Edited press release
The racehorse Boots 'n Jackie, trainer Bill White, John Bush's Bee Bee Stable, and jockey Pedro Rodriguez will be inducted into the Calder Racecourse Hall of Fame on Sunday, Aug. 7.The Calder Hall of Fame was created in 1995 to honor those individuals who have made history at the Florida track. A winner's circle ceremony will be held on Sunday, Aug. 7 following the second race to introduce this year's inductees.
Following is a profile of each inductee:Boots 'n Jackie:
A foal of 1990, Boot 'n Jackie was homebred in Florida by John Bush's Bee Bee Stable and his longtime trainer Manny Tortora's Equitor Farm. Racing for Bee Bee Stable and the trainer's daughter Toni, his assistant at the time, Boots 'n Jackie was named for Bush's wife Juanita, known as 'Boots' and Tortora's wife Jacqueline. A daughter of Major Moran, Boots 'n Jackie took six starts to break her maiden, but made up for lost time in a hurry during the fall of her 2-year-old season in 1992, winning the Susan's Girl and My Dear Girl divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes. She completed a long juvenile campaign of 12 races with a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) that year at Gulfstream Park and a victory in the Golden Rod Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. In the Breeders' Cup, Boots 'n Jackie was narrowly beaten by Eclipse champion Eliza with Educated Risk second. During an abbreviated campaign of just five races as a 3-year-old in 1993, Boots 'n Jackie finished second in the Forward Gal Breeders' Cup (gr. II) and Davona Dale Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream and was runner-up in the National Jockey Club Oaks at Sportsman's Park. After a fifth-place effort in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), she was sent to the sidelines. A two-race effort to bring her back as a 4-year-old did not turn out and she was sent home to begin a second career as a broodmare. Boots 'n Jackie carried her success and class on the racetrack to the breeding shed with Supah Blitz, her 2000 colt by Mecke, becoming a multiple graded stakes-winner with earnings of more than $1.3 million. Bee Bee Farm and Tortora bred and raced Supah Blitz until last summer before selling him privately to California connections. Currently in the Tortora barn is Supah Blitz's 2-year-old full-sister Mary Kate 'n Kelly, named for Bush's granddaughters.Bill White:
Trainer Bill White, 52, has been re-writing the record books at Calder for the last decade winning the last eight Calder meet titles, nine overall, and top honors at five Tropical-at-Calder as well. A native of Chicago, Ill., White taught special education in Sarasota for several years before making a career change to training in 1983. After acouple seasons at Tampa Bay, White settled into Calder about 20 years ago and his approximately 1,100 winners at Calder rank him third and closing behind veterans Manny Tortora and Frank Gomez on the all-time list. During the last decade, White's stable gradually grew in quality as well as quantity, primarily training for several of Florida's most prominent owner-breeders, including Fred Hooper, John Franks, Georgia Hofmann and more recently Eugene and Laura Melnyk and Live Oak Plantation. His best-known earlier developments include Not Surprising (as a 2-year-old before he went on to become the 1995 Eclipse Award sprint champion), Lucky Lavender Gal, Clearly a Queen, Fig Fest, Northern Trend, Born Mighty,
Bluff's Dividend and Kiss A Native. Last year the stable hit a new level with White's 2-year-old developments, including High Fly, Cin Cin and Punch Appeal. A highlight of the early 2005 campaign was the victory of the 5-year-old mare D'Wildcat Speed in Gulfstream Park's Rampart Handicap (gr. II).Bee Bee Stable (John Bush):John Bush, an 83-year-old native of West Palm Beach, Fla., has campaigned a stable at Calder for 30 years with trainer Manny Tortora, also born in West Palm Beach. Bush was a bomber navigator in the Army Air Corp during World War II, flying on 35 missions over Germany and leaving the service with the rank of captain. After the war, he returned home to build a successful wholesale meat business, retiring about 10 years ago with his sons Harry and Bill taking over. Bush was an avid fan and horseplayer before he entered the sport as an owner-breeder. The outstanding homebred filly Boots 'n Jackie, also a 2005 Calder Hall of Fame inductee, was among the best runners Bush has campaigned over the years along with Harry 'n Bill, named after his two sons, Oh My Jessica Pie, Bye Guys, Oh My Blue Boy, Iron and Silver and Supah Blitz.Pedro Rodriguez:
Jockey Pedro Rodriguez, 37, was born in Havana, Cuba before his family relocated to Costa Rica when he was three years old, and eventually settled in Hialeah in 1985. With no family background in racing, Rodriguez was persuaded to have a look at Calder in 1986 where he met trainer Luis Olivares, who put him to work walking hots. With Olivares as his mentor, Rodriguez got his first mount two years later. With the support of Olivares and Jose 'Pepe' Mendez, Rodriguez led the Calder meet standings in 1989. During a career interrupted by injuries, Rodriguez has won over 1,500 races and currently plies his trade at Finger Lakes Race Track in upstate New York. His most famous mount was Cecilia and Ray Dixon's marvelous filly Nancy's Glitter, who swept the filly divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes series in 1997 before an unsuccessful bid in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) that fall at Hollywood Park.Other notable victories for Rodriguez came aboard such good ones as The Vid, Gold for My Gal, Honest Ensign, Majestic Sweep, Fiery Special, Groomstick, Sez Fourty and Paris Opera.