Heavenly Prize the Lone 2018 Contemporary HOF Inductee


Heavenly Prize | NYRA photo

1994 champion sophomore filly Heavenly Prize (Seeking the Gold–Oh What a Dance, by Nijinksy II) has been elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, it was announced Monday. The lone contemporary selection from the 10 finalists chosen by the Hall of Fame’s Nominating Committee, Heavenly Prize received majority approval from the 166-person voting panel to earn her spot in the Hall of Fame.

A bay filly bred in Kentucky by owner Ogden Phipps, Heavenly Prize was a Grade I winner at ages two, three and four. The Shug McGaughey trainee captured the Frizette at age two and reeled off three consecutive top-level successes as a sophomore in the Alabama, Gazelle and Beldame. As a 4-year-old, she annexed the Apple Blossom H., Hempstead H., Go for Wand S. and John A. Morris H. She ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in both 1994 and 1995. Heavenly Prize raced once as a 5-year-old, finishing third in the Donn H., which was won by Hall of Famer Cigar. The mare was retired with a career record of 9-6-3 from 18 starts and earnings of $1,825,940. In total, eight of Heavenly Prize’s nine career victories were in Grade I events. Heavenly Prize was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith for her first eight starts and by Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day for her final nine races.

As a broodmare, Heavenly Prize produced seven winners from eight starters, including the multiple Grade I-winning turf standout Good Reward and Grade II winner and successful sire Pure Prize–both of whom are sired by Storm Cat. Heavenly Prize also produced stakes winner Cosmic (El Prado {Ire}), stakes-placed Distinctively (Awesome Again), and Just Reward (Deputy Minister), whose daughter Persistently (Smoke Glacken) upset Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the GI Personal Ensign H. Heavenly Prize died in 2013 at the age of 22 at Claiborne Farm in Paris.

Heavenly Prize will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Friday, Aug. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion in Saratoga Springs. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public and free to attend.

New inductees in categories selected by separate processes will also be announced soon. The Historic Review Committee choices for the Hall of Fame will be revealed on May 9 and the Pillars of the Turf Committee’s Hall of Fame selections will be announced on May 23.


Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.