Holy Bull, the 1994 Horse of the Year, heads the list of final nominees for induction this year into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The inductees will be announed May 1 and enshrined Aug. 6.
Holy Bull is one of three horses eligible for the first time, the necessary five years having passed since he last raced. The others are champions Sky Beauty and Paseana, two of the three nominees in the contemporary female category. The other nominee in that category is Flawlessly.
In the contemporary male category, Holy Bull's competition is turf champion Manila and champion sprinter Precisionist.
The 150 voters will choose from among trainers Sonny Hine, Richard Mandella and Mel Stute, and jockeys Earlie Fires, Craig Perret, and Jack Westrope.
The three horses of yesteryear for consideration are Maskette, Numbered Account, and Swoon's Son.
Holy Bull (Great Above -- Sharon Brown, by Al Hattab) won 13 of 16 races and earned $2,481,760. He won six grade I races, the Met Mile, Haskell, Woodward, Florida Derby, Travers, and Futurity. He was the favorite for the 1994 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), but finished a disappointing 12th on a sloppy track. The sire of 2000 champion juvenile Macho Uno now stands at stud at Jonabell Farm near Lexington..
Manila (Lyphard -- Donna Ysidra, by Le Fabuleux) was champion grass horse of 1986. The Breeders' Cup Turf (Gr. IT) winner won 12 of 18 and earned $2,629,799. He is now standing at stud in Turkey.
Precisionist (Crozier -- Excellently, by Forli) was a champion sprinter (1985), but also won races at up to 1 1/4-miles. He won 20 of 46 starts and earned $3,485,398. Precisionist, who was virtually sterile as a stallion, is at Hooper Farm in Florida.
Flawlessly (Affirmed -- La Confidence, by Nijinsky II) was champion turf mare in 1992 and 1993. She won 16 of 28 starts and earned $2,572,536. Those same year, '92 and '93, Paseana (Ahmad -- Pasiflin, by Flintham) was champion older mare. She won 19 of 36 starts and earned $3,171,203. Sky Beauty (Blushing Groom -- Maplejinsky, by Nijinsky II) was champion older mare in 1994. She won 15 of 21 races and earned $1,336,000.
Earlie Fires was the leading apprentice of 1965 and is still riding today. He has won over 6,100 races and his mounts have earned over $77 million. Fires has ridden such top horses as In Reality, Dike, Pattee Canyon, Gallant Romeo, Classy Cathy, Foolish Pleasure, and One Dreamer. Perret won an Eclipse Award in 1990, the same year he won the Derby aboard Unbridled. He has also won four Breeders' Cup races and a Belmont Stakes. Westrope was the leading rider in 1933 when he won 301 races. He rode for 26 years before being fatally injured when throw into the rail in the 1958 Hollywood Oaks.
Mandella has won nearly 1,500 races during his 26-year career. Horses he has saddled have won over $80 million. He has sent out over 100 stakes winners, among them Dare and Go, Kotashaan, Phone Chatter, Gentlemen, Siphon, Sandpit, Soul of the Matter, Best Pal, and Phone Chatter. Stute saddled his first winner in 1947 and since that time has been a constant on the backsides of California racetracks. He won the 1986 Preakness with Snow Chief, the same year winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with Brave Raj. Both were voted champions. Hine, who died last year, trained champion Skip Away to three championship seasons including a Horse of the Year title in 1998. He trained 45 other stakes winners such as Amber Pass, Bet Big, and Technology.
Maskette raced in the early part of the century. She was the top juvenile filly of 1908 and 3-year-old filly the following year. Numbered Account won 14 of 22 starts and was a top juvenile filly in 1971. Swoon's Son was a hard-knocking horse who won 30 of 51 races and earned nearly a $1 million in the mid-'50s.