Three horses, two jockeys, and one trainers have been elected to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame this year. The inductees were chosen from 12 finalists.
The human inductees for 2008 are:
The horses selected for 2008 are:
Edgar Prado, a native of Peru, recorded his first winner there in October 1983. His North American totals through December 31, 2007 compiled by Equibase were 5,978 victories from 31,188 mounts, 254 graded stakes victories and purse earnings of $200,915,004. He became the 16th North American rider with 6,000 victories on February 10. He won the 2006 Kentucky Derby with Barbaro, the 2002 Belmont Stakes with Sarava and the 2004 Belmont on Birdstone. His top mounts in 2007 included Grade 1 winners Panty Raid and Scat Daddy, and graded stakes winners Lawyer Ron, Sky Conqueror, King of the Roxy and Kip Deville.
When told of his election, he said, "I'm just speechless. I'm shaking like a leaf. Just to be nominated for the Hall of Fame among all my peers, was great. To win is amazing."
Nafzger said "Horses have taken us to places you just can't go. I've been very blessed, very fortunate. You've also got to remember the responsibility of where you are now. You represent a sport and you better represent it good. I just hope I can represent it as good as some of the people who are in the Hall of Fame."
Milo Valenzuela, a resident of Arcadia, CA, rode from 1951 through 1980. He finished in the top ten in purse money won in a season nine consecutive years, from 1956 to 1964. His highest finish was third in 1963 with $1,922,339. During his career, he rode 2,545 winners from 21,203 mounts to earn purse money of $20,122,760. In 1958, he won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness with Tim Tam. Ten years later, he completed the Derby-Preakness double with Forward Pass. He was a regular rider of Hall of Famer Kelso and they won 22 stakes together.
Valenzuela said, "I am the happiest man today knowing that I have been recognized and accepted to the Hall of Fame. It would have been even a happier moment if my wife Rosa could have been here to share this dream. This was my last chapter in my racing career that I wanted to complete. My last ride across the finish line, at 73 being inducted into the Hall of Fame."
Inside Information courtesy of Kim Pratt
Phipps said, "She was a marvelous filly who had her problems. She had some impingement in her neck and Shug trained her extraordinarily well and got around that. Her big race, of course, was in the Breeders' Cup, which she won by a greater distance than any filly has ever won the Distaff. She was a wonderful mare and she was a great racehorse."
Manila courtesy of Kim Pratt
"I'm totally astounded to hear that he was elected," said Shannon. "It's a great thrill. Manila was a very, very special horse. It was the greatest thrill to have owned him and been associated with him. And to be associated with his breeder, Eduardo Cojuangco, was a great, great thrill. He was a really good horse. He won the Breeders' Cup as a 3-year-old. He ran against everybody. I always said my life was AM and PM: prior to Manila and after Manila. It was all about Manila."
Ancient Title, a durable and versatile California-bred gelding, was bred and owned by the late William and Ethel Kirkland. He competed for seven seasons, from 1972 to 1978, and won 24 of 57 starts – 20 of them stakes – earning $1,252,791 in purse money. At the time of his retirement he ranked 10th in career earnings. During his career, Ancient Title successfully carried weight in major stakes races. As a 5-year-old in 1975, he won the Grade 1 Californian and Hollywood Gold Cup while spotting the competition weight. Though Ancient Title primarily raced in California, trainer Keith Stucki brought him to the East in 1975 for three major events. He won the Whitney Handicap by a neck over Group Plan, who was carrying 13 fewer pounds. He was third by two lengths to Wajima in the Governor Stakes while conceding 15 pounds and was third to Wajima and Forego in the Marlboro Cup while again conceding weight to the winner.
Stucki, 88, said Ancient Title deserved to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He added, "I'm very proud of it. I thought he should have gone in there two or three years ago, but I'm glad to hear that's he made it."
2008 Hall of Fame Finalists - there were 12 finalists, including 7 horses, 3 jockeys, and 2 trainers.
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