The class of 2011 consists of Susan’s Girl, Oscar White, William Hartack, Windfields Farm (E.P. Taylor), and John W. Rooney. Each inductee represents one of the following categories: horse, trainer, jockey, owner, and non-participant, respectively.
Fred W. Hooper’s Susan’s Girl was a two-time winner of the Delaware Handicap and the filly and mare champion twice. She is one of only five fillies to win the Delaware Handicap twice which she accomplished in 1973 and 1975. In her career Susan’s Girl also won the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn Stakes, Beldame Stakes, Spinster Stakes, Apple Blossom Handicap and the Matchmaker Stakes. The Florida-bred had a lifetime record of 29 wins, 14 seconds and 11 thirds from 63 starts with earnings of $1,251,667.
Oscar White trained for the prominent racing stable of Walter and Sarah Jeffords for more than three decades. At Delaware Park, White won a total of 17 stakes, including two Delaware Handicaps, three Delaware Oaks, five Brandywine Stakes and three Sussex Stakes. He campaigned the champion Kiss Me Kate, who won the Delaware Oaks in 1951 and the Delaware Handicap in 1952. He won his first Delaware Handicap with Adile in 1950. In 1952, he was the co-leading trainer at Delaware Park. Among the other champion horses the native of Pittsville, Maryland, conditioned are One Count, who was Horse of the Year and winner of the Belmont Stakes in 1952; and Pavot, who was the undefeated 2-year-old champion in 1944 and the winner of the Belmont Stakes in 1945.
Known for his exceptional abilities and his passionate desire for victory, William Hartack, rode many of the most accomplished horses during the golden years of horse racing. From the early 1950s until the mid 1970s, the native of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, rode greats such as Northern Dancer, Tim Tam, Kelso, Majestic Prince, General Duke, Round Table, Carry Back and Iron Leige. The first jockey to earn $3 million in purses in a year, Hartack won a total of 18 Delaware Park stakes. In 1957, a season in which he won four stakes, he swept the “Distaff Big Three” series at Delaware Park. He won both the Delaware Handicap and New Castle Handicap with Princess Turia and the Delaware Oaks with Bayou. Among the other stakes, he also won the Blue Hen Stakes in 1971 and 1972; the Christiana Stakes in 1954, 1959, and 1970; and the Leonard Richards in 1960.
Windfields Farm, owned by Canadian businessman Edward Plunket Taylor, is best known for campaigning and standing Northern Dancer, who was the most influential sire of the 20th century. In 1964, Northern Dancer won the Bluegrass Stakes, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Queen’s Plate before being crowned the 3-year-old champion of the year. As a stallion, he stood most of his career at the Maryland division of Windfields Farm in Chesapeake City, Maryland. Northern Dancer sired 147 stake winners including Nijinsky II, The Ministrel, El Gran Senor, Nureyev, Danzig, and Lyphard. At Delaware Park, Windfields Farm won a total of six stake races including the 1976 Delaware Oaks with Pacific Princess and the 1960 Leonard Richards Stakes with Victoria Park. They also won the Blue Hen Stakes twice in 1969 and 1981; the Polly Drummond Stakes in 1970; and the Sussex Stakes in 1960.
John W. Rooney helped lead Delaware Park through the most prosperous times over his 44-year career. The native of Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, started working at Delaware Park as the assistant treasurer for owner William duPont Jr., president Donald P. Ross and general manager Bryan Field in 1957. In 1983, he played an instrumental role in the transfer of track ownership to William Rickman. Rooney retired from Delaware Park in 2001. In addition to serving as assistant treasurer and vice-president of finance, he was also the treasurer, finance controller, vice-president of racing and a steward at various times during his career at Delaware Park.