May 04, 2009

Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Announces 2009 Nominations

A total of 21 nominees have been put forward by the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame's Thoroughbred and Standardbred Nominating Committees.

The list included Thoroughbred Triple Crown champion Wando and its breeder Gustav Schickedanz, along with Somebeachsomewhere, the incredible Standardbred pacer who was both Canada and North America's Horse of the Year in 2008.

The nominees in both breeds included fifteen horses and six people.

The Thoroughbreds nominated in the three categories include Triple Crown champions Wando and Earle I. Mack's Peteski, and Victory Gallop, the Ontario-bred winner of the 1998 Belmont Stakes in the Male category.

Bred by Ivan Dalos, Victory Gallop upset Real Quiet in the Belmont and won an Eclipse Award as champion Older Horse in 1999 for his American owners.  Peteski defeated Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winners while winning the Molson Export Million at Woodbine in 1993. He was bred by Barry Schwartz of Montreal.

In the Female category the nominees were 1994 Horse of the Year Alywow, owned and bred by Kinghaven Farms; Knob Hill Stable's Apelia, a multiple stakes winner by Cool Victor and Canada's champion sprinter of 1993; and Eclipse Award champion Maryfield, the inaugural winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in 2007. She was bred by Mike Carroll and John C. Harvey Jr. of Ontario and raced 10 times at Woodbine before being claimed for $50,000 and shipped to California.

Veterans category nominees include Kinghaven Farms' splendid sprinter Play the King, a five-time Sovereign Award winner and 1988 Horse of the Year; the versatile La Voyageuse, winner of Sovereign Awards for three years in a row for owner Jean-Louis Levesque and Rainbow Connection, a multiple stakes winner in the U.S. and a Sovereign Award winner on the track as well as Broodmare of the Year. She was bred by Mrs. George Coker and was owned by Ron Edgar and Doug Cameron. She is the dam of Rainbows for Life Always a Rainbow and Colour Chart.

Schickedanz, owner of Schonberg Farm in Nobleton, ON, bred two Plate winners in Woodcarver and Wando along with Arlington Million winner Jambalaya and Kentucky Oaks winner Gal in a Ruckus. His success in racing and breeding is largely due Langfuhr, a multiple stakes winner and leading sire of winners in the United States, which included six champions.

Also nominated in the Persons category were the late Tammy Samuel-Balaz and jockey Mickey Walls.

Mrs. Samuel-Balaz, who died in 2008, was president and general manager of Sam-Son Farm in Milton, ON. She took over the management of the farm in 1997 from her Hall of Fame father, Ernie Samuel, and was regarded as one of the leading figures in thoroughbred racing in Canada.

Walls made history in 1991 when he won 231 races in Ontario and became the first apprentice jockey to win the Sovereign and Eclipse Awards in the same year as well as leading jockey in Canada. He won the Queen's Plate on Woodcarver and had 1,453 wins in his career.

Somebeachsomewhere, owned by the Schooner Stable of Nova Scotia, was also a champion at two and lost only once in 21 career starts, earning $3.2 million.

Also nominated in the Male category were Majestic Son, Canada's Horse of the Year 2006 and winner of $1.9 million and Wesgate Crown, winner of two Breeders Crowns while earning $2.5 million and the sire of winners of over $14 million.

The Female category included Invitro, the champion daughter of Camluck, and two outstanding broodmares, Rich N Elegant and B Cor Tamara. Invitro, who earned a career mark of 1:50 at Woodbine, won 32 races and earned over $2 million. Rich N Elegant is the dam of champions Rock N Roll Hanover, Red River Hanover and Royalflush Hanover.

Two trainer-drivers and a builder were nominated in the Standardbred Persons category.

Keith Clark of DeWinton, Alta., one of the most recognizable names in Western Canada harness racing with 5,591 winners and horses that earned in excess of $27.7 million, gained considerable fame while driving Hall of Fame inductee As Promised.

Dave Wall, The Komoka Kid delighted fans while driving millionaire legends Odies Fame and Goodimes. Wall registered 6,848 wins with earnings of over $57.5 million.

Peter Heffering of Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, ON, campaigned numerous notable horses, including Hall of Fame inductee Precious Bunny, Riyadh and Day In A Life. His stallion station has become one of the tops in Canada. Heffering has bred such top level horses as Bunny Lake and Precious Delight.

The two 20-person Election Committees will declare the winners in the respective categories on Tuesday, May 19. The gala induction ceremonies will be held at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Thursday, August 27. Guest speaker will be Canadian comedian Gerry Dee.

For further information contact Managing Director Louis Cauz at 416 675-3993, ext. 2399 or email

(Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)

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