(Edited press release)
Canada's Horse Racing Hall of Fame announced May 19 that the Gustav Schickedanz, one of North America's leading Thoroughbred breeders the past 10 years, Canadian Thoroughbred Triple Crown winner Peteski and three champion runners, fillies Alywow, La Voyageuse and Maryfield are among this year’s inductees.
Harness racing sensation, Somebeachsomewhere, is also part of the class of 2009, as are two other Standardbred inductees -- driver/trainer Keith Clark and the broodmare Rich N Elegant.
The eight inductees were elected by the Standardbred and Thoroughbred 20-person election committees.
The induction ceremonies will be held on Thursday, Aug. 27, at the Mississauga Convention Centre.
The 80-year-old Schickedanz, who won the Queen's Plate (Can-I) in 1999 with Woodcarver and in 2003 with Triple Crown champion Wando, sprung into prominence when he bred a mare to one of Northern Dancer's great sons, Danzig, a mating that produced Langfuhr, a multiple winner of the major sprint races in the United States and one of North America's leading sires. His offspring included Wando, Mobil, Lawyer Ron, Jambalaya, Kimchi and Marlang. Schickedanz also bred Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Gal in a Ruckus and has a relatively small breeding operation in Nobleton, Ont.
The horse with the meteoric career, Peteski, dominated horse racing locally in 1993 as he swept to victories in the Triple Crown event and then won the Molson Export Million (gr. .IT) on the grass at Woodbine over Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Sea Hero and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Colonial Affair. Bred by Barry Schwartz of Montreal and trained by Roger Attfield, Peteski was owned by Earle I. Mack of New York, a trustee of the NYRA and former ambassador to Finland. Peteski, trained by Roger Attfield, had earnings of only $714 when he began his impressive 3-year-old season.
Elected in the Veterans category, La Voyageuse maintained her championship form over a three-year period - 1978 to 1980 -- for owner Jean-Louis Levesque and trainer Yonnie Starr. Of classic breeding, by Tentam out of the champion Northern Dancer mare Fanfreluche, La Voyageuse won on the dirt and grass and at distances from six furlongs to a mile and an eighth. She often carried top weight during her three Sovereign Award winning seasons.
Alywow was the female sensation of 1994. The first daughter of Triple Wow, she was a triple wow on Sovereign Awards' night when she was voted Canada's Horse of the Year, champion 3-year-old filly and leading performer on the turf. This award was to be expected after her gallant second-place finish to Raintrap and the males in the grade I Rothmans International. Owned and bred by Kinghaven Farms, Alywow was trained by Roger Attfield.
Maryfield was bred in Ontario by Mike Carroll and John C. Harvey Jr., and was owned initially by Alice and Jim Sapara of Edmonton, Alta. She raced 10 times at Woodbine for trainer Josie Carroll before being claimed by Doug O'Neill for $50,000 in her first start as a three-year-old at Santa Anita. She became a stakes winner for her new owners and was campaigned throughout the U.S., winning stakes races at Santa Anita and Churchill Downs in 2006. In 2007 she won the Ballerina (gr. I) at Saratoga and Distaff Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Aqueduct before her triumph in the inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint championship at Monmouth Park. That victory earned her an Eclipse Award. Maryfield was retired and sold for $1.25 million at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November select mixed sales and was bred to A.P. Indy. She foaled a bay colt in February of 2009.
Somebeachsomewhere, North America's Harness Horse of the Year in 2008 and Canada's champion for 2007 and 2008, renewed a sense of passion for Harness racing with his awesome performances on the racetrack and great story of how his owners, The Schooner Stable from Bible Hill, Nova Scotia, came together to purchase and race a horse of world champion stature. In rewriting the record book the son of Mach Three captured almost every award possible during his two-year reign at tracks in North America.
Clark, 56, of DeWinton, Alta., has been one of the dominant drivers on the Western Canadian harness racing circuit. An O'Brien Award winner in 2004, Clark has driven 5,999 winners and trained another 3,292 winners. In the past 30 years he has won more than 100 races a total of 29 times. His best horse was the Abercrombie pacing colt As Promised, a member of the Hall of Fame.
Rich N Elegant, bred by Armstrong Bros., of Ingelwood, Ont., had a lifetime mark of 1:56.4 during her racing career. She was purchased by Hanover Shoe Farms and retired to the breeding shed. To date Rich N Elegant has foaled twelve horses, and produced winners of over $8.3 million. Three of her offspring have earned over a million dollars. The top money earner is North America Cup champion Rocknroll Hanover, winner of an O'Brien Award and $3,069,093.