A total of 22 nominees have been put forward by the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame's Thoroughbred and Standardbred Nominating Committees. The nominees consist of six Thoroughbred horses, four Standardbreds and 12 people.
Smart Strike, who set a single-season world record for earnings by his progeny in 2007, heads a list of three Thoroughbred males nominated for induction into Canada's Horse Racing Hall of Fame in August. Owned by Sam-Son Farms of Milton, Ont., the son of Mr. Prospector dominated the sire list in North America as his offspring earned more than $14 million. A grade I stakes winner and a half-brother to champion Dance Smartly, Smart Strike is now 16 years old and stands at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky. Also nominated in the male category were two Canadian Triple Crown winners and Horses of the Year -- Peteski and Wando. Peteski was owned by Earle I. Mack of New York. Wando, the 2003 Horse of the Year, is owned and bred by Gustav Schickedanz of Schonberg Farm near Nobleton, Ontario. Wando earned more than $2.5 million from 23 starts and also stands at stud at William Farish's farm at Lane's End along with his sire, Langfuhr .
Nominated in the female category were Alywow, the 1994 Horse of the Year, owned and bred by Kinghaven Farms; Rainbow Connection, Canada's champion filly in 1980 and 1981 and champion broodmare of 1994. She won the grade II Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct in 1980. Owned by Ron Edgar and Doug Cameron, Rainbow Connection was bred by Mrs. George T. Coker. The Halo mare produced three graded stakes winners -- Rainbows for Life, Always a Rainbow and Colour Chart, a graded stakes winner in France. Also nominated was Wilderness Song, the multiple graded stakes winning filly who was Canada's champion older mare in 1992.
In the people category, three-time Sovereign Award winning trainer Robert Tiller, who headed into the 2008 season with 1,458 victories, heads a list of three trainers. The other two are veteran Western Canadians -- David Forster, who had considerable success in British Columbia, Alberta and Washington State, and R.A. (Red) McKenzie of Edmonton, who was a blacksmith, jockey and breeder and is still active in Alberta. McKenzie won the Prairie Triple Crown in 1965 when Chariot Chaser won the Alberta, Canadian and Saskatchewan Derbies.
Nominated in the veterans category are Louis Cauz, a Sovereign Award winning writer, author of "The Plate: A Royal Tradition", managing director and curator of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and Woodbine Entertainment Group's historian and archivist; Gustav Schickedanz, the breeder and owner of Triple Crown winner Wando, Queen's Plate winner Woodcarver and the successful sire, Langfuhr; and Bruce Walker, who spent 30 years as the publicity director of the Ontario Jockey Club. Walker won three Sovereign Awards for the outstanding feature story.
On the Standardbred side, nominated in the female horse category were trotting star Peaceful Way, a four-time O'Brien Award winner and Canada's richest trotter in history with over $3.2 million to her credit, along with outstanding broodmare Rich N Elegant, the dam of winners of over $8.6 million, including such standouts as Rock N Roll Hanover, Red River Hanover and Royalflush Hanover.
Pacing sensation Real Desire, Canada's Horse of the Year and North America's Pacing Horse of the Year in 2002 with over $3.2 million in purse earnings and the sire of Tell All, Canada's co-Horse of the Year in 2007 was nominated in the male horse category. Also nominated was the trotter Wesgate Crown, a winner of $2.5 million and a two-time Breeders Crown Champion who has sired the winners of almost
Three trainer-drivers are nominated in the people category. Keith Clark, 47 of De Winton, Alberta, one of the most recognizable names in Western Canadian harness racing, Phil Pinkney, 70 of Nova Scotia, regarded as one of the best developers of young horses in the Atlantic region and Dave Wall, 52, of Komoka, Ontario, a veteran campaigner on the WEG and Ontario circuits are nominated for induction into the Hall of Fame. Clark has driven horses to in excess of $26 million and trained winners of $18 million while Wall has driven horses to earnings in excess of $56 million. Pinkney has driven winners of over $2 million lifetime and has campaigned numerous stakes and invitational winners in the Atlantic Provinces throughout the years.
Nominated in the veterans / builders category were owner-breeder Robert Burgess from Campbellville, ON, who has also been actively involved in several industry associations over the years, Quebec based breeder Pierre Levesque, founder, owner and operator of Angus Farm and the late Cliff Chapman Jr., former owner and publisher of The Canadian Sportsman as well as race secretary, bid spotter, legal bookmaker and trainer.
The two 20-person Election Committees will declare the winners in the respective categories and they will be announced on May 20. The induction ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Thursday, August 28. Guest speaker will be television and actor Nicholas Campbell.