Winkfield, Bowl of Flowers Elected to Hall of Fame

Internationalist Jimmy Winkfield, who won two turn-of-the-century Kentucky Derbys, and Bowl of Flowers, a two-time filly champion of the 1960s, have been elected to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame.

The two were approved by the Museum's Historic Review Committee and will be inducted next month along with four new members announced earlier. Trainer Shug McGaughey, jockey Kent Desormeaux, and champions Skip Away and Flawlessly were elected by the Hall of Fame's regular voting process.

"The Historic Review Committee was established to review horses and individuals of the distant past in racing," Museum director Peter Hammell said. "We recognize that over the years some worthy candidates might not win election and then gradually fade from memory."

Election to the Hall of Fame by this 12-person committee of racing historians requires 75 percent 'Yes' votes. Selection through this process confers full status as a Hall of Fame member.

"In the case of Jimmy Winkfield, we had a remarkable individual who was an outstanding rider in this country and in several foreign countries, mostly in Eastern Europe. He had been considered several times in the past, and additional information brought into focus through research for an upcoming book assisted the Historic Review Committee."

Winkfield's daughter, Mrs. Liliane Winkfield Casey, said, "My family and
I appreciate the honor of Jimmy Winkfield being accepted into the Racing
Hall of Fame."

Winkfield is the subject of a biography by journalist and historian Ed Hotaling that will be published in November by McGraw-Hill. The title is "Wink: The Incredible Life and Epic Journey of Jimmy Winkfield." Hotaling also is the author of The Great Black Jockeys.

Born in 1882, the famed black rider won the Kentucky Derby on His Eminence in 1901 and Alan-a-Dale in 1902. He remains one of four jockeys to win the Derby in consecutive years. Winkfield starred in what was then regarded as the Western circuits, including Chicago and Tennessee as well as Kentucky, and down in New Orleans.

In 1904, he moved to Russia, where he became the champion immediately. Over a dozen years, he won four Russian Derbys and many of the country's other top races in the days of high-class racing under the Czar's rule. He also had successful forays into Poland and Germany.

World events twice caused Winkfield to flee the country where he was based. During the Russian Revolution, he led a number of people and some 200 horses on a 1,000-mile escape out of Odessa. Winkfield took up riding in France and by the time of his retirement from the saddle at the age of 50, records indicate he had won more than 2,500 races.

It was for his riding prowess that Winkfield was elected to the Hall of Fame, but the remainder of his career also was a remarkable drama. He established a successful training operation at Maisons-Laffitte in France, but again had to flee, when Germany invaded.

He trained for a time in his native United States, then returned to
France to resume his career as a Thoroughbred trainer. Winkfield died
in 1974.

Bowl of Flowers (Sailor-Flower Bowl, by Alibhai) was a homebred in Mrs. Isabel Dodge Sloane's Brookmeade Stable and was one of six champions trained by Hall of Famer Elliott Burch. Upon learning of Bowl of Flowers' election to the Hall of Fame, Burch said, "I would put her in the top five of any horse I've trained and possibly the best filly I ever trained. I was so very fond of her."

Bowl of Flowers won 10 of 16 races at two and three and earned $398,504. At two in 1960, she won the National Stallion Stakes, Gardenia Stakes, and Frizette Stakes to earn juvenile filly championship honors.

At three, Bowl of Flowers returned to win the Acorn Stakes and increased her winning streak to six. A photo finish loss to Funloving in the Mother Goose Stakes denied her the New York Filly Triple Crown, for she returned to defeat that same filly by five lengths in the series' concluding Coaching Club American Oaks.

In the fall, Bowl of Flowers clinched her second championship by defeating 3-year-old rival Primonetta and older filly champion Airmans
Guide in the Spinster Stakes.

The Hall of Fame induction will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sale Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, New York. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Most Popular Stories