Stakes trophy. Following in his footsteps, "Old Bones" Exterminator and another "Big Red", Secretariat, also came north from the USA to end their careers with wins in Canada.
Mike Keogh was inducted in the Thoroughbred Trainer category. Originally from Epsom, England, he aspired to be a jockey and win the Epsom Derby, but a trip to Canada in the 1970's let him to Woodbine, first working for Kinghaven Farms and trainer John Tammaro and then became an assistant to Roger Attfield when that Hall of Famer took over Kinghaven's racing stable. Keogh was involved with Kinghaven's Triple Crown winners With Approval and Izvestia as well as Carotene, Triple Wow, and fellow inductee Play the King. In 1993, he went out on his own when hired by owner Gus Schickedanz as his private trainer. For Schickedanz he trained Langfuhr, Woodcarver, and then 2003 Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando (a son of Langfuhr). He is also known for keeping older horses on the track, including stakes winners Last Answer, City Boy, Firm Dancer, Clever Response, and Glanmire. As of today, his career record is 340 wins (37 stakes wins) in 2787 starts, with purse earnings of over $22 million.
Sue Leslie was inducted in the Thoroughbred Builder category. The native of Hamilton, Ontario trained and owned horses since the 1970s, including establishing Able Farm with her late husband Alex. After Alex passed away, she continued in the business, including a successful partnership with retired NHL goaltender Curtis Joseph and player agent Don Meehan, which campaigned Moment of Majesty, Millennium Allster, and Awesome Action. With the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks program in Ontario, Leslie was thrust into the spotlight as a "savior" of Ontario racing, joining the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, serving as president of the Ontario division of the HBPA, and actively communicating with governments both provincial and local. She also serves on the board of LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society, which transitions and finds new homes for retired racehorses.
Tepin was inducted in the Thoroughbred Female Horse category. Owner Robert Masterson was presented the trophy by Glenn Sikura of the Hall of Fame's planning, nomination, and election committees. Hailed as the "Queen of the Turf" in 2015 and 2016, she won in Grade 1 company in the U.S. and Canada and also added a Group 1 victory at Royal Ascot in the Queen Mary Stakes. The daughter of Bernstein from the Stravinsky mare Life Happened was purchased by owner Robert Masterson for $140,000 at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga in 2012 and was named after Tepin Way, the street where Masterson lives. After winning the Delta Princess as a juvenile for trainer Mark Casse, she switched to turf at 3 in the San Clemente at Del Mar. At 4 she won the Just a Game, First Lady, and Breeders' Cup Mile, then did even better at 5, winning the Queen Anne and Woodbine Mile before finishing second in the First Lady and Breeders' Cup Mile. Sold to Coolmore for $8 million at 2017 Fasig Tipton November, she retired with 13 wins in 23 starts, earning over $4.5 million.
Play the King was inducted in the Thoroughbred Veteran Horse category. The son of English stallion King of Spain out of Whisper, a broodmare bought in the UK and imported by Hall of Fame member David Willmot of Kinghaven Farm, was sent to trainer Roger Attfield and showed little as a juvenile. However, he blossomed as a three-year-old and showed his class at four, winning multiple graded stakes to be named Canada's 1987 champion Older Male and Sprinter. As a 5-year-old the winning continued, and as a 50-1 outsider, led late in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs but was caught late by winner Gulch. This earned him the Older Male and Sprinter awards again, plus Horse of the Year. Sadly as a 6-year-old he fractured his ankle in the Maryland Breeders' Cup Stakes on the Preakness undercard and was euthanized. He won 15 of 29 starts, earning $937,605, and joins his owners David and Donald Willmot and trainer Roger Attfield as Hall of Fame members. In his honour the Toronto Breeders' Cup Stakes, a Grade 2 turf sprint, was renamed the Play the King Stakes.
Amour Angus was inducted in the Standardbred Female Horse category. Bred and foaled at 2008 inductee Pierre Levesque's Angus Farm in Quebec, she had a short career on the track, retiring after her 3-year-old season with just 5 wins in 16 starts and earnings of just $21,355. However it was in the breeding shed where she made her way to the Hall of Fame. Matched with stallion Garland Lobell she produced Emilie Cas El, Conway Hall, Angus Hall, and Andover Hall. She produced 14 offspring, 11 raced, earning $3.5 million, and they in turn produced more trotting stars such as Peaceful Way, Donato Hanover, Windsong's Legacy, and Pampered Princess. She was inducted into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.
Paul MacDonell was inducted in the Standardbred Driver category. The native of Guelph, Ontario is best known as the driver of Somebeachsomewhere, chosen by trainer and co-owner Brent McGrath for his reputation for developing young horses for the long term. His career defines consistency, with earnings of $1 million for 33 consecutive years. Along with Somebeachsomewhere, he also piloted Admirals Express, Invitro, Village Jiffy, Village Connection, Elusive Desire, Bigtime Ball, Laddie, and Billyjojimbob. He has 1 North America Cup, 3 Metro Paces, 5 Confederation Cups, 8 Breeders Crowns, and a record 16 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals wins. He says the horse he owes the most to is Bays Fella, who he drove to victory in the 1990 Breeders Crown Open Pace at odds of 69-1, when MacDonell was just 27 years old. To date he has more than 15,000 in-the-money finishes, 5,700 wins, and purse earnings over $122 million.
McWicked was inducted in the Standardbred Male Horse category, with owner Ed James accepting the trophy from trainer Casie Coleman. He won 3 of 10 starts as a juvenile before being put up for auction in the Harrisburg Mixed Sale, where he was bought for $210,000 by Ed James and later sent to Coleman. As a 3-year-old he won the Max Hempt Memorial in a world record 1:47 35, the Delvin Miller Adios, Progress Pace, Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, and Breeders Crown, earning champion 3-year-old pacing colt honours in both the USA and Canada. Winless at 4 and 5 and requiring two surgeries, he came back to win the Mohawk Gold Cup in 2017, then in 2018 won the Ben Franklin, William Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, Allerage Farms Open, Dan Rooney Invitatonal, Breeders Crown, and TVG Open, earning him Aged Pacing Horse and Horse of the Year awards again in both countries. He retired to Ontario's Winbak Farm for stud duty after his 8-year-old season with a career record of 40 wins, earnings of $5.1 million, and a 1:46 2/5 record mile at The Red Mile.
Benjamin Wallace was inducted in the Standardbred Trainer category. The native of Guelph, Ontario has trained for almost half a century, starting off at Buffalo Raceway after graduating from the University of Windsor, before coming to Mohawk Racetrack to work for fellow Hall member Keith Waples and then later Bill Wellwood. He trained 1999 Pacing Triple Crown winner Blissful Hall and stakes winners Totally Western, Pans Culottes, Apprentice Hanover, Zooka, Cam Swiftly, Camotion, and Lookout Victory. Named Canada's Trainer of the Year in 1999, he has nearly 2000 wins and more than $38 million in purse earnings, surpassing the million-dollar mark for 18 consecutive seasons (1996-2013). He said "Nobody gets into this industry as a kid thinking you're going to end up in the Hall of Fame. As you grow older you understand there are achievement levels or situations where you are rewarded. And those are great moments."
Rambling Willie was inducted in the Standardbred Veteran Horse category. The gelding is the only horse in the long history of the Canadian Pacing Derby to win three years in a row. Foaled in northeast Indiana with a no-name pedigree, he showed enough potential to be bought by trainer Bob Farrington of Ohio for $15,000, and raced in the name of his wife Vivian and Ohioan Paul Siebert. Vivian's father was a minister and part of the horse's earnings were tithed to churches so the horse came be to known as "The horse that God loved". In 1979 he became the richest Standardbred in history, winning a race at Scioto Downs not far from Bob's original home in Richmond. Rambling Wilie retired from racing in 1983 with 128 wins in 305 starts, earning $2,038,219, and lived out his life as a celebrity at the Kentucky Horse Park to the age of 25.
Vicki Pappas was inducted in the Thoroughbbred Builder category, and was presented her ring by Gail Wood. Born in Montreal, she was a groom, trainer, and owner at Blue Bonnets racetrack before becoming the bloodstock advisor to Noel Hickey's Irish Acres Farm in Florida. In the 1980s she was the face of Canada's biggest yearling auction, compiling and editing pedigree pages, grading yearlings, and travelling to tracks across North America to distribute sales catalogs and attract buyers up to Woodbine. She hosted Woodbine's simulcast TV broadcast giving handicapping insights on pedigree and appearance, and then served as the track's stakes co-ordinator, getting some of the world's best horses and connections into our major races. She later created LongRun, a foundation for racehorse retirement and adoption. In 2016 LongRun was able to purchase its own farm from Gail Wood, where horses awaiting adoption live on its 100 acres. Among her many hats worn in the industry, she is also a talented artist, creating portraits for horsepeople and colouring books for children.
Not Too Shy was inducted in the Thoroughbbred Veteran Horse category. The daughter of Nearctic out of stakes winner Twice Shy made 19 starts as a 3-year-old in 1969 and another 29 over the next two seasons, handling both dirt and turf, various distances, and taking on males regularly. Trained by Donnie Walker for Hall of Fame builder Conn Smythe, at three she won the Fury Stakes (dirt sprint), Maple Leaf (dirt route), and defeated Kentucky Oaks winner Hail to Patsy in the Duchess Stakes. Upset by Cool Mood in the Canadian Oaks, she would defeat that rival in their next 3 meetings. She was 7 for 15 as a 4-year-old including 5 stakes wins, and was third in the American Matron at Arlington Park behind Drumtop, who would later win the Canadian International. At five she went 6 for 14 including the Whimsical, Seaway, Nassau, and Belle Mahone before finishing her career finishing third in the Export Handicap in Vancouver. She retired with 23 wins from 55 starts with 11 stakes victories, earning $199,811. Sent to stallion Jammed Lucky, she produced stakes winner Lucky Colonel S.
Jim Bullock was inducted in the Standardbred Builder category. Serving as the president and CEO of Cadillac Fairview from 1987-1993, he bought land across Rexdale Boulevard from Woodbine Racetrack from the Ontario Jockey Club and developed it as Woodbine Centre Mall, but during the sales discussion the track owners suggested he get into the racing business. His first horse was Renrag Curly, who won his second start at Greenwood Raceway, and the rest is history. He established Glengate Farms in Campbellville on the foundation of the former Cantario Farms. Glengate operated as a full service Standardbred nursery, with stallions Balanced Image, Apaches Fame, and Angus Hall (all Hall of Famers), and bred champions Art Official JL Cruze, Odies Fame, and fellow 2021 inductee Great Memories. Glengate wound down operations in 2006 as Bullock's wife Pat began her battle with Alzheimers. The farm was sold to their long time trainer John Bax in 2015.
Great Memories was inducted in the Standardbred Female Horse category. The daughter of 2000 Hall inductee Apaches Fame, bred by fellow inductee Jim Bullock's Glengate Farm, was purchased as a yearling for $10,000 by Kenneth Fraser and Duane Marfisi, who would also train her. However, her career consisted of just 1 start, a sixth place finish at Flamboro just a week after finishing fourth in a qualifier. A week later she was scratched out of her next start and never raced again. Sold to Mike Wilson of Warrawee Farm for broodmare duty, she went on to produce two world champions: Warrawee Needy and Warrawee Ubeaut. Warrawee Needy was the fastest pacer in the world as a 4-year-old (1:46 4/5) for owner-trainer Carl Jamieson, setting the record in the William Haughton Memorial elimination at the Meadowlands. He won 29 races and earned more than $1.25 million. Warrawee Ubeaut, a filly, was the fastest 2-year-old (male or female) in harness history when she won her division of the International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile in 1:48 3/5. She earned over $2 million. Great Memories' 10 racing age progeny earned more than $4.2 million with four of them - Warrawee Needy, Warrawee Ubeaut, Warrawee Vital, and Big Bay Point - all breaking the 1:50 barrier.
Randall Waples was inducted in the Standardbred Driver category, presented the ring by his Hall of Fame father, driver Ron Waples (left). Randy is the all-time leading money winning driver of races held in Canada with over 6600 wins and $131 million in purse earnings. His resume includes a North America Cup with Thinking Out Loud, 3 Maple Leaf Trots with San Pail, 2 Breeders Crowns (San Pail and Dreamfair Eternal), 2 Canadian Pacing Derbies (Strong Clan and State Treasurer), 4 Battles of Waterloo, and he was the leading Ontario Sires Stakes driver in earnings in 2001, 2002, an 2010. When harness racing left Woodbine permanently, moving the "circuit" to Mohawk year-round, Waples was declared the all-time leader in wins at the Rexdale oval with 2605. His favorite moment was driving hometown hero San Pail to victory in the 2011 Breeders Crown at Woodbine, a race he calls "the greatest race I was involved in".
A tradition at the ceremony is to gather all the Hall of Fame's Honoured Members present along with the new inductees and horse connections for a group photo.
Front row: Blair Burgess, Roger Attfield, Robert Landry, Larry Attard, Ian Fleming, Josie Carroll, Ron Waples, Doug McIntosh (representing Rambling Willie), Bill O'Donnell.
On stage: Mike Keogh, Richard Smythe, Robert Masterson (representing Tepin), Ben Wallace, Sue Leslie, Jim Bullock, Gary Boulanger, Vicki Pappas, Terry Hamilton & Toby Hamilton (representing Heart To Heart), Paul MacDonell, Jay Willmot (representing Play The King), Dr. Mo Stewart (representing Amour Angus), Casie Coleman & Ed James (representing McWicked), Randy Waples, Claude Levesque (representing Amour Angus)
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