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Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame nominees announced

May 03, 2010
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The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2010 nominees, with a total of 29 horses and people, including 15 nominees in Thoroughbred racing and 14 nominees in Standardbred racing, on the ballot for induction into the Hall of Fame.  The two 20-person Election Committees will declare the winners in the respective categories and they will be announced on Tuesday, May 18.
 
On the Standardbred side, Astreos, Mister Big and Wesgate Crown are nominated in the Male Horse category.
 
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 produced winners of over $37 million, including such top performers as Astronomical, To Helen Back and Voelz Hanover.
 
Mister Big, a son of Grinfromeartoear, has been one of the most consistent and successful performers in the sport. With career earnings of over $4 million, he is the second richest pacer of all time.  This multiple Dan Patch and Nova Award winner won all the major races in his division as a 5 year old and has paced 18 miles in 1:49 or lower.  From 85 career starts, he has 34 wins, 20 seconds and 11 thirds.
 
The Royal Prestige-sired trotter Wesgate Crown, won $2.5 million during his racing career and two Breeders Crown championships.  Some of his other stakes victories included the Peter Haughton, Campbellville Stakes, Champlain Stakes, Walnut Hall Stakes, the Lotteria, The Maple Leaf Trot, and a second-place finish in the Elitlopp.  He has also been a productive stallion, siring the winners of over $15 million.
 
Nominated in the Female Horse category are pacing mare Burning Point, the outstanding broodmare Classic Wish along with the Ontario-sired pacing star Invitro. Burning Point, a daughter of Camluck, had a career mark of 1:49.2,  won 46 races, numerous stakes events and over $3 million during her racing career. 
 
Classic Wish, a daughter of Armbro Emerson, won over $436,000 during her racing career and has excelled as a broodmare.  From 11 foals, she has produced two millionaires including Bettors Delight, a winner of over $2 million and No Pan Intended, a winner of $1.6 million.  Her average earnings per foal are in excess of $608,000.
 
Invitro retired in 2008 with earnings of over $2 million and 35 victories while racing all of her starts except one in Ontario.  She took a career mark of 1:50 at Woodbine Racetrack.  This daughter of Camluck was an embryo transfer foal out of the mare Keystone Trinidad.
 
The three nominees in the trainer-driver category are Wally Hennessey, Robert McIntosh and Dave Wall.
 
Hennessey, 53, of Prince Edward Island, rewrote the history books in the Maritimes in the early stages of his driving career. To date, he has over 7,500 victories and earnings in excess of $51 million. In the late ‘90s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown.
 
McIntosh, 57, of Windsor, Ont., is a four-time O’Brien winner as Canada’s Trainer of the Year and is the leading trainer in the Breeders Crown with 15 championship trophies to his credit.  He has trained over 3,000 race winners in Canada and horses to earnings in excess of $54.7 million.  McIntosh conditioned two North American Horse of the Year champions, Staying Together and Artsplace.
 
Wall, 63, of Komoka, Ont., and former top campaigner on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit, has driven 6,992 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $58.6 million.  He has also dabbled somewhat 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 nominees in the builders’ category are Robert Burgess, Dr. Ted Clarke and R. Peter Heffering. Burgess, 74, of Campbellville, Ont., has been involved in harness racing for over 40 years and has experienced tremendous success as a breeder and owner.  He’s also held many volunteer leadership positions within the industry including being the past president of the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society.  Burgess co-founded Cantario Farms in the mid 1970s, which would become home to the great trotting sire Balanced Image.  Burgess has co-owned champion horses Amity Chef, a winner of $1.3 million, Frugal Gourmet, a winner of $1.3 million, Real Desire, a winner of $3.3 million, millionaire Amigo Hall and Tell All, winner of $1.5 million.
 
Dr. Clarke, general manager of Grand River Raceway in Ontario, is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the industry. The 62-year-old Elmira resident was responsible for putting Elmira Raceway in a stable position, was instrumental in establishing Elmira’s and Grand River Raceway’s Industry Day event, and established an inter-track betting venture in 1990.  He also created the Ontario Teletheatre Network in 1994, introduced telephone account wagering at Elmira Raceway in 2000, and initiated a combined race program between Elmira and Greenwood Raceway in 1992.  As well, he introduced the Battle of Waterloo, one of the premier events for two-year-old pacing colts in North America.
 
Heffering, 78, of Port Perry, Ont., has campaigned many notable horses including Precious Bunny, a winner of over $2 million and a member of the Hall of Fame, Riyadh, a winner of over $2.7 million, Pacific Rocket, a winner of over $2.3 million and Day In A Life, a winner of over $1.8 million.  In 1996, Heffering and his son David opened Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ont., and it has risen to become one of the most successful stallion stations in Canada.  Heffering has bred such top level horses as Bunny Lake, a winner of over $3 million and Precious Delight, a winner of over $1.3 million.  Heffering has found his way to the winner’s circles throughout North America for many of the sport’s major stakes events including:  The North America Cup, The Meadowlands Pace, The Canadian Pacing Derby, Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown. 
 
Rounding out the Standardbred nominees are A Worthy Lad and Rumpus Hanover in the Veterans Category.
 
The Worthy Bowl trotter A Worthy Lad was undefeated in his racing career of 30 starts and earned over $446,000 while dominating Ontario Sire Stakes events. He also sired winners of $2.5 million from 43 foals.
 
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. (SC)
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