Cindy's Horse Racing Website Index

2008 Hall of Fame Inductees

Date: April 21, 2008

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:

Inside Information, Manila, Prado and Nafzger were elected in the contemporary categories by the 184 members of the Hall of Fame's voting panel. Valenzuela and Ancient Title were selected for induction by the Historic Review Committee, which considers candidates who have not been active in the sport for more than 25 years. The new members will be inducted on Monday, August 4 in Saratoga Springs in a ceremony at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion.

Edgar Prado

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."

Carl Nafzger
Carl Nafzger, a native Texan, was a high-ranked rodeo rider in the 1960s before beginning his career as a Thoroughbred trainer. He saddled his first stakes winner in 1971 when Speedy Karen won the Fiesta Derby Handicap at Santa Fe Downs. Nafzger, 66, has trained two Kentucky Derby winners, Unbridled in 1990, and Street Sense in 2007. Both were division champions, as was Banshee Breeze, the outstanding 3-year-old filly of 1998. Unbridled also won the Breeders' Cup Classic in 1990 and Street Sense was the first winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to win the Kentucky Derby. Through the end of 2007, Nafzger had 1,068 victories from 8,041 mounts, purse earnings of $50,203,640 and 68 graded stakes victories.

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
Inside Information won 14 of 17 races in three seasons of competition for owner-breeder Ogden Mills Phipps. The Private Account filly, a 1991 foal, closed her career for Phipps and trainer Shug McGaughey with three Grade 1 victories. In the final start of her career, the 1995 Breeders' Cup Distaff, she beat stablemate Heavenly Prize by 13 lengths, a Breeders' Cup record. That performance at Belmont Park helped secure the Eclipse Award as the champion older filly of 1995. Inside Information is currently a member of the Phipps family's broodmare band at Claiborne Farm.

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
Manila, one of the most successful grass horses in American racing history, was finally elected in his 11th time on the ballot. The son of Lyphard, now standing at stud in Turkey, won 12 of 18 career starts and earned $2,692,799 for trainer Leroy Jolley. Manila was purchased after his winless 2-year-old season of 1985 by owner Bradley "Mike" Shannon. Shannon's timing proved to be ideal, as Manila compiled a 12-3-0 record in the final 15 starts of his career. He won nine consecutive races between June 7, 1986 and July 15, 1987, including the 1986 Breeders' Cup Turf. Following a half-length loss in the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga that ended his streak, Manila won the Arlington Million, which turned out to be the final race of his career.

"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.

Back to Horse-Races.Net main page

Want to keep up with what's new on this site?
Sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

On the Forum:

Search Horse-Races.Net: