(edited press release)
The New England Turf Writers Association has elected its Hall of Fame class of 2009, which will be honored along with the 2008 award winners at the organization’s annual awards dinner July 16 at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, Mass.
The class consists of champion Seabiscuit, Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, trainer Edward "Ned" Allard, owner and breeder Gil Campbell, and reporter and handicapper Dave Wilson. The Hall of Fame was founded in 2005.
Seabiscuit was a regular on the New England racing circuit prior to becoming a national icon, having competed at Suffolk Downs and Agawam (Mass.), Narragansett (R.I.) and Rockingham (N.H.) Parks. He made 22 total starts in New England, including a win in 1937 Massachusetts Handicap with jockey Red Pollard.
McCarron, who won more than 7,000 races, grew up in Dorchester, Mass and his introduction to Thoroughbred racing began on the backsides of both Suffolk Downs and Rockingham Park.
Allard began his training career in 1970 at Lincoln Downs and became one of the leading trainers in New England for the next two decades.
Campbell, a prominent local real estate developer, bought an interest in his first horse, Shananie, and she went on to become a stakes winner on both coasts, but enjoyed a lot of his early success at Suffolk Downs. Campbell also campaigned local stakes winners Von Groovey, Demetroula and Unreal Madness, among others. In addition, Campbell also bred multiple Grade I winner Marlin and bred, owned and campaigned millionaire Blazing Sword and grade II winner Ivanavinalot.
The late Wilson was known as "The King" for good reason. For four decades as handicapper and reporter for the Boston Record American, he was the man the vast majority of horse players relied on to pick a winner for them and keep them updated on racing news.
The names of this year's inductees will be added to a plaque that is on permanent display in the New England Thoroughbred racing exhibit at the Sports Museum located in the TD Banknorth Garden.
Tickets for the awards dinner are $60 each and tables of 10 are available for $600. To purchase tickets, call 617 568-3220.