May 29, 2017

Update On 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing In Canada

May 10, 2017 – The team managing the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada (#cdnhorseracing250) has been busy working with racetracks, agricultural societies, industry associations and farms putting together activities and celebrations of this monumental milestone in Canada’s horse racing history.

The excitement is building as plans are finalized to host commemorative miles across the country throughout 2017. The first one on the calendar will take place as part of the Mother’s Day Open House at Mac Lilley Farms, located at 28322 Chalmers Line, Dutton, Ontario this Sunday, May 14. At 3:00 p.m., Il Sogno Dream and Alex Lilley will take to the track for a mile in recognition of Mac Lilley Farm’s 50 years of operation. The fastest trotter in North America in 2015 is currently doing double duty, as he is spending time in the Mac Lilley Farm breeding shed as well as beginning preparations for his 2017 race season.

The farm is open to guests from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and will provide an opportunity to get up close and personal with Standardbred mares and foals, take a ride behind a racehorse, learn about the history of both Mac Lilley Farms and Canadian horse racing as well as many other activities.

The 250th anniversary of horse racing team will be on hand to answer questions, and provide 250th anniversary of horse racing colouring sheets and other giveaways for the kids. There will also be CHRHF and 250th anniversary merchandise available for purchase.

In the coming weeks, look for 250th anniversary displays and merchandise available at the following track events:

May 14 – Mac Lilley Farms Mother’s Day Open House, Dutton, ON
May 20 – Mohawk Racetrack Fireworks Night, Campbellville, ON
May 21 – Flamboro Downs – Confederation Cup, Flamboro, ON
May 28 – Grand River Raceway – Open House, Elora, ON

Thank you to industry partners Standardbred Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, HBPA, COSA, OHHA, ASHA, and Harness Racing BC for their financial contributions to this year’s celebration.

New events and activities are being added to the calendar frequently. To stay up to date on all the latest 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada activities, or find out how you can get involved, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or visit the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame website. #cdnhorseracing250

(Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)

Hall Of Fame Announces 2017 Class

April 4, 2017 – The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2017 inductees. In this the 250th anniversary year of horse racing in Canada, a total of 10 horses and people have been elected from a very strong list of candidates.

Standardbred inductees include trainer/driver Blair Burgess and builder Dr. Gordon Gilbertson along with Mach Three, Elegantimage and Happy Lady.

Blair Burgess of Campbellville, Ont., has accumulated more than 1,040 wins and earnings in excess of $27.6 million as a trainer, including two victories in the Hambletonian (Amigo Hall in 2003 and Glidemaster in 2006), two in the Meadowlands Pace (Frugal Gourmet in 1987, Real Desire in 2002), plus wins in the Little Brown Jug (Tell All in 2007), the North America Cup (Tell All in 2007), the Kentucky Futurity, the Trotting Triple Crown (Glidemaster in 2006), and a Breeders Crown Championship (Real Desire, 2001).

Blair, son of Robert Burgess who was inducted to the CHRHF in 2011 as a builder, received an O’Brien Award as Canada’s Trainer of the Year in 2007, while he also trained winners of seven O’Brien Awards, and nine Dan Patch Awards. Two of his trainees have been named the U.S. Pacer of the Year (Real Desire in 2002 and Tell All in 2007), while Glidemaster was named U.S. Trotter of the Year in 2006. Burgess- trained horses who earned in excess of $1 million include Real Desire, Glidemaster, Tell All, Western Ideal, Amity Chef, Quality Western and Amigo Hall.

The late Dr. Gordon Gilbertson, DVM, originally from Hagersville, Ont., revolutionized an aspect of the Standardbred racing industry when he invented the Quick Hitch, a new style of harness. He used his extensive experience treating horses as a veterinarian, and his hands-on experience in training and driving harness horses to fuel his idea to eliminate the use of a ‘thimble’ placed over the shaft ends and wrapping straps around the straight portion of the shaft to secure the horse in the sulky.

In 1980, Dr.Gilbertson secured Canadian and U.S. patents on his new ‘Quick Hitch’ eventually named the ‘Rondeau Quick Hitch,’ in homage to where he lived in Kent County. After much hard work, and several slight modifications, top horsemen in Canada and the U.S. became converts to the new invention to the point where it became the standard used at racetracks and training centres around the world and is still used today.

Bred by Karl Magid of Cambridge, Ont., and owned throughout much of his race career by the late Joe Muscara Sr. of Pennsylvania, Mach Three was trained by Bill, Brett, and Shawn Robinson, along with Monte Gelrod. In 2001, at age two, Mach Three posted a record of 7-2-0 in nine starts, winning the $1.1 million Metro Pace at Woodbine Racetrack in 1:51.4. In 2002, Mach Three won the $1 million Meadowlands Pace in a career-best 1:49 and was the first colt to win both of those races. He had a record of 11-2-2 in 18 starts to give him a career record of 18-4-2 in 27 starts and earnings of $2,376,700. In a stallion career split between Tara Hills Stud Farm in Ontario and Alabar Farms in New Zealand, he produced 1,300 plus offspring to date, with total progeny earnings of $105.4 million for average earnings per starter of $113,990, including 306 horses with earnings of $100,000 or more.

Mach Three’s influence on the Standardbred breed will forever be cemented as the sire of the legendary Hall of Fame racehorse and supersire Somebeachsomewhere ($3.3 Million, 1:46.4 World Record). To date Mach Three has sired five millionaires including Mach It So, Monkey On My Wheel, Solar Sister, Camaes Fellow and the aforementioned Somebeachsomewhere.

Trotting filly Elegantimage, was bred by Diane Ingham and Harry Rutherford of Mount Pleasant, Ont. Trained throughout her career by Brad Maxwell, and driven primarily by CHRHF member Steve Condren, she was a standout from age two when she recorded three Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) wins in five starts. In addition to her OSS victories, she also won the Oakville Trot, Robert Stewart Memorial Final, two Trillium Series events and the Canadian Breeders Championship Final. She won the 1996 O’Brien Award as Canada’s Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year following a season that included nine wins and three seconds in 15 starts for earnings of over $352,000. The Balanced Image daughter continued her dominance at age three, winning eight of ten OSS starts, setting a lifetime mark of 1:55.4, and winning the 1997 Canadian Breeders Championship final en route to receiving the O’Brien Award in the three-year-old trotting filly division.

During her race career, she posted a race record of 20-7-3 and lifetime earnings of $955,368 in 41 races for owners Hyatt Holdings, Doug Millard, Jerry Van Boekel and Steve Condren Stable, all of Ontario. As a broodmare, her progeny have earned $986,223 with average earnings per starter of $140,889. Her top performer was the Kadabra filly, Elegant Serenity, a winner of over $500,000 with a mark of 1:53.2.

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, Ont. She was bred by J William Masterson of St. Catharines and though her racing career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.3. Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races and was named the two-year-old pacing filly of the year by both the Canadian Trotting Association (CTA) and the United States Trotting Association (USTA).

As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts and was one of only two fillies to ever win the Monticello OTB Classic. Her 1:58.4 victory in the Lady Maud at Roosevelt Raceway was a stakes and track record. Year-end honours included three-year-old pacing filly of the year for the Canadian Trotting Association, United States Trotting Association and Harness Tracks of America, as well as Horse of the Year for the CTA. Tragically, on January 10, 1981 at Castleton Farms in Kentucky, she perished in a barn fire, along with 13 other mares, while in foal to Bret Hanover.

Representing Thoroughbreds in the Class of 2017 are builder Eugene Melnyk, trainer Harold Barroby, and communicator Curtis Stock as well as horses Quiet Resolve, and South Ocean.

Toronto-born Eugene Melnyk’s, biography includes businessman, sports team owner and racehorse breeder/owner. He is the receipient of 12 Sovereign Awards, including Outstanding Owner in 2007 and both Outstanding Owner and Breeder in 2009. A resident of Barbados since 1991, at the height of his career in racing and breeding, he owned more than 200 horses, mostly based in North America. His racehorses were named after Barbados landmarks and carry that country’s national colours of blue and gold. In 1998, his colt, Archer’s Bay, won the Queen’s Plate, and in 2007 his homebred, Sealy Hill, became the first filly to win the Canadian Triple Tiara, which includes the Woodbine Oaks. Sealy Hill would also go on be named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2007 and was inducted into the Candian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2013.

Other top horses included Speightstown (Eclipse Award winner of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint), Marchfield (2007 Breeders’ Stakes), Roxy Gap (multiple Sovereign Award winner in 2012), Leigh Court (Champion three-year-old filly in 2013), Flower Alley (2005 Travers and sire of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another), Lukes Alley, (2016 Gulfstream Park Turf Hcp; Gr 1), Lodge Hill, Graeme Hall, and a host of other stakes winners.

Melynk’s horses won a total of 62 graded stakes and two Barbados Gold Cups.
Melnyk was also involved in many horse industry philantropic endeavours, most notably as founding donor of Anna House, located at Belmont Park, which opened in January 2003.

In February of 2013, he reduced his equine operation substantially and changed the business model from breeding to purchasing yearlings and racing those instead.

Originally from London, Ont., Curtis Stock’s affection for the horses, jockeys, trainers and horsepeople in general is reflected in his writing, He began to follow racing in Calgary during his high-school days and gained valuable experience covering racing there while attending university. That soon led to an opportunity in Toronto, working with honoured Canadian Horse Hall of Fame member Bruce Walker in the Ontario Jockey Club Publicity Department. Stock would later return to Alberta and take over publicity, marketing, and advertising at Northlands Park in Edmonton, later moving to the Edmonton Journal where he covered racing for 32 years and also plied his craft for the Daily Racing Form for 20 years. His reporting has resonated with the judges in Sovereign Award voting. His record run of Sovereigns started in 1985 and in 1993, he swept both Feature Story and Newspaper categories Stock was the recipient of back-to-back Sovereign Awards for Outstanding Feature Story in 1993-94 and took home an unprecedented eighth Sovereign Award for Outstanding Newspaper Story in Canada. Most recently Stock was the recipient of the 2015 Sovereign Award in the Outstanding Writing Category. His story, ‘Love of Horses,’ appeared earlier that year in the Edmonton Journal. It was his 11th Sovereign Award overall; a record total. He has received this most-coveted award at least once in each of the past five decades, an achievement unmatched.

Harold Barroby, a native of Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan, followed his older brother, Frank, to Alberta to become leading trainer in 1969 and 1970 before moving further west to British Columbia in 1974, where the great Love Your Host won 13 stakes under his tutelage, and horses Pampas Host and Delta Colleen were both multiple stakes winners. He was BC’s leading trainer a record 10 times and was previously inducted into the BC Hall Thoroughbred Hall of Fame. Barroby remains the all-time leader in terms of wins and stakes wins, inlcuding graded stake wins with Fortinbras in the 1986 British Columbia Derby (G3) and 1986 BC Premier’s Championship Handicap (G3). While he remains an active trainer, he’s operating with fewer horses these days. Harold now joins Frank as a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Quiet Resolve, the Sam-Son Farm homebred and Mark Frostad-trained son of Affirmed earned $2.3 million in a 31-start race career between 1998 and 2002 with a record of 10-6-4, which included multiple graded stakes wins. He was recipient of the 2000 Sovereign Award as Canada’s Horse of the Year and Champion Turf Horse, following a season highlighted by victories in the Atto Mile (G1), and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy Stakes (G2). During that championship year, Quiet Resolve ventured south of the border and won the Dixie Stakes (G2) at Pimlico, was second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs and third in the Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile Stakes (G2).

South Ocean‘s win in the 1970 Canadian Oaks and later her prowess as a broodmare in producing the sire of Storm Cat was a precious parlay. Bred by E.P.Taylor and sold through auction to his son, Charles, who also raced her, South Ocean’s genetic magic is still in production, as this granddaughter of Bull Page was the dam of Storm Bird, whose son was the powerful Storm Cat. Trained by CHRHF member G. ‘Pete’ McCann, South Ocean was a dual stakes winner, both as a two-year-old and as Oaks Champion and top three-year-old filly contender. That year she also placed in the five other stakes, including the Bison City and Wonder Where. However, it was as a producer that she excelled. She was by New Providence out of a Chop Chop mare and her pedigree matched up perfectly with the Northern Dancer line. Hence, she was bred to that prolific sire eight times, producing the great Northernette, herself an Oaks winner, Canadian Champion filly and 1987 CHRHF member. South Ocean’s impact on Canadian breeding over nearly five decades is immeasurable.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 2017 Induction Ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com


STANDARDBRED INDUCTEES


Driver/Trainer: Blair Burgess. Born in Toronto, ON. Resident of Campbellville, ON.

Builder: Dr. Gordon Gilbertson (deceased) Born in Hagersville, ON.

Male Horse: Mach Three, Bred by Karl Magid of Cambridge, ON. Owned during much of his racing career by the late Joe Muscara Sr. of PA. Trainers include Bill, Brett, and Shawn Robinson, along with Monte Gelrod.

Female Horse: Elegantimage. Bred by Diane Ingham and Harry Rutherford – Mount Pleasant, ON. Trainer – Brad Maxwell. Primary driver – Steve Condren.

Veteran Horse: Happy Lady. Owned by: Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, ON, and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville, ON. Trained and driven by Jim Rankin (deceased).


THOROUGHBRED INDUCTEES


Builder: Eugene Melnyk, born in Toronto, ON; resident of Barbados.

Communicator: Curtis Stock, born in London, ON; resident of Edmonton, AB.

Trainer: Harold J. Barroby, born in Ravenscrag, SK, resident of Vancouver, BC.

Male Horse: Quiet Resolve. Bred and owned by Sam-Son Farm, Milton, ON; Trained by Mark Frostad, Toronto, ON.

Veteran Horse: South Ocean. Bred by E.P. Taylor (deceased). Owned by Charles Taylor (deceased). Trained by Gordon ‘Pete’ McCann (deceased).

(Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)

2017 Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame Ballot Announced

March 20, 2017 – The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2017 ballot. In this the 250th Anniversary Year of Horse Racing in Canada, a total of 30 horses and people, comprised of 15 Standardbred and 15 Thoroughbred candidates have been selected to appear on the voting ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will determine the winners in their respective categories. Results will be announced Tuesday, April 4.

The five categories selected by the nominating committee to appear on the 2017 Standardbred ballots are Female Horse, Male Horse, Veteran Horse, Builder, and Driver/Trainer

The Standardbred Female Horse Category features Elegantimage, Oohs N Aahs and Tricky Tooshie

Trotting filly Elegantimage, bred by Diane Ingham and Harry Rutherford of Mount Pleasant, ON was a standout from age two when she recorded three Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) wins in five starts. The Balanced Image daughter followed up at age three, winning eight of ten OSS starts, setting a lifetime mark of 1:55.4, and winning the 1997 Canadian Breeders Championship Final. During her race career, she posted a race record of 20-7-3 and lifetime earnings of $955,368 in 41 races. As a broodmare, her progeny have earned $986,223 with average earnings per starter of $140,889. Her top performer was the Kadabra filly, Elegant Serenity, a winner of over $500,000 with a mark of 1:53.2.

Pacing mare Oohs N Aahs won 44 races in her career, taking a mark of 1:51.1 at Woodbine Racetrack at the age of eight while banking over $1.1 million. Finishing first, second or third in 109 out of a total of 177 races, Oohs N Aahs won most of her races in Ontario and became a Canadian fan favourite during her exceptional racing career. As a broodmare she produced Omen Hanover, who earned in excess of $1 million, and in the process made Oohs N Aahs only the third pacing mare to both earn over $1 million and produce a millionaire daughter.

Tricky Tooshie was bred and owned during her racing career by Laurent Bergevin of Quebec. Trainers included her co-breeder Jean L. Deblois, followed by Rick Zeron and then Linda Bedard. In seven years of racing she made 142 starts for a 44-29-24 record, posted a mark of 1:52.1 at Woodbine Racetrack and earned $1,005,566, becoming the first Canadian-sired mare to reach $1 million in earnings. As a broodmare, nine of her 13 foals made it to the races to earn $2.84 million for average earnings per starter of almost $300,000. Her richest foal was True North Hanover, a winner of $732,912.

Nominated In the category of Standardbred Male Horse are Blissfull Hall, Mach Three and Shadow Play

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 career that included 31 races 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 won over $72 million in earnings, including 83 horses with earnings over $250,000, 222 horses with earnings over $100,000, and average earnings per starter of $97,969.

Bred by Karl Magid of Cambridge, ON and owned throughout much of his race career by the late Joe Muscara Sr. of Pennsylvania, Mach Three was trained by Bill, Brett, and Shawn Robinson, along with Monte Gelrod. At age two Mach Three posted a record of 7-2-0 in nine starts, winning the 2001 $1.1 million Metro Pace at Woodbine Racetrack in 1:51.4. In 2002, Mach Three won the $1 million Meadowlands Pace in a career-best 1:49 and had a record of 11-2-2 in 18 starts to give him a career record of 18-4-2 in 27 starts and earnings of $2,376,700. In a stallion career split between Tara Hills Stud Farm in Ontario and Alabar Farms in New Zealand, he produced 1,300 plus offspring to date, with total progeny earnings of $104.7 million for average earnings per starter of $113,621, including 305 horses with earnings of $100,000 or more. Mach Three’s influence on the Standardbred breed will forever be cemented as the sire of the legendary Hall of Fame racehorse and super-sire Somebeachsomewhere ($3.3 million, 1:46.4 world record).

Shadow Play earned $1,559,822 with 20 wins, nine seconds and five thirds in 49 lifetime starts and took a record of 1:47.4 as a four-year-old. The son of The Panderosa, trained by Dr. Ian Moore who shared ownership with R G MC Group Ltd., and Serge Savard for most of his racing career, won several stakes events, including the 2008 Little Brown Jug. As a sire standing at Winbak Farm in Ontario, and now owned by the Shadow Play Syndicate, he has sired the winners of over $14 million, including O’Brien Award winners Lady Shadow and Arthur Blue Chip.

The 2017 Veteran Horses ballot is comprised of B Cor Tamara, Happy Lady and Lou Macs Review

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 $2.8 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 racing 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.

Trotting mare Lou Macs Review achieved success on the racetrack and as a broodmare. A multiple Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) winner at ages two and three during the late 1980s, she was the OSS champion in her three-year-old campaign, competing against both colts and fillies. Her race career continued as an aged open class winner until age seven, amassing lifetime earnings of $560,958 and including a second place finish in the 1991 Breeders Crown for Aged Mares. Her stats as a broodmare include progeny with earnings over $1.2 million and average earnings per starter of $140,000.

In the Standardbred Driver/Trainer category voters will select from Blair Burgess, Jim Doherty and Ben Wallace.

Toronto-born Blair Burgess has accumulated earnings of over $27.6 million with 1,040 wins as a trainer, including two victories in the Hambletonian (Amigo Hall in 2003 and Glidemaster in 2006), and two in the Meadowlands Pace (Frugal Gourmet in 1987, Real Desire in 2002), plus wins in the Little Brown Jug (Tell All in 2007), the North America Cup (Tell All in 2007), the Kentucky Futurity, the Trotting Triple Crown (Glidemaster in 2006), and a Breeders Crown Championship (Real Desire, 2001). Burgess, who received an O’Brien Award as Canada’s Trainer of the Year in 2007, has also trained winners of seven O’Brien Awards, and nine Dan Patch Awards. Two of his trainees have been named the U.S. Pacer of the Year (Real Desire and Tell All), while Glidemaster was named U.S. Trotter of the Year in 2006.

Saint John, New Brunswick’s Jim Doherty developed numerous champions during his career as a trainerdriver including $3 million earner and 2002 U.S. Trotter of the Year, Fools Goal, as well as 1997 Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year No Nonsense Woman, and Starchip Entrprise, winner of the Valley Victory and Canadian Trotting Classic in the late 1990s. He also drove Green With Envy, two-time Older Pacing Mare of the Year in 1984 and 1985. During his career, Doherty drove winners of 4,620 races and nearly $39 million in purses. In 2003 Doherty was inducted to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. He is also a member of the New England Harness Writers Hall of Fame, New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, and the Saint John Sports Hall of Fame.

Ben Wallace of Puslinch, Ontario trained the 1999 Pacing Triple Crown Winner Blissfull Hall, Breeders Crown winners Totally Western (2002), Pans Cullotes (2003), Armbro Rosebud (1997) as well as a list of million dollar plus winners including Apprentice Hanover, Zooka, Cam Swifty, Camotion and Lookout Victory. Awarded an O’Brien as Trainer of the Year in 1999, Wallace has current career stats of 1,866 wins and over $36.5 million in purses, surpassing the million-dollar mark in 18 consecutive seasons (1996-2013).

Standardbred Builder Category candidates include Dr. Gordon Gilbertson, DVM, J. Hugh Proudfoot and Brian Webster.

The late Dr. Gordon Gilbertson, DVM, originally from Hagersville, ON, revolutionized an aspect of the Standardbred racing industry when he invented the Quick Hitch, a new style of harness. He used his extensive experience treating horses as a veterinarian, and his hands-on experience in training and driving harness horses to fuel his idea. In 1980 Dr.Gilbertson secured Canadian and U.S. patents on his new ‘Quick Hitch’ eventually named the ‘Rondeau Quick Hitch,’ in homage to where he lived in Kent County.

J. Hugh Proudfoot, born in Fort Coulonge, Quebec in 1912, was an active harness racing participant as a breeder, trainer, owner and executive. His Pontiac Farm was a successful racing operation for decades throughout Quebec and Ontario. Proudfoot was a leader when it came to sponsoring races at Fort Coulonge, Chapeau, Shawville, Pembroke and beyond. As an executive he served as a Director of the Canadian Trotting Association (CTA) for eleven (11) years, as Vice-President for seven (7) before becoming President of the CTA in 1959. He had great vision as evidenced by his belief that the CTA and Canadian Standardbred Horse Society (CSHS) should amalgamate. He also believed there should be driver’s insurance with the CTA and advocated licensing female drivers.

Brian Webster of St. George, ON, made contributions to the Canadian horse racing industry centering around his 20+ years building, managing and promoting successful yearling sales, including the Mixed Canadian Standardbred Horse Sale, the Select Yearling Sale, the Forest City Yearling Sale and as Sales Consultant to Standardbred Canada’s Yearling Sale. His industry association involvement included the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) and the North American Harness Racing Marketing Association. He also held many volunteer roles in the racing industry.

The five categories chosen for the 2017 Thoroughbred ballot are Builder, Communicator, Trainer, Male Horse and Veteran Horse

A Thoroughbred Builder ballot comprised of Frank McMahon, Eugene Melnyk and John G. Sikura is offered for voter consideration.

The late Frank McMahon was a major contributor to Thoroughbred horse racing in Canada with what was the first major stable in western Canada, and as a founding member of the Jockey Club of Canada. Early success came as a part-owner of Royal Serenade, winner of the 1953 Hollywood Gold Cup. Other McMahon victories included the 1966 British Columbia Derby in Vancouver and the 1970 Canadian Derby in Edmonton. He partnered with Max Bell (Golden West Farms) in 1968 to win the Queen’s Plate with Merger. In 1969, his Majestic Prince won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Eugene Melnyk, businessman, sports team owner and racehorse breeder/owner has won 12 Sovereign Awards including Outstanding Owner in 2007 and 2009. Top horses include Speightstown (winner of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint), Flower Alley, Graeme Hall, 1998 Queen’s Plate winner Archers Bay, and 2007 Horse of the Year, Sealy Hill, who was inducted into the CHRHF in 2013. A former trustee of the New York Racing Association and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association honouree, Melnyk dispersed his broodmare band in February 2013 to refocus his business model on yearling purchases and racing.

John G. Sikura, owner and president of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms (Kentucky), has been a mainstay in the breeding industry since 1987. Sikura remains an active owner/breeder and major sales consignor. To date, his farm has consigned 95 horses selling for $1,000,000 and over. Meanwhile, the farm operates as a full service facility serving horse people throughout North America. The current stallion roster at Hill’n’Dale includes two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who commands a $150,000 (US) stud fee. John’s father, John Sikura Jr., was inducted into the CHRHF in 2013.

Joe Hirsch, Dan Loiselle, and Curtis Stock and have been selected to appear on the Thoroughbred Communicator ballot.

American horse racing columnist and author Joe Hirsch, the founding president of the U.S. based National Turf Writers’ Association, began writing for the Daily Racing Form in 1954 and retired as its executive columnist in 2003. His support of Canadian racing and those involved in the sport on this side of the border was widespread as his work was read by industry leaders all over North America. The author of multiple books, his The Grand Senor details the career of Horatio Luro, best known as trainer of Northern Dancer.

Dan Loiselle’s horse racing career spans almost five decades, initially as a Standardbred racing official and announcer, and then as Woodbine Thoroughbred announcer, replacing Daryl Wells in 1986. His signature accuracy and clarity was accompanied by a flair for entertaining his audience. He has served as Master of Ceremonies at many industry functions and interviewed celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment. In November of 2015, Loiselle was inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame and was saluted by the Toronto sports media with a special award.

Originally from Calgary, Curtis Stock got his start as a horse racing reporter while still in university, before working at Woodbine with CHRHF-honoured member Bruce Walker. He returned to Alberta to take over the publicity, marketing and advertising at Northlands Park and then moved to the Edmonton Journal where he worked for 32 years. He also plied his craft at the Daily Racing Form for 20 years. His writing has resonated with Sovereign Awards judges, resulting in a record 11 awards.

The three Trainers on the 2016 Thoroughbred Election ballot are Reade Baker, Harold J. Barroby and Daniel J. Vella

Reade Baker‘s training career spans four decades and almost 1,100 wins. 122 of those wins in stakes events, 30 in graded races. The 2005 Sovereign Award recipient as Outstanding Trainer, Baker has developed numerous stakes winners, including Horse of the Year champions Fatal Bullet (2008) and Biofuel (2010). Baker also conditioned Bear Now, 2008 Sovereign Award for Older Female and Tu Endie Wei, 2011 Sovereign Award winner as Champion Two-Year-Old Filly. Baker continues to saddle winners, including Woodbine Oaks winner Academic and Prince of Wales Stakes winner Breaking Lucky in 2015.

Harold Barroby a native of Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan, followed his older brother, Frank, to Alberta; became leading trainer in 1969 and 1970 before moving further west to British Columbia in 1974 where the great Love Your Host won 13 stakes under his tutelage, and horses Pampas Host and Delta Colleen were both multiple stakes winners. BC’s leading trainer a record 10 times, Harold remains the all-time leader in terms of wins and stakes wins, including graded stakes wins with Fortinbras in the 1986 British Columbia Derby (G3) and 1986 BC Premier’s Championship Handicap (G3).

Daniel Vella captured the Sovereign Awards Trainer title in 1994 and 1995. He has won the coveted Queen’s Plate twice in his career thus far, the first in 1994 with Frank Stronach’s Basqueian and followed up with his second win in in 2012, with Strait of Dover for Wally and Terry Leong. Vella has scored one hundred and thirty-five (135) career stakes wins in a career that began in 1985. Career stats include 5,065 (793-755-617) and earnings to date: $36,267,212.

The Thoroughbred Male Horse category will be contested by A Bit O’Gold, Mt. Sassafras and Quiet Resolve.

Catharine Day Phillips trainee, A Bit O’Gold won four Sovereign awards in 2004 and 2005, including Horse of the Year, as a result of his multiple stakes wins including the Coronation Futurity in 2003, the Plate Trial Stakes, the Breeders Stakes, the Ontario Derby all in 2004. In 2005 stakes wins included the Dominion Day Stakes Handicap (G3), the Chinese Cultural Stakes Handicap (G2) and the Sky Classic Stakes Handicap (G2) with career earnings totalling $1,888,155.

Mt. Sassafras earned $1,382,985 in 47 career starts (8-7-14) and was named 1996 Sovereign Award winner for Horse of the Year and Champion Older Horse. Multiple graded stakes wins included Dominion Day Handicap (G2) in 1999, as well as the Dominion Day Handicap (G3) and Eclipse Handicap (G3) in 1996 and (G1) Gulfstream Park Handicap in 1997.

Quiet Resolve, the Sam Son Farm homebred and Mark Frostad-trained son of Affirmed, earned $2.3 million in a 31-start race career with a record of 10-6-4, which included multiple graded stakes wins. He was recipient of the 2000 Sovereign Award as Champion Turf Horse and Canada’s Horse of the Year, which was highlighted by victories in the Atto Mile (G1), and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy Stakes (G2). During his championship season, Quiet Resolve ventured south of the border and won the Dixie Stakes (G2) at Pimlico, was second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs and third in the Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile Stakes (G2).

In the Thoroughbred Veteran Horses category voters will select from All Along (FR), Passing Mood and South Ocean.

French-bred filly All Along, was the first winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) to race in Canada winning the Rothmans International (G1) as part of a 41-day international tour that also included wins in the Turf Classic (G1) at Aqueduct and the Washington, DC International (G1) at Laurel. Named Horse of the Year on two continents for owner Daniel Wildenstein and family, All Along was named Champion Older Horse in France and 1983 Horse of the Year in the U.S, the first female and foreign-based horse to win an Eclipse award as Horse of the Year.

The royally-bred Passing Mood, both owned and bred by D.G. Willmot’s Kinghaven Farms, became one of Canada’s greatest producers – in fact, she was named Outstanding Broodmare in 1989. Among her progeny was With Approval, inducted into the CHRHF in 1993 after a stellar racing career including the Canadian Triple Crown in 1989. Another top horse was Touch Gold, who won the 1997 Belmont Stakes (Gr 1) as well as the Haskell Invitational (Gr 1) and Lexington Stakes (Gr 2).

South Ocean was bred by E.P. Taylor and sold through auction to his son, Charles. Trained by G. ‘Pete’ McCann, South Ocean was a major stakes winner, including the Canadian Oaks in 1970. However, it is as a broodmare that South Ocean made a huge impact. She produced the CHRHF filly Northernette and Storm Bird, sire of Storm Cat, both sired by Northern Dancer. Her contribution to Canadian Breeding is both immeasurable and invaluable.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 2017 Induction Ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com

(Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)

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Nominations Close March 1, for Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Class of 2017

February 3, 2017 – The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame reminds the horse racing community the deadline to nominate horses or people for the Class of 2017 is less than four weeks away.  Nominations of those who have made a significant contribution to Canadian horse racing, are being accepted for the following categories:

 

MALE HORSE: Stallions or geldings whose contribution to Canadian racing occurred in the past 20 years.

FEMALE HORSE: Fillies and 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, Bloggers.

VETERAN PERSON: Trainers, Drivers, Jockeys whose careers have been concluded for 20 years, but less than 50 years. 

 

All nomination submissions to be made by completing the online form available on the CHRHF website at http://horseracinghalloffame.com/chrhf-2017-nomination-form/   A copy of the form may also be obtained by contacting admin@horseracinghalloffame.com.  Complete eligibility criteria may be found at: http://horseracinghalloffame.com/inductees/eligibility/

 

     For further information, or to submit a completed nomination form, contact: 

 

Standardbred Nominations: 

Darryl Kaplan, Standardbred Nomination Chair,

Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

P:  (905) 858-3060 ext. 241 F: (905) 858-3089

E:  dkaplan@standardbredcanada.ca

 

Thoroughbred Nominations: 

Tom Cosgrove, Thoroughbred Nomination Chair,

Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

P:  (416) 213-2113

E:  tmc@woodbineentertainment.com

 

Nominations forms may also be submitted to:

Linda Rainey, Managing Director

Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

P:  (416) 417-9404

E: Linda.rainey@horseracinghalloffame.com

 

All submissions will be carefully considered by the Nominating Committee of the appropriate breed and if approved, presented to the Election Committee for voting by secret ballot.

 

NOMINATION DEADLINE:   WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017 5:00 pm EST.

The list of nominees selected for consideration by the Election Committee for each breed will be announced Monday, March 20, 2017. The Inductees for the 2017 class of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame will be announced on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

 

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 admin@horseracinghalloffame.com or 416-417-9404

 

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Linda Rainey

Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Linda.rainey@horseracinghalloffame.com

416-417-9404

 

Hall Accepting Noms For 2017 Class

November 29, 2016 – The public is invited to participate 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 2017.

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.

All nomination submissions to be made using the form available on the CHRHF website. A copy of the form is also attached, or may be obtained by contacting admin@horseracinghalloffame.com. Complete eligibility criteria may be found here.

For further information, or to submit a completed nomination form, 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: dkaplan@standardbredcanada.ca

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
E: tmc@woodbineentertainment.com

Nominations forms may also be submitted to:
Linda Rainey, Managing Director
Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
P: 416-417-9404
E: Linda.rainey@horseracinghalloffame.com

All submissions will be carefully considered by the Nominating Committee of the appropriate breed and if approved, presented to the Election Committee for voting by secret ballot.

NOMINATION DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017 5:00 pm EST.

The list of nominees selected for consideration by the Election Committee for each breed will be announced Monday, March 20, 2017. The Inductees for the 2017 class of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame will be announced on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

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 by clicking here or by contacting admin@horseracinghalloffame.com or 416-417-9404.

(Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)

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2015 Hall Of Fame Photos Online

August 9, 2015 – Photos from Wednesday’s 2015 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Mississauga Convention Centre in Mississauga, Ont. are now available online for viewing.

Standardbred inductees from Wednesday’s gala include horses ArtsplaceJ Cs Nathalie and people H. Charles (Charlie) ArmstrongWilliam (Bill) Gale and Harry Eisen. The Thoroughbred inductees are Mine That BirdRobert (Bob) M. Anderson,James (Jim) BannonStewart Elliott and Roger Laurin.

To view the gallery, click the following link: 2015 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Hall Of Fame Night At Mohawk

July 15, 2015- Standardbred racing fans will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with many harness racing greats this Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and Standardbred Canada’s “I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club” will be hosting a Tribute Night this Saturday evening at Mohawk. Racing fans will have the chance to meet Hall of Fame members, view racing memorabilia and take part in a raffle and silent auction.

The meet and greet will get underway at 6:00 p.m. inside the main doors of Mohawk and fans will have the opportunity to chat and ask questions to Hall of Famers about their racing careers.

Dr. John Findley, Jack Kopas, Dr. Glen Brown, Sarah Scott (representing Rocknroll Hanover), Bill O’Donnell, Bill Galvin, Carl Jamieson, Bob McIntosh and Ron Waples are all scheduled to appear.

Several of the Hall of Famers will be bringing along some of their favourite racing memorabilia to share with fans.

Fans will also have the opportunity to check out the Rocknroll Hanover showcase displays inside the main doors and new framed photographs added to the Armstrong Brothers and Dr. Glen Brown displays.

The evening’s fourth race will be the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Tribute Race and the group of Hall of Fame members will be in the winner’s circle following the race to make the presentation.

A great group of silent auction items will be available for bidding and raffle tickets will be on sale for a framed “Somebeachsomewhere print” by equine artist Linda Shantz. The draw for the print will take place following the evening’s fifth race.

Doors open Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and the meet and greet will get underway at 6:00 p.m. Post time for the 12-race card is 7:25 p.m.

(WEG/CHRHOF)

Canadian Hall’s Induction Gala Info

July 9, 2015 – 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 donation to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame are available by visiting the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Online Store or by contacting Linda Rainey 416-417-9404 or linda.rainey@horseracinghalloffame.com.

Opportunities to advertise in the souvenir induction program and event sponsorship packages are also still available.

(CHRHF/Standardbred Canada)

Celebrate Canada’s Best

June 30, 2015 – Have you ever wanted to ask Bill O’Donnell about winning the richest race in harness racing, find out from Dr. Glen Brown what it was like to be the owner of Fan Hanover, or ask caretaker Sarah Scott about her special bond with Rocknroll Hanover? Here’s your chance!

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club will host a special meet and greet with these Hall of Famers and more on Saturday, July 18 at Mohawk Racetrack from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

See and learn more about memorabilia displays like the Armstrong Bros. Trophy Showcase, the Somebeachsomewhere display, the Dr. Glen Brown showcase, a display case honouring Admirals Express and a cherished collection of items from Rocknroll Hanover’s career.

There will also be a Silent Auction of harness racing memorabilia and a raffle to win a framed, limited edition Somebeachsomewhere print by Canadian equine artist Linda Shantz, all to benefit the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Watch for updates on Silent Auction items and the roster for the Meet and Greet!

‘Doors Open’ At Hall Of Fame

May 20, 2015 – 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 10 a.m. each day, with behind the scenes tours beginning at noon. Also, don’t forget that there is a full card of Thoroughbred racing beginning at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Hall of Fame driver Ron Waples and Hall of Fame jockey Sandy Hawley are also scheduled to make appearances.

Events take place this Saturday (May 23) and Sunday (May 24) from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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 and join the conversation via Facebook and Twitter (on Facebook, ‘Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame’; and on Twitter, @cdn_halloffame @woodbineracing @Doors_OpenTO and using the event hashtag #DOT15).

(Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)