TORONTO, March 25, 2020 – The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame announced its 2020 ballot today. A total of 30 people and horses comprised of 15 Thoroughbred and 15 Standardbred candidates, have been selected to appear on the voting ballot.
A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will determine the recipients in their respective categories. Results will be announced Tuesday, April 7.
The five categories selected for the 2020 Thoroughbred ballot are Builder, Jockey, Trainer, Female Horse and Veteran Horse.
A Thoroughbred Builder ballot comprised of Charles E. Fipke, Phillip Kives and Sue Leslie, is offered for voter consideration.
Edmonton, Alberta born Charles E. Fipke, a successful Canadian geologist and prospector who was involved in the discovery of the Ekati Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories, has been involved in the Canadian Thoroughbred industry for close to 40 years. Among his accomplishments, he bred and owned three Sovereign Award winners including 2008 Champion Three-Year-Old Male and winner of the 2008 Queen’s Plate, Not Bourbon; 2010 Champion Older Female, Impossible Time; and 2003 Champion Male Turf Horse Perfect Soul, who went on to become a successful sire. Mr. Fipke bred and owned a number of other successful racehorses including winner of the 2011 Breeder’s Cup Filly and Mare Turf (GI), Perfect Shirl.
The late Phillip Kives, based in Manitoba, known worldwide as the owner of K-Tel and the inventor of the info-mercial, became involved in Thoroughbred racing in 1977 with the launch of K-4 Stables (later changed to K-5) to recognize the addition of his son to the Kives family. His passion for racing continued for four decades until his passing in 2016. Kives-owned and -bred horses won multiple stakes races at Winnipeg’s Assiniboia Downs as well as in Kentucky, Florida, New York, Ontario and Alberta. As owner, Mr. Kives won every single stakes race at Assiniboia not just once, but multiple times each, including two Manitoba Derbies, (best three-year-olds) eight Gold Cups (top older horses), three Winnipeg Futurities (best two-year-olds) and five Matrons (top fillies/mares).
Sue Leslie has dedicated the better part of her life to the sport of horse racing — breeding, owning and training Thoroughbred horses in Ontario for more than 30 years. As the President/Chair of the HBPA, the President/Chair of OHRIA, on the Board of Directors on the Avelino Gomez Memorial Foundation, a member of the Jockey Club of Canada and CTHS, Leslie has been a proponent for horsepeople across all facets of the industry, most recently working to establish what is now known as Ontario Racing. In 2011, Leslie was honoured with a special Sovereign Award for her lifetime work in horse racing and she continues to be a strong leader and a devoted advocate.
Gary Boulanger, Richard Dos Ramos and Irwin Driedger have been selected to appear on the Thoroughbred Jockey ballot.
Edmonton, Alberta born Gary Boulanger began his riding career in 1987, spending his early years at tracks in the U.S. and earning leading jockey status at Longacres Racetrack (1989, 1990, 1991) and Calder Race Course (1994, 1995). In 2000, Boulanger returned to Canada, riding primarily at Woodbine. In 2001, the top money-winning year of his career, he rode Hall of Fame filly Dancethruthedawn to wins in the Canadian Oaks and Queen’s Plate Stakes. Despite suffering what could have been a career-ending injury from a racing accident at Gulfstream Park in 2005, Boulanger fought back and continues to ride, splitting his time between Florida and Woodbine. The 2017 Avelino Gomez Award recipient has, to date, won 3,578 races, including 41 graded stakes, and has earnings of more than $78 million (U.S.) and is an elder statesman in the jock’s room.
Richard Dos Ramos retired from riding in 2013 as the senior statesman of the Woodbine Jockey’s Room following a career that began in 1981 at Greenwood, where a total of 142 wins garnered him the Sovereign Award as Canada’s top apprentice jockey. He won a second Sovereign in 1982. During the 1990s, the Trinidadian born jock experienced some of his top career highlights including his 1992 upset aboard Benburb over legendary A.P. Indy in the Molson Export Million and a 1999 longshot victory in the $1.5 million Canadian International aboard Thornfield, both trained by Hall of Fame Honoured Member Philip England. His success continued through the millennium when he was the recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award in 2002 and followed up the same day with a win in the Canadian Oaks with Ginger Gold. Dos Ramos’ career stats include 2,159 wins, 645 starts and almost $61 million (U.S.) in earnings.
Irwin Driedger, a native of Russell, Manitoba, launched his career at age 11 in 1967, riding at fairs in Western Canada. He began riding at recognized Canadian racetracks in 1973 and competed at major tracks across Canada for the next 17 years achieving leading rider honours at Winnipeg’s Assiniboia Downs from 1979-1982, before re-locating to Woodbine. When he retired as a jockey on August 12, 1990, he had won over 1,700 races. Upon retirement from competition, Driedger became the Secretary-Manager of the Jockeys’ Benefit Association of Canada (JBAC), serving until 2006. Under his direction, Canadian jockeys became the first in North America to wear safety vests. Driedger was also instrumental in helping to install safety rails at Woodbine. Following 14 years as Director of Thoroughbred Racing Surfaces at Woodbine, he returned to JBAC as Executive Director in 2019.
The three Trainers on the 2020 Thoroughbred Election ballot are Michael Keogh, J.G (Jerry) Lavigne and Daniel J. Vella.
As longtime private trainer for Hall of Fame Builder Gus Schickedanz, Mike Keogh is a two-time Queen’s Plate winning trainer, first with Woodcarver in 1999 and then with Triple Crown champion Wando in 2003. During that Triple Crown-winning season, Keogh was also training stablemate Mobil, who would earn a Sovereign Award at age four. Hall of Fame horse Langfuhr, also trained by Keogh, won three Grade 1 stakes and received the Sovereign in 1996 as Champion Sprinter. As an assistant to Hall of Fame Trainer Roger Attfield from 1986-1993, Keogh worked with a long list of Hall of Fame inductees including Alywow, Peteski, Carotene, Izvestia and With Approval. Since 1993, Keogh stats include 2,689 starts with 330 wins and more than $21.5 million in earnings.
The late J.G. (Jerry) Lavigne’s career as a trainer began in 1958. His achievements included 68 stakes race wins with 22 stakes winners, as well as two Queen’s Plate races with Almoner in 1970 and Son of Briartic in 1982. He was the conditioner of Canadian Champion colt Nice Dancer, a multiple stakes winner on the turf, Lost Majorette and sprinter Park Romeo. His trainee Fabe Count had a stellar record over four years as a multiple stakes winner at nine different distances over both turf and dirt.
Daniel Vella captured the Sovereign Award Trainer title in both 1994 and 1995 while working with the powerful Stronach stable. 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 in 2012 with Strait of Dover for Wally and Terry Leong. Mr. Vella has scored 135 career stakes wins in a career that began in 1985. Current career stats include 5,478 starts (838-804-670) and $37.7 million in earnings.
In the Thoroughbred Female Horse category, voters will select from Hard Not to Like, Marketing Mix and Tepin.
Bred in Ontario by Garland Williamson, well-travelled Hard Not to Like won at five of the eight tracks she visited during her 22 starts over five years. She earned more than $1.2 million while accumulating eight victories including the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) at Keeneland in 2014, the Diana Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in 2015, and the Gamely Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita the same year. It adds up to three Grade 1 turf scores at three different tracks. The striking grey filly by Hard Spun and out of Tactical Cat mare Like a Gem, herself a multiple graded stakes winner, was indeed bred for success.
Tepin, under the direction of trainer Mark Casse throughout most of her race career, accumulated a record of 13-5-1, including nine Grade 1/Group 1 wins or placings in three countries – Canada, England and the U.S. – for owner Robert Masterson. Racing from age three to six, the striking bay filly’s most notable wins, often against the boys, included the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and 2016 Woodbine Mile (G1). A trip across the pond in June 2016 resulted in a win in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. She was twice presented with the Eclipse Award as American Champion Female Turf Horse (2015 and 2016).
Marketing Mix, an Ontario-bred Medaglia D’Oro filly bred by Sean Fitzhenry, was a $150,000 Keeneland yearling purchase in 2009. Her 21-race career for Glen Hill Farm of Ocala, Florid, under the tutelage of trainer Tom Proctor, banked $2 million in earnings with 10 wins including stakes victories in the 2012 editions of the Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1), Nassau (G2), Dance Smartly (G2) and the 2013 Gamely Stakes (G1) as well as second-place finishes in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and the 2013 Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1).
The Thoroughbred Veteran Horse category will be contested by Bold Executive, Formal Gold and Play the King.
Bold Executive, a Gus Schickedanz-bred son of Bold Ruckus had a race career of 19 starts that included wins in the prestigious Coronation Futurity in 1986, as well as the Yearling Sales Stakes and Shepperton for owners Romeo, Marcello and Pedigree Stud Farm. As a stallion, he topped the Canadian sires list six times between 2001-2012, producing 23 crops which included 518 winners and earnings of $53 million, including top earners Sand Cove, Krz Exec, Main Executive and Sans Sousi.
Ontario-bred Formal Gold remains the fastest Canadian-bred in terms of speed figures, even though his final year of racing occurred in 1997. A son of Black Tie Affair, his Equibase Rating is 136 – one of the highest in history. Formal Gold was also ranked among the top handicap horses of 1997 with gate-to-wire efforts in two Grade 1 victories — the Woodward Stakes in September of that year after winning the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream in February, defeating Horse of the Year Skip Away. At stud, he ranked among the top 1 per cent as sire of two-year-old winners from starters at 45 per cent and sired progeny with global earnings of nearly $16 million (U.S.) including 19 stakes winners.
Play the King, a Kinghaven Farms’ homebred, started his racing career slowly but would eventually become an overachiever and Canadian Horse of the Year. With 29 starts over his four-year race career, he visited the winner’s circle 19 times and earned just shy of $1 million. While unsuccessful as a juvenile, at age three, he had wins in the Toboggan Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct, as well as the Jacques Cartier and Vigil Stakes at Woodbine. The following year resulted in an additional four stakes wins, all at six furlongs – the Suffolk Sprint in Boston followed by the Budweiser BC Stakes, Highlander (G3) and Nearctic Stakes (G3) at Woodbine. An injury forced him to miss the 1987 racing season, but he returned the following year in championship form repeating wins in the Budweiser BC and Nearctic (G3) before making his most noted performance, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs. A strong 49-1 second-place finish brought him Sovereign Awards as Champion Sprinter, Older Horse and Horse of the Year in 1988.
The five categories selected by the Standardbred nominating committee to appear on the 2020 Standardbred ballots are: Driver, Trainer, Female Horse, Male Horse and Veteran Horse.
The 2020 Standardbred Driver Ballot features Paul MacDonell, Ed Tracey and Randy Waples.
Paul MacDonell’s driving career is highlighted by both consistency and superstars, with earnings surpassing $1 million for 33 consecutive years, due in part to piloting such horses as Hall of Fame members Somebeachsomewhere, Admirals Express and Invitro. The Guelph, Ont. resident’s major stakes victories include three Metro Paces, five Confederation Cups, and eight Breeders Crowns as well as a record 16 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals to his credit. The popular and affable driver was awarded an O’Brien Award as the 2008 Canadian Driver of the Year and, to date, has chalked up more than 15,000 top three finishes, 5,623 wins and has driven horses to in excess of $122 million in purse earnings.
Weyburn, Saskatchewan born Ed Tracey received his first driving licence at age 15. After getting his start in three-heats-a-day racing at meets in his home province, his passion for harness racing took him to six Canadian provinces and numerous states in the U.S. Over a span of 55 years, Tracey had 3,168 driving victories and more than $7.5 million in purse earnings. The pinnacle of his career came in 1978 when he won the ice racing championship on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal. The late Ed Tracey was named Alberta Horseman of the Year in 1978 and the winner of the Dr. Clara Christie Award for his contribution to Alberta’s harness racing industry in 1998.
Randy Waples’ career took off in 1996 when he won 150 races in 1,197 starts and he hasn’t looked back since. He is now the all-time leading money winning driver of races held on Canadian soil. The three-time O’Brien Award Driver of the Year winner is the all-time leader for wins at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. His stakes victories include the 2012 North America Cup with Thinking Out Loud, three Maple Leaf Trot wins with San Pail as well as Breeders Crown wins with San Pail and Dreamfair Eternal, both members of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. He also has four Battle of Waterloo wins and was the leading driver in Ontario Sires Stakes earnings in 2001, 2002 and 2010.
In the Standardbred Trainer category voters will select from John Bax, Jack Darling and Ben Wallace.
Trotting specialist and 2001 Canadian Trainer of the Year, John Bax’s most prominent pupil to date is Hall of Fame gelding Goodtimes, a winner of 50 races and more than $2.2 million in earnings, making him at the time of his retirement the richest Canadian-bred trotter of all time. Other Bax trainees include 2001 Breeders Crown winner Duke of York, Define the World, Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotter of the Year in 2008, and Riveting Rosie, Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final winner and O’Brien divisional winner in 2013 and 2014. In the 2014 Peaceful Way Stakes, a trio of Bax trainees — Stubborn Belle, Juanitas Fury and Southwind Champane – finished one-two-three in this event. Bax’s training stats include 859 wins and more than $23.6 million in earnings.
Ben Wallace, of Puslinch, Ont., trained the 1999 Pacing Triple Crown Wwnner and Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Blissfull Hall, Breeders Crown winners Totally Western (2002), Pans Cullottes (2003), 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 Canada’s Trainer of the Year in 1999, Wallace has current career stats of 1,947 wins and more than $38 million in purses, surpassing the million-dollar mark in 18 consecutive seasons (1996-2013).
Cambridge, Ont. based Jack Darling has enjoyed a successful career as a harness horse trainer in southern Ontario over three decades campaigning 1,026 winners and conditioning horses to $19.6 million in earnings. In 1995, four fillies put Darling in the spotlight — Diamond Dawn (a winner of $175,000), Low Places (winner of a 1996 O’Brien Award), Faded Glory (winner of more than $250,000 as a freshman) and Diehard Fan (winner of more than $200,000 as a two and three-year-old). Other top horses included Northern Luck ($907,984), North America Cup champion Gothic Dream ($1,528,671) and Twin B Champ. Darling is also known for significant fundraising efforts on behalf of racing related causes, and was the 2015 winner of the Lloyd Chisholm Memorial Award presented by the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario as well as the recipient of the United States Harness Writers Association Unsung Hero Award and the Good Guy Award.
The Standardbred Female Horse Category features Amour Angus, Great Memories, and West Of LA.
Amour Angus, bred by Fermes Angus of Bedford, Que., made her mark on the Standardbred industry as a broodmare. Her 11 foals that raced, earned in excess of $3.5 million and included three foundation trotting sires in North America – Andover Hall, Hall of Fame 2019 inductee Angus Hall and Conway Hall, making her the grand dam of such horses as Nuncio, Peaceful Way, Donato Hanover, Pampered Princess, Majestic Son, Wishing Stone and Windsongs Legacy. Her daughter Emilie Cas El (by Garland Lobell) is the dam of Hambletonian winner Trixton.
Great Memories, by Apaches Fame and out of Armbro Emerson daughter Save the Memories, was bred by Glengate Farms and is now owned by Ontario Standardbred nursery Warrawee Farm. Among Great Memories’ offspring are two World Champions: Warrawee Needy and Warrawee Ubeaut. Warrawee Needy was a winner of 29 races and more than $1.25 million. He took a mark of 1:49.4s at age two, was faster still at three (1:48.4s) and at four was the fastest in the world (1:46.4). Warrawee Ubeaut won the 2018 Breeders Crown for two-year-old pacing fillies, has a lifetime mark of 1:48.3 and earned $646,995 in 12 starts in her first year on the track. At the age of three, Warrawee Ubeaut continued her winning ways earning $1 million, matching her lifetime mark and winning 12 of 19 starts, including the Breeders Crown for three-year-old pacing fillies. Her win in the Jugette final equalled the world record for a three-year-old pacing filly over a half-mile track. In total, Great Memories’ nine racing age progeny have earned more than $3.77 million, with three — Warrawee Needy, Warrawee Ubeaut and Big Bay Point — breaking the 1:50 barrier.
West Of LA, by Western Hanover and out of the Cam Fella mare Los Angeles, is the dam of horses with earnings in excess of $4.3 million including two horses with earnings of more than $1.7 million each. Her Somebeachsomewhere son Somewhere In LA has earned $1.86 million to date and has a lifetime mark of 1:48.4f. Daughter LA Delight, by Bettors Delight, was the winner of the 2015 O’Brien Award for Two-Year-Old Pacing Fillies and the 2016 winner of the O’Brien in the Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Her resume includes 26 wins in a 66 race career, a lifetime mark of 1:49.1 and earnings of $1.78 million.
Nominated In the category of Standardbred Male Horse are Majestic Son, McWicked and Shadow Play.
Majestic Son’s racing career consisted of 38 starts, including 22 wins, a mark of 1:52.2 and $1,993,157 in purse earnings. A son of Angus Hall out of the King Conch mare Celtic Contessa, Majestic Son was trained by Mark Steacy for the Majestic Son Stable. His career was highlighted by wins in the premiere stakes for sophomore trotters including the Champlain, Goodtimes, Canadian Trotting Classic and Breeders Crown. As a sire, his progeny have earned $21.7 million including millionaire Charmed Life, four $750,000 winners, seven $500,000 winners, 24 winners of $250,000 and 61 winners of $100,000.
Recently retired from racing, McWicked earned $5.1 million during a race career that began in 2013 and included 40 wins in 110 starts while setting his lifetime mark of 1:46.2 at age seven. The ungelded son of McArdle-Western Sahara was owned primarily by Ed James’ SSG Stables, and trained for the majority of his career by Casie Coleman. McWicked’s stakes wins include the Max Hempt, Adios, Progress, Ben Franklin, TVG Open, William Haughton, Canadian Pacing Derby, Dan Rooney – twice, Roll With Joe, Breeders Crown – twice, Joe Gerrity, Jr – twice, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Finals, and the Jim Ewart – twice. He was the recipient of four O’Brien Awards — Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt/Gelding (2014), Older Pacing Horse of the Year (2018 and 2019) and Horse of the Year (2018).
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 and co-owned by Dr. Ian Moore along with R G McGroup 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 more than $35.6 million including three-time O’Brien Award winner and double millionaire Lady Shadow and millionaire and O’Brien divisional winner Percy Bluechip. Eleven of the horses sired by Shadow Play have race marks of 1:50 or better.
The 2020 Veteran Horse Ballot offers B Cor Tamara, Rambling Willie and Western Dreamer for the voters to select from.
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, Ont., the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and grand dam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall. Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.8 million.
The winner of 128 races in 305 starts during the 1970s and early 1980s, Rambling Willie was a three-time winner of the Canadian Pacing Derby – 1975 in a dead heat with Pickwick Baron, 1976 and 1977. At the time of his retirement in 1983, he was the leading Standardbred money-winner, earning more than $2 million, with most of his wins coming from overnight and invitational races. Rambling Willie was inducted into the United States Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1997 and into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame in 2003.
Owned by Mathew, Patrick and Daniel Daly of Hamilton, Ont., Western Dreamer’s resume includes 27 victories and earnings of $1.8 million. In 1997, he was voted Horse of the Year in both Canada and the U.S. following wins in the Art Rooney Memorial Pace and the U.S. Pacing Triple Crown. Western Dreamer holds the distinction of being the only gelding to win a Pacing Triple Crown. Since July 2001, he has been a resident of the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com.
(With files from Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)