McGaughey, Zito, Skip Away Among Hall of Fame Finalists

McGaughey, Zito, Skip Away Among Hall of Fame Finalists
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Skip Away, among finalists for Hall of Fame induction this year.
(Edited from press release)
Trainers Shug McGaughey and Nick Zito and 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away are among the candidates for election to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, Museum president John T. von Stade announced Monday, April 4. More than 140 members of the racing media will vote on the Hall of Fame, and the one winner in each category will be announced via teleconference on May 25.

The finalists are:

Jockeys: Kent Desormeaux, Eddie Maple, Randy Romero, Jose Santos

Trainers: Shug McGaughey, John Veitch, Nick Zito

Male horses: Lure, Manila, Skip Away

Female horses: Flawlessly, Mom's Command, Sky Beauty

The nominating committee's ballots produced a four-way tie in the Jockey category. Riders become eligible after being licensed jockeys for 15 years. Trainers become eligible after having been licensed trainers for 25 years. Horses become eligible when five calendar years have passed since they last raced. Horses whose careers ended more than 25 years ago are reviewed by a special historic review committee, acting separately from the regular voting mechanism.

Among the jockey nominees, Kent Desormeaux shares with Chris McCarron and Steve Cauthen the distinction of having won Eclipse Awards as both an apprentice and as an established jockey. He had won 4,395 races (20% from mounts) and earned $167,718,471 through 2003. His victories include the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on Real Quiet and Fusaichi Pegasus and the Preakness (gr. I) on Real Quiet. He was America's leading rider three consecutive years, and his one-year record of 598 wins still stands.

Eddie Maple won the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on Temperence Hill and Creme Fraiche and rode Secretariat to victory in his final race, the Canadian International of 1973. Maple rode many major horses for Woody Stephens, including Devil's Bag, Swale, Forty Niner, and Gone West<.sr>. He had a career record of 4,398 wins (13%) and earnings of more than $105 million.

Randy Romero was the regular rider for the unbeaten champion Personal Ensign and for the ill-fated champion Go for Wand. He won the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) on Personal Ensign and another champion, Sacahuista, and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with Go for Wand. Romero rode 4,285 winners (16%) and earned $75,123,094.

Jose Santos, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness last year on Funny Cide, had won the Belmont Stakes on Lemon Drop Kid   in 1999. He was America's leading rider in earnings four years in succession during the 1980s. Santos was the regular rider of Manila, Meadow Star, Criminal Type and other champions and has won seven Breeders' Cup races. Through 2003, he had won 3,735 races (16%) and earned $155,273,397.

Among the trainer finalists, McGaughey, who has spent most of his 25-year career as trainer for the Phipps Family stable, has developed a total of eight champions for the Phippses and other owners. The Phipps homebreds include unbeaten Personal Ensign and Belmont Stakes winner Easy Goer. Through 2003, McGaughey had won 1,363 races (24% from starts) and earned $82,731,027. He has won 237 graded stakes, including eight Breeders' Cup races.

Veitch, who has trained for Calumet Farm, Darby Dan Farm, and other major stables, trained Alydar, who was the great rival of Affirmed and ran second to him in all three Triple Crown races. Veitch also trained four Eclipse Award winners -- Filly Triple Crown winner Davona Dale, Sunshine Forever, Our Mims, and Before Dawn -- and won the Breeders' Cup Classic with Proud Truth. Through 2003, Veitch had won 410 races (18.5%), including 76 graded stakes, and earned $20,097,980.

Zito has trained two Kentucky Derby winners, Strike the Gold and Go for Gin, and one Preakness winner, Louis Quatorze. In addition, he trained Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner and champion Storm Song and last year's champion 3-year-old filly, Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Bird Town. Through 2003, Zito had won 1,271 races (12%), including 67 graded stakes, and earned $58,519,635.

In the Male Horse category, Claiborne Farm's homebred Lure, trained by McGaughey, won back-to-back runnings of the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) in 1992 and 1993. His major triumphs also included races up to 1 3/16 miles. Lure won eight of 14 starts and earned $2,515,289.

Manila, who raced for Mike Shannon and was trained by LeRoy Jolley, won the 1986 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) to secure the Eclipse Award as champion grass horse. He had a nine-race winning streak of major races and overall won 12 of 18 races and earned $2,692,799.

Skip Away, who raced for Mrs. Carolyn Hine and was trained by her husband, Sonny Hine, was Horse of the Year at five in 1998 and had been champion 3-year-old and champion older male in the two previous years. He won 18 of 38 races and earned $9,616,360. Skip Away defeated Cigar in one of his two Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) triumphs and won the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) by six lengths.

In the Female Horse category, Flawlessly was champion grass mare in both 1992 and 1993. She was raced by Harbor View Farm and trained through most of her career by Charlie Whittingham. She won both the grade I Matriarch and Ramona Handicaps three years in succession. Flawlessly won 16 of 28 races and earned $2,572,536.

Peter Fuller's homebred Mom's Command, who was trained by Edward T. Allard, swept the New York Filly Triple Crown in 1995, then added the Alabama Stakes (gr. I). Ridden by the owner's daughter, Abby Fuller, Mom's Command won 11 of 16 races and earned $902,972.

Sky Beauty, raced by Mrs. Georgia Hoffmann and trained by Allen Jerkens, was voted champion older filly at four in 1994 after being a strong contender for Eclipse Awards at two and three. She won the New York Filly Triple Crown in 1993 and won a total of 15 races from 21 starts to earn $1,336,000.

The winners in each category will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in public ceremonies at the Fasig-Tipton Sale Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, New York, on the morning of Aug. 9.

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