The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame has announced its 2013 Legend inductees.
Legends are people and horses whose accomplishments occurred a number of decades ago. They made unique contributions to horse racing in Canada and the Hall recognizes the special roles they played.
Samuel Johnston a pioneering businessman, contractor and horseman is credited with saving harness racing in Fort Erie, Ontario. In 1898 at the same time Grand Circuit racing was scheduled to come to Canadian soil for the first time, its future was threatened when harness racing was deemed to be a violation of public morals. Johnston’s opposition and his arguments before town council culminated in ensuring the future of horse racing at Fort Erie. Without Mr. Johnson’s efforts, Grand Circuit racing would not have continued and grown to the stature it has today.
Celias Counsel, a foal of 1946, was somewhat of an anomaly as her sire, Chief Counsel, was best known as a producer of pacers. Campaigned by the Honourable William Earl Rowe, she was one of the most prominent trotters in the early1950s, including a career highlight win in the 1952 Maple Leaf Cup Trot. She held a record of 2:07 when most trotters were racing in 2:10 or slower. As a broodmare, she produced 9 foals, including Van Counsel who trotted in 2:03 and made over $131,000. The contributions of Celias Counsel are acknowledged each year with the Celia Counsel Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies.
Hidden Treasure was overshadowed in the early part of his exceptional career because he was foaled in 1957, the same year as one of Canada’s greatest thoroughbreds – Victoria Park. But this does not distract from Hidden Treasure’s overall contributions to Canadian racing. He was a multiple stakes winner at age two, three, four and five and an added money winner at age six. Owned and bred by Hall of Fame builder Bill Beasley of Nobleton, ON and trained by HOF trainer John Passero, Hidden Treasure retired with earnings of $187,734, second in Canada at the time to Victoria Park.
Jack Hood celebrated the romance of horse racing unlike any other owner and breeder ever to appear on the horse racing stage in Canada. Although garrulous and eccentric, he was also one of the more astute, and fortunate men to ever study the bloodlines of thoroughbreds. Hood’s legacy grew among those who shared the company of this gregarious gentleman from Stratford, Ontario, a man who became a legend to all following his death in 1984 at the age of 71. Hood’s venture into horse racing began in 1958 with the purchase Round Camera, a yearling filly that proved to be successful as a broodmare. It was however the purchase of Quillopolly that would elevate his status. She produced four foals in eight years. Two were stakes winners – Allquillo, winner of the Princess Elizabeth Stakes, and Sharp-Eyed Quillo, who won the Prince of Wales and Quebec Derby. Bonquill and Classy Quillo were the others. Classy Quillo was the dam of No Class who in turn was purchased in 1975 by Sam-Son Farms, and went on to be the grand-dam of Eclipse Award and Triple Crown winner Dance Smartly, the leading money-winning female in Canadian history. No Class is also the dam of four Sovereign Award winners – Sky Classic, Grey Classic, Regal Classic and Classy ‘n Smart, dam of world champion sire Smart Strike and Dance Smartly. No Class’s daughter is also the grand-dam of Plate winners Dancethruthedawn and Scatter the Gold.
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame will celebrate the inductions of these deserving legends at a Wine and Cheese reception ceremony scheduled to take place Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm in the Hall of Fame at Woodbine Racetrack. The reception will also feature the official unveiling of the display boards for the 2012 inductees, as well as the introduction of the 2013 inductees.
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is a dual hall representing both Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds. Inductees are added annually to build an ever-growing honour roll in the category of Builders, Drivers/Trainers, Jockeys/Trainers, Communicators, Veterans and Legends.
Additional details are available at: www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com .