Beholder Among 11 Hall of Fame Finalists for 2022



Four-time Eclipse winner Beholder (Henny Hughes) is among six racehorses, four trainers and one jockey that make up the 11 finalists for the National Museum of Racing's 2022 Hall of Fame ballot, as chosen by the Museum's Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. The finalists are racehorses Beholder (first year of eligibility), Blind Luck (Pollard's Vision), Havre de Grace (Saint Liam), Kona Gold (Java Gold), Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy), and Tepin (Bernstein) (first year of eligibility); trainers Christophe Clement, Graham Motion, Doug O'Neill and John Shirreffs; and jockey Corey Nakatani.

Hall of Fame voters may select as many or as few candidates as they believe are worthy of induction to the Hall of Fame. All candidates that receive 50% plus one vote (majority approval) from the voting panel will be elected to the Hall of Fame. All of the finalists were required to receive support from two-thirds of the 15-member Nominating Committee to qualify for the ballot.

Ballots will be mailed to the Hall of Fame voting panel this week. The results of the voting on the contemporary candidates will be announced Wednesday, May 11. That announcement will also include this year's selections by the Museum's Historic Review and Pillars of the Turf committees. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Friday, Aug. 5, at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony is open to the public and free to attend.

Chaired by Edward L. Bowen, the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee is comprised of Bowen, Caton Bredar, Steven Crist, Tom Durkin, Bob Ehalt, Tracy Gantz, Teresa Genaro, Jane Goldstein, Steve Haskin, Jay Hovdey, Alicia Hughes, Tom Law, Jay Privman, Michael Veitch, and Charlotte Weber.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, trainers must be licensed for 25 years, while jockeys must be licensed for 20 years. Thoroughbreds are required to be retired for five calendar years. All candidates must have been active within the past 25 years. The 20- and 25-year requirements for jockeys and trainers, respectively, may be waived at the discretion of the Museum's Executive Committee. Candidates not active within the past 25 years are eligible through the Historic Review process.

Bred by Clarkland Farm, Beholder won four Eclipse Awards during her career and is one of only two horses to win three Breeders' Cup races (along with Hall of Famer Goldikova): the 2012 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and the 2013 and 2016 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. Campaigned by Spendthrift Farm and trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, she won a total of 13 graded stakes, including 11 Grade Is. In 2015, she defeated males in the GI Pacific Classic to become the first female to win that race. Beholder defeated champion Songbird by a nose in a thrilling edition of the Distaff in 2016 to conclude her career with a record of 26-18-6-0 and earnings of $6,156,000. She won Grade I races each year from ages two through six.

Blind Luck won the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old filly in 2010. Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer and owned by Hollendorfer in partnership with Mark DeDomenico LLC, John Carver, and Peter Abruzzo, Blind Luck posted a career record of 22-12-7-2 and earnings of $3,279,520 from 2009 through 2011. She won a total of 10 graded stakes in her career, including six Grade Is: the Kentucky Oaks, Oak Leaf S., Hollywood Starlet S., Las Virgenes S., Alabama S., and Vanity H.

Havre de Grace won the Eclipse Awards for Horse of the Year and champion older female in 2011. Trained by Anthony Dutrow at ages 2 and 3 and by Larry Jones thereafter, Havre de Grace was campaigned by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms throughout her career. After finishing second to champion Blind Luck in thrilling editions of the GII Delaware Oaks and Alabama in 2010, Havre de Grace earned her first graded stakes victory later that year in the GII Cotillion. In her 2011 Horse of the Year campaign, she beat Blind Luck in the GIII Azeri and went on to win Grade Is in the Apple Blossom, Woodward and Beldame. Havre de Grace made one start as a 5-year-old in 2012, winning the listed New Orleans Ladies' S. before being retired with a career record of 16-9-4-2 and earnings of $2,586,175.

Kona Gold won the Eclipse Award for champion sprinter in 2000, when he set a six-furlong track record at Churchill Downs in his GI Breeders' Cup Sprint victory. Campaigned by trainer Bruce Headley, Irwin and Andrew Molasky, Michael Singh, et al, Kona Gold raced from 1998 through 2003 with a record of 30-14-7-2 and earnings of $2,293,384. He set a track record for 5 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita and won a total of 10 graded stakes, including the Grade I San Carlos H.

Rags to Riches won the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old filly in 2007, a campaign highlighted by an historic victory in the GI Belmont S. Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher for owners Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith, Rags to Riches broke her maiden in her second career start on Jan. 7, 2007, at Santa Anita. That six-length victory was the beginning of a five-race win streak. The next four wins were all Grade Is: the Las Virgenes S. and Santa Anita Oaks, the Kentucky Oaks and the Belmont, where she defeated two-time Horse of the Year Curlin. She retired with a record of 7-5-1-0 and earnings of $1,342,528.     Tepin won the Eclipse Award for champion female turf horse in both 2015 and 2016. She won the GI Breeders' Cup Mile in 2015 as well. That year, Tepin began an eight-race win streak that included three wins against males in three different countries and stretched into 2016. During the streak, Tepin became the first horse based outside of Europe to win the G1 Queen Anne S. at Royal Ascot and set a stakes record in the GI Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. Trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse for owner Robert Masterson, Tepin won a total of 11 graded/group stakes, including six Grade/Group 1s. Overall, she posted a record of 23-13-5-1 and earned $4,437,918.

A native of France, Clement, 56, has won 2,212 races to date with purse earnings of more than $149 million in a career that began in 1991. Clement trained three-time Eclipse Award winner Gio Ponti, as well as 2014 GI Belmont S. winner Tonalist. Clement has won 256 graded stakes. Clement won his first Breeders' Cup race in 2021 when Pizza Bianca captured the GI Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Motion, 57, who is making his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot, has won 2,568 races to date with purse earnings of more than $136 million in a career that began in 1993. He won the Kentucky Derby and G1 Dubai World Cup with champion Animal Kingdom, trained two-time Eclipse Award winner Main Sequence and has won four Breeders' Cup races. Main Sequence accounted for one of those Breeders' Cup wins, as did Better Talk Now, Shared Account and her daughter Sharing. A native of Cambridge, England, Motion has won 181 graded stakes.

O'Neill, 53, has won 2,648 races to date with purse earnings of more than $146 million in a career that began in 1988. He won the Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness in 2012 with I'll Have Another and a second Derby in 2016 with Nyquist. O'Neill has trained five Eclipse Award winners–I'll Have Another, Maryfield, Nyquist, Stevie Wonderboy, and Thor's Echo–and has won five Breeders' Cup races. A native of Dearborn, Mich., O'Neill won nine graded stakes with Hall of Fame member Lava Man. O'Neill has won five training titles at Del Mar, where in 2015 he became the first trainer to win five races on a card there. He has also won four training titles at Santa Anita, including a record 56-win meet in the winter of 2006-2007, and ranks third all time there with 971 wins.

Shirreffs, 76, has won 550 races, including 102 graded events, with purse earnings of $51.9 million. He is best known for training Hall of Famer Zenyatta, a four-time Eclipse Award winner with 19 consecutive victories, including 13 Grade Is. Shirreffs won the 2005 Kentucky Derby with Giacomo at odds of 50-1.

Nakatani, 51, won 3,909 races with purse earnings of $234,554,534 million in a career that spanned from 1988 to 2018. He ranks 13th all time in career earnings and won 341 graded stakes. Nakatani won 10 Breeders' Cup races (one of only 10 riders to do so), including four editions of the Sprint. He won three riding titles at Del Mar, two at Santa Anita and one at Hollywood Park, as well as four Oak Tree meetings. Nakatani won a record 19 stakes during the 2006-2007 Santa Anita meet, breaking the track's previous single-meet record held by Hall of Famer Laffit Pincay, Jr. He ranks eighth all time in stakes wins at Santa Anita with 134 and ninth in overall wins at there with 1,075. He also stands second all time at Del Mar with 108 stakes wins and sixth in overall wins with 705.

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