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Twelve Finalists Named for Hall of Fame

Six horses, three jockeys, and three trainers have been selected as the 2006 finalists for nomination to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. The 12 finalists were announced Wednesday by Stella F. Thayer, president of the Hall.

The finalists are:
Contemporary female horses: Inside Information, Silverbulletday, and Sky Beauty
Contemporary male horses: Best Pal, Manila, and Silver Charm
Jockeys: Eddie Maple, Craig Perret, and Alex Solis
Trainers: Mel Stute, John Veitch, and Robert Wheeler

The finalists were determined by a vote of the 14 members of the nominating committee, which considered a total of 91 candidates.

To the group of 87 names suggested for nomination by the public and the Hall of Fame voting panel, the committee also chose to consider four additional names: jockey Patrick Valenzuela, trainers Noble Threewit and Richard Hazelton, and the female horse Track Robbery.

To be eligible, trainers must be licensed and actively involved with Thoroughbreds for 25 years; jockeys must be licensed for 20 years; horses must be retired for five years.

In early April, the approximately 190 members of the Hall of Fame Voting Panel will be asked to vote "yes" or "no" on each of the three finalists in each category. In order to be elected an individual must receive a "yes" vote on at least 75% of the ballots and have the highest number of votes in the category. In the event of a tie in the number of votes received, more than one finalist could be inducted. If no candidate receives "yes" votes on as many as 75% of the ballots received, that category will not have an inductee this year.

For several years, voters selected one of three finalists in each division and inductees were elected by a plurality of the votes received. In 2005, voters were asked to vote for as many as three of five finalists and the 75% rule was put in place. The executive committee of the Museum's board of trustees voted in December to return to a policy of three finalists and ask the panel to vote on each one.