Stewart, who has been involved in the sport for more than a half-century, has worked at Fair Grounds since 1970 in a variety of roles under five different ownership groups. She currently serves as the track's VIP relations coordinator.
The 2003 Horse of the Year, Mineshaft, his trainer, and his regular rider make up three-fourths of the induction class of 2005 for the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame, track officials announced Sept. 21. Rags-to-riches story and stakes winner Princequillo, grandsire of Secretariat and Kris S, rounds out the 2005 induction class.Mineshaft, who jump-started his 2003 campaign at Fair Grounds in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) in February, will join trainer Neil Howard and five-time Fair Grounds leading rider Robby Albarado in the Hall. The Will Farish-bred Mineshaft would eventually win four grade I stakes in 2003, including the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. He becomes the first Horse of the Year to race at Fair Grounds since Whirlaway's appearance in 1942. Mineshaft's New Orleans Handicap victory marked the fifth for Howard in a Fair Grounds Spring Festival of Racing event. As the primary trainer for Farish, owner of Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., Howard conditioned 1992 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. III) winner Prospectors Delite, (dam of Mineshaft), a pair of Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winners--Line In The Sand (1992) and Comic Strip (1998)--and 2002 New Orleans Handicap winner Parade Leader.Albarado, closing in on 3,000th career wins, has captured five of the last seven Fair Grounds riding titles, including the last two. Along with his win aboard Mineshaft, Albarado hit the wire first in the 1999 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) aboard Kimberlite Pipe, and hit pay-dirt in the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT)--formerly the Explosive Bid Handicap--three times, including the 2004 edition aboard Mystery Giver.Five-time stakes winner Princequillo, son of Prince Rose, won 12 of his 33 career starts, including a win in his 3-year-old debut at Fair Grounds in 1943. He was brought to New Orleans by fellow Fair Grounds Hall of Famer Anthony Pelleteri, and after being sold for $2,500, went on that year to score in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.Princequillo would go on to become the leading American sire for three consecutive years--producing 60 stakes winners--and the leading broodmare sire eight times.As part of the induction ceremony to be held in March 2005, longtime Fair Grounds employee JoAn Stewart will be honored with the third Marie G. Krantz Fair Grounds Lifetime Achievement Award.