The two 20-person Election Committees will declare the winners in the respective categories and they will be announced on Tuesday, April 10.
Astreos, a son of Artsplace, won several stakes events, including the Little Brown Jug, during his million dollar race career and took a record of 1:49.3. In his second career, as a stallion, he has produced winners of over $50 million to date, and many top performers including Zooka, Astronomical, To Helen Back and Voelz Hanover.
As a race horse, Kadabra enjoyed incredible success, winning 25 of 36 lifetime starts for earnings in excess of $2.1 million. In the years since his entrance to the breeding shed, he has sired the winners of more than $26.5 million including stars Poof Shes Gone and Daylon Magician, and in 2011 he was No. 1 in Canada for his progeny’s all-age earnings of $8,408,950.
Majestic Son’s three season racing career saw him claim victory in 22 starts and bank almost $2 million in purse money. The son of Angus Hall was at his best in his 2006 sophomore year when he won more than $1.3 million in purse money and was named Canada’s Horse of the Year. Today, he is the richest son of trotting sire Angus Hall.
The outstanding broodmares B Cor Tamara, JCs Nathalie and Mystic Mistress are nominated in the Female Horse category.
Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000. As a broodmare, the brown 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 over $2.7 million -- an average of $151,303 per starter. B Cor Pete, a winner of $893,076, was her most successful, and she also produced B Cor Timgo, a winner of $666,267 and Clarice Marie, a winner of $313,408, among many others.
JCs Nathalie, owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario, has produced two millionaires as a broodmare -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal. Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3. Dreamfair Eternal, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010, has won 53 races and over $2.4 million to date in her racing career. In all, from 13 foals her progeny have averaged $381,826 in earnings per starter.
Mystic Mistress has also established herself as a top broodmare in the sport, producing the winners of more than $3.8 million, including Mystician, the 2010 Metro Pace Champion and a winner of over $1.6 million, and Camystic, a proven sire and a winner of over $779,000 on the track. Mystic Mistress, now owned by Warrawee Farm, received the Standardbred Breeder and Owners Association’s award as Broodmare of the Year for 2011.
The three candidates in the trainer-driver category are Wally Hennessey, Carl Jamieson and Dave Wall.
Wally Hennessey, 55, of Prince Edward Island, rewrote the history books in the Maritimes in the early stages of his driving career. To date, he has 8,026 victories to his name and has banked earnings in excess of $54 million. In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown. In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York.
Carl Jamieson, 61 of Princeton, Ontario and a native of Nova Scotia, has established a reputation for his ability in selecting and developing young horses. He’s enjoyed considerable success, having trained 940 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $22 million. In 2011 Carl trained two Canadian champions – Up The Credit, Canada’s three year old pacing colt of the year and Warrawee Needy, Canada’s Two-Year-Old pacing colt of the year.
Dave Wall, 65, of Komoka, Ontario, and a former top campaigner on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit, has driven 7,117 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $59.6 million during his career. He has also dabbled in training, sending 518 winners postward and horses with over $2.4 million in earnings. Two outstanding horses that he drove were pacing filly Odies Fame, a winner of $1.4 million, and the outstanding trotter Goodtimes, a winner of more than $2.2 million.
The candidates in the builders’ category are Doug Harkness, Charles Juravinski and William Rowe.
The late Doug Harkness made unparalleled contributions to the harness racing industry in the Martimes. He was the founder and editor of Atlantic Post Calls from 1979 – 2010. Doug was also involved in lobbying efforts with the government, and was a capable spokesperson for harness racing on a regional, national and international level. Doug received the City of Charlottetown award for his promotional work in harness racing, and received the President’s Award from the United States Harness Writers Association, the only Canadian journalist to be honoured.
Charles Juravinski was involved in harness racing as a racetrack operator and owner-breeder. With no prior knowledge of racetracks or horse racing, Charles took a chance and turned a farmer's field into Flamboro Downs, a multi-million dollar half-mile racetrack which opened in 1975 and soon became one of Canada’s premier racetracks and home to the Confederation Cup. He raced horses and ran the racetrack devotedly for the next 30 years until 2003. He also raced two world champion horses – the top pacing mare Ellamony which he also bred, and pacing horse Matts Scooter.
William Rowe was involved in many facets of the harness racing industry. He enjoyed success as a breeder, trainer-driver and administrator, but it was as a builder of racetracks and racing executive that he made his greatest mark in Canadian racing. Rowe was responsible for the construction of Windsor Raceway, which opened in 1966, Barrie Raceway, which opened in 1971 and Georgian Downs, which opened in 2001.
Rounding out the Standardbred candidates are Brets View, Celias Counsel and Rumpus Hanover in the Veterans Category.
Brets View had a successful racing career, winning 13 times and earning $129,969 while competing in Quebec in the early 90s. Her success really hit a new level as a broodmare. Her foals have earned more than $1.2 million and include Newton Angus ($458,896), Jana Angus ($267,748) and Polichon Angus ($243,339). Owned by Fermes Angus Farms, she produced 12 foals, all of whom have started. Their average earnings have eclipsed $107,000.
Celias Counsel was one of the most prominent trotters in the early 1950s. 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.
Rumpus Hanover, a son of Tyler B won 34 races and $721,993 during his racing career. As a sire, standing primarily in Quebec and the Maritimes, he sired the winners of $9.1 million including Tricky Tooshie, a winner of over $1 million on the track and the dam of winners of over $2 million.
Two jockeys from British Columbia and a pair of fillies who earned Horse of the Year honours during their illustrious careers, were among 15 thoroughbreds and horsemen nominated for election into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame’s class of 2012.
Born in Vancouver, Russell Baze, who has won more races than any jockey in history, was nominated along with fellow Vancouverite Mickey Walls and Lloyd Duffy, a native of Prince Edward Island, in the Jockey/Trainer category.
The 53-year-old Baze, a member of the U.S. Hall of Fame and winner of over 11,500 races, has campaigned mainly in the United States and California. He was the leading rider in the U.S. on 10 occasions and his awards include the Eclipse, George Woolf and Isaac Murphy. He won more than 400 races 11 times in a season during his prolific career.
Walls won an Eclipse Award and Sovereign Award as the leading apprentice jockey in both the U.S. and Canada in 1991. He was also the first jockey to win Sovereign Awards as the leading apprentice and outstanding jockey in the same year. Walls began riding at age 16 at Exhibition Park (now Hastings) and broke Sandy Hawley’s record for most wins by an apprentice with 231 victories in 1991.
He won the Queen’s Plate with Woodcarver in 1999 and every major stakes race in Ontario.
Duffy, age 67, won a Sovereign Award in 1982 and the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award in 1990. He is a member of the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame.
Jean Louis Levesque’s juvenile star L’Alezane won stakes races in New York, Kentucky, Manitoba and Ontario and captured a Sovereign Award in 1977. She heads the list of Veterans.
Also nominated in this category is the acclaimed broodmare of Kinghaven Farms, Cool Mood, and multiple stakes winner Rainbow Connection, owned by Ron Edgar and Doug Cameron.
Robert Costigan’s Arravale, winner of the prestigious E.P. Taylor Stakes (Grade 1) against top female turf stars, was Canada’s champion turf female in 2006. Trained by Hall of Famer Mac Benson, she won stakes in California and Canada.
Also nominated in the Female division is multiple stakes winner Apelia, owned by Steve Stavro’s Knob Hill Stables. A splendid sprinter, Apelia won stakes in New York, Kentucky and New Jersey and is the dam of champion mare Saorise.
One For Rose is the other nominee, owned by the Tucci Stables family of Toronto. She was a multiple Sovereign Award winner during her lengthy career. “Rosie” was a popular fan favourite for trainer Sid Attard. She recently produced her first stakes winner since being sold to Japanese breeding interests.
Jambalaya, upset winner of the Arlington Million and a multiple Grade One stakes winner for trainer Catherine Day Phillips, leads the Male Horse division.
His opponents for honours are Quiet Resolve and Soaring Free, both from Sam-Son Farm.
In the Builder’s category, two leading breeders in Ontario, the late John Sikura Jr., and the late Aubrey Minshall are nominated along with writer Curtis Stock of Alberta, a 10-time Sovereign Award winner for his coverage of thoroughbred racing.
Sikura, who emigrated from Czechoslovakia as a teenager in the 1950s, built Hill ‘N’ Dale Farms into a highly successful breeding and stallion operation. He was the purchaser of the first yearling in history to sell for more than $1 million and twice was leading consignor at Keeneland.
Minshall, a native of Guyana, lived in Trinidad before he arrived in Canada. In 1996, he was posthumously recognized by the industry when his Minshall Farms was named both the leading owner and breeder in Canada and also owner of Horse of the Year, Mt. Sassafras.
Unfortunately, his sudden death in 1993 did not let him enjoy some of his best stock, but the years of devotion did.
Balloting to select those who will be inducted will begin March 28 among the 20-member thoroughbred election committee.
The HOF’s Gala induction and awards dinner will be held Thursday, August 16, at the Mississauga Convention Centre.