(Edited press release)
Delaware Park announced July 10 the selection of five inductees into its newly established Wall of Fame.
The inaugural class of inductees consists of Kelso, Henry Clark, Willie Shoemaker, Jane and Henry Lunger's Christiana Stables, and William DuPont, Jr.
An inductee was chosen by a panel of Delaware Park executives from each of the following categories: horse, trainer, jockey, owner, and non-participant.
"We are extremely pleased to introduce the Delaware Park Wall of Fame," said Bill Fasy, chief operating officer of Delaware Park. "With our rich racing history and tradition, it is a natural fit to establish a Wall of Fame. This allows us to recognize the truly remarkable achievements and commitment of the horsemen at our local track. This year's inaugural class represents the best of racing on both a local and national level"
Bohemia Stable's Kelso was five-time Horse of the Year from 1960-1964. The gelding retired from racing with a record of 39 wins from 63 starts and career earnings of $1,977,896. He captured 30 stakes races, 13 of them while toting at least 130 pounds, and set seven track records.
Clark trained for 71 years from 1929 through 1999 and saddled 37 stake winners. He holds the record for most Delaware Handicap victories by a trainer in saddling Obeah and Endine, who were both two-time victors of the race.
Shoemaker rode from 1949 to 1990 and had 8,333 winners from 40,350 mounts. In his career, he won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) four times, the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) twice, and the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) five times. The two-time Eclipse Award winner also won the the Dover Stakes and the Delaware Oaks twice, but is most noted locally for riding Spectacular Bid in his comeback race in 1979 at Delaware Park after being injured in the Belmont Stakes. In that race, Spectacular Bid's time of 1:41 2/5 set a track record that stood for 28 years.
Christiana Stable, locally owned by the late Henry and Jane Lunger, is most noted for campaigning multiple champion Go For Wand. Christiana Stables has also won a record four Delaware Handicaps, plus the Delaware Oaks three times.
William DuPont Jr. designed and built Delaware Park, which opened in 1937. Also the owner of Foxcatcher Farms, DuPont has campaigned two Delaware Handicap winners and also owned Rosemont, who defeated Seabiscuit in the Santa Anita Handicap in 1937.