Hoofprints Walk of Fame Unveiled at Saratoga

Project commemorates greatest Thoroughbreds to compete during track's 150 years.

The New York Racing Association and the Saratoga 150 Committee unveiled their Hoofprints Walk of Fame July 12 honoring the most accomplished Thoroughbreds to compete at Saratoga Race Course during its 150-year history.

The new attraction commemorates the most prolific and notable horses to have raced at the historic track. Modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it is one component of a summer-long celebration to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Thoroughbred racing at The Spa.

Saratoga 150 committee chair Charles Wait was joined by honorary chair John Hendrickson, selection committee chair Michael Veitch, NYRA Vice president Rodnell Workman, and Sally Jeffords, a connection to the great Man o' War, for the unveiling outside the track's clubhouse gates.

The new addition features an inaugural class of 30 horses. Each Thoroughbred is honored on a granite plaque alongside the names of its sire, dam, owner, trainer, and jockey. The plaques also feature the horse's year of birth and signature wins at Saratoga.

"Celebrating 150 years of racing would not have been complete unless we honored the historic athletes who helped make Saratoga Race Course the number one race track in the country," said Hendrickson, who conceptualized the project in conjunction with the Saratoga 150 committee. "I always thought there should be some way to recognize the real stars of the sport and the Hoofprints Walk of Fame will be a unique and educational retrospective of our history."

"I hope future generations will be inspired and humbled to see the hoofprints of some of the greatest athletes that have ever lived," said Marylou Whitney, a long-time owner and breeder who is widely regarded as a premier figure and philanthropist in the Spa City. "Saratoga was fortunate to host these amazing stars."

The selection committee was led by acclaimed racing expert and life-long Saratoga Springs resident Veitch. A turf writer for the Saratogian since 1979, Veitch also serves as a trustee of the National Museum of Racing and is a member of the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and Historic Review Committee.

The selection committee included Allan Carter, librarian of the National Museum of Racing, and author and historian Ed Bowen of Lexington, who also serves on the committee that selects the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame honorees. The selection committee will consider additional horses for the Walk of Fame each year on an annual basis.

The inaugural inductees, in alphabetical order, are: Affirmed, Alydar, Beldame, Chief's Crown, Discovery, Duke of Magenta, Easy Goer, Eight Thirty, Emperor of Norfolk, Equipoise, Exterminator, Go for Wand, Granville, Harry Bassett, Heavenly Prize, Henry of Navarre, Kelso, Kentucky, Lady's Secret, Man o' War, Native Dancer, Regret, Roamer, Ruthless, Secretariat, Sky Beauty, Tom Fool, Top Flight, War Admiral, and Whirlaway.